Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

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The Normal Theater could see an upgrade to its lighting system, allowing it to be used for more live performances and community events. The town council will consider spending $57 thousand on the energy efficient upgrade for the venue.

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Some Illinois delegates for Donald Trump say they’ll skip next week’s political convention in protest of their own state Republican Party.

Rich Nordstrom won election in the Republican primary to go to next week’s Republican National Convention as a delegate, and officially vote for Donald Trump to be the party’s nominee.

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The Mayor of Normal is giving Congressional testimony on the merits of high speed rail.

Chris Koos is appearing before the subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets of the Community on Oversight and Government Reform.

Clinton Warns Of Trump Danger

Jul 13, 2016
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Hillary Clinton said the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln has been transformed into "the party of Trump."

Ratting off a series of attacks against her GOP rival during an appearance in Springfield, Clinton said Trump is "dangerous," "divisive," "fear-mongering" and is "pitting American against American."

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The stopgap spending measure approved by lawmakers and the Governor at the end of last month did nothing to fix the structural deficit or the backlog of bills State government owes in Illinois. Take dentists for instance.

There are about 18,000 dentists in Illinois. The state owes them 150 million dollars.

Michael Hill / WGLT

People from different parts of Illinois are agreeing to "mend the gaps" when it comes to issues such as healthcare, taxes, education and pay inequality. Residents from Bloomington, Normal, the Chicago area and other Illinois communities attended a discussion called the "Caucus to Mend the Gaps." The event is part of the "Nuns on the Bus" tour.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The City of Bloomington could have a final five-year capital improvement plan by the end of the year. Aldermen and city staff will work together in the coming months to finish up the proposal, which was presented in draft form during a city council work session.

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For the last half century  the courts have moved to a jurisprudence of law and order instead of one of individual rights.

That's according to Michael Gizzi, an Illinois State University Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences, who spoke with GLT's Charlie Schlenker. Gizzi has co-authored a new book on the fourth amendment to the constitution, the portion of the bill of rights preventing unreasonable searches and seizures so people can be secure in their property and possessions.

Jim Browne / WGLT

U-S Senator Dick Durbin says he's glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget. But he says the year-long budget crisis didn't help reduce urban violence in Illinois.

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Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys face a midnight deadline for motions regarding the sentence they'd like former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to receive when his case returns to court for a resentencing hearing next month. 

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will consider spending an additional $25 thousand this year to help with operational costs for the Route 66 Visitors Center at the entrance of the McLean County Museum of History.

Ralph Weisheit

Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos is considering another run for Mayor.

During Sound Ideas Koos told GLT's Mike McCurdy he'd make a decision in "the next two to three weeks."

Steve Petteway / Staff Photographer Supreme Court

The absence of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a big difference in the last session of the high court. That's according to ISU scholar Meghan Leonard. Leonard told Charlie Schlenker not only were the four to four cases a big deal, but some of the 5-3 decisions would have had different emphasis if Scalia were there.

The death of not only affected the decisions handed down in the just completed term of the court, it is shifting what will happen next year too. Leonard said the court has not picked chosen many, if any, blockbuster cases to hear next term.

Court Rules PTSD Should Qualify For Medical Marijuana

Jun 29, 2016
Mike Hager / Vancouver Sun

A Cook County judge has sided with a veteran from Urbana and ordered the state to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list of conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.

Judge Neil Cohen ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days. The sternly worded ruling says Director Nirav Shah “engaged in a private investigation, hidden from public view'' that was “constitutionally inappropriate.''

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

There's intense pressure on Illinois lawmakers to pass a budget before Friday, when a new fiscal year begins.  Governor Bruce Rauner spent hours meeting with legislative leaders Wednesday morning and negotiations are expected to continue throughout the day.  

After a year without a state budget, word is an agreement may be shaping up between the Republican governor and the Democrats who control the General Assembly.

U.S. Rep. LaHood

There's a lot Donald Trump says and does with which Congressman Darin LaHood doesn't agree.  He said voters will have a stark choice this November.

When asked during GLT's Sound Ideas, about Trump's response to the Orlando shooting, statements about a federal judge of Mexican descent, and a ban of people of the Muslim faith from entering the U.S., the Illinois 18th District U.S. Representative said "all of those things you mentioned are not necessarily things I agree with, with Donald Trump."

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The human services sector makes a major contribution to Illinois' economy, but the current budget impasse is making that area suffer. Human services hire more than 1,000 workers in McLean County. With a loss of these jobs, there will be less income to the community through taxes and spending.

McLean County Health Department

The last several weeks have involved a great deal of public turmoil involving a strained relationship between the County Health Department and its Board of Health and the County Board. Investigative efforts by the Bloomington Pantagraph turned up thousands of e-mails among health board members, and Health Department Director Walt Howe with some members of the board scheming to elect their slate of officers friendly to Howe's position.

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Some $2 billion in road construction projects will be shut down July 1 in Illinois without a state budget agreement. An Associated Press analysis of Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that collectively work on the 19 largest projects is less than halfway done in terms of money spent.

WIU To Furlough Again

Jun 27, 2016
Adam Moss / Creative Commons

Some Western Illinois University employees will have to take more unpaid days off as the school tries to cope with a drastic decrease in state aid.

This spring, Western imposed furloughs on non-negotiated staff earning more-than 40-thousand dollars. They had to take those days off between April and June.

Rep. Davis Reacts To Democratic Sit-in

Jun 23, 2016
C-SPAN

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis said the Democratic protest in the US House was a "publicity stunt." The nearly 26-hour sit-in by House Democrats ended earlier today, but the group vows to come back after a congressional recess "more determined than ever before."

Mike Miletich / WGLT

With just over a week left before the start of the 2017 Fiscal Year, Illinois' Comptroller is warning that hardships caused by the state's budget impasse will grow significantly without further action in Springfield.

While court orders, consent decrees and statutory authorization of some payments will continue, Munger said that $23 billion in existing spending for schools, 911 call centers, domestic violence shelters, federally-funded social and human services and higher education will stop next month without new legislation.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr

The Bloomington City Council will continue its discussion and make a decision on charging up to $500 per gambling machine at businesses in the city.

Michael Vadon / Flickr

While he's not endorsing his opponent in the Democratic presidential race just yet, Bernie Sanders has a lot of work to do between now and the convention. That's according to Illinois State University political scientist Kerri Milita.

She said Sanders needs to find a way to persuade the 15 to 25 percent of his supporters who say they'll vote for Donald Trump over Sanders' party rival Hillary Clinton.

WGLT

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has returned to the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time since his resignation.

Staff / WGLT

Discussion of establishing a sales tax sharing agreement for Bloomington and Normal will slow down over the next couple of weeks, according to Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos.

"Bloomington council has been very clear. They want to have a public discussion at either the 13th or 20th  meetings (of June)," said Koos.

Staff / WGLT

If schools don't open in the fall because of a lack of state funding, children will be hungry. That's according to school superintendents reacting to Governor Bruce Rauner's speech in Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After a speech to school superintendents at the regional alternative school in Bloomington, Governor Bruce Rauner told one of them "hang on, it's going to get rocky." Rauner was referring to the lack of authorized school funding, something he used in the speech to blast House Speaker Mike Madigan. Rauner several times remarked he refused to bail out Chicago Schools

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U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has unendorsed presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump. This follows a series of controversial statements from Trump including a comment widely considered racist about a judge from Indiana of Mexican descent who is hearing a case involving Trump.

The Republican Kirk is considered a vulnerable target as he seeks re-election in November against Democratic Candidate Tammy Duckworth.

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New court documents provide a window into how the Independent Maps Coalition is trying to fend off a legal challenge. A lawsuit scuttled a similar redistricting effort two years ago.

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