Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government


The question of the moment among some political observers is does the rise of Donald Trump signal a new fascism in development. For an Illinois Wesleyan University political scientist the answer is no. Kathleen Montgomery tells GLT’s Charlie Schlenker Fascism is a full ideology that Donald Trump does not have. 

Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The economic impact of the potential closure of the Clinton Nuclear plant begins now, not in a year when the plant actually shuts down. Plant Spokesman Brett Nauman says the announcement also means the end of infrastructure improvements and outside work, which involves a significant workforce in the community.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

The Illinois legislature has sent the governor legislation amending the state law that decides when doctors can object to caring for a patient based on moral principle.

Downtown SF building
Staff / WGLT

More than 12 years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast, a fraud case involving State Farm Insurance will go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices have agreed to hear arguments in the Bloomington-based company's appeal of 758,000 dollars in damages.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corp. says it will shut two Illinois nuclear plants after the Illinois Legislature declined to act on its request for financial support. The company said Thursday it will close the Clinton Power Station in Clinton on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova on June 1, 2018.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he is really disappointed lawmakers have failed to approve a budget for the second consecutive year. The spring session of the General Assembly ended Tuesday night without any viable spending plan. Dietz said this has been bad news for eleven months.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is spending Wednesday and Thursday taking his budget message on the road.  The legislature finished its spring session Tuesday evening without sending him a spending plan. 

Tannen Maury / EPA

An Illinois lawmaker is pushing legislation to take away former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's taxpayer-funded state pension following his conviction in a hush-money case.  

Hastert receives a $28,000 annual pension from Illinois' General Assembly Retirement System from his service in the Legislature. Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant's bill introduced Tuesday would revoke pensions for lawmakers who commit a felony against a student or other victim.  

Charlie Schlenker

The McLean County Republican Party has slated Scott Murphy in the District Two County Board race. urphy is already serving on the board after he was appointed following the resignation of Matt Sorensen.


School Districts are reviewing their disciplinary codes this summer to prepare for the effect of a new law going into effect with the new school year in the fall.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

You wouldn't have to be sick, to take a sick day under legislation approved Tuesday by the Illinois House.      

Transit Board Approves Routes, Schedule Changes

May 24, 2016
Staff / WGLT

New routes and schedules for buses in the Twin Cities were approved by the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The changes include more frequent service, Sunday service, and more transfer locations. General Manager Andrew Johnson said, as a result of the changes, the yearly operating costs will go up to $14.5 million, which is about $3 million higher than current operating costs.


Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Several months ago the Bloomington based social service agency Providing Access To Help kept its doors open and made payroll after much searching and stress about searching for a loan. 

Creative Commons

The Illinois Secretary of State's office says a plan to issue driver's licenses and state identification cards in Illinois that are more secure won't require additional state funding. 

Kelly Taylor / Creative Commons

A plan allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois is advancing through the Legislature despite concerns from the leading state election authority that would have to implement it. 

Creative Commons

Illinois' top political leaders remain divided.  As of Tuesday there will be only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal.

Bloomington Council To Hear Traffic Light Options

May 22, 2016
Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will consider looking into improving traffic flow throughout the city. One system helps emergency vehicles, snow plows, and city buses get a green light to make traffic easier to navigate. Another would help vehicles move through Bloomington more efficiently after events or during heavy traffic.

Mid Central Community Action

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Many human service agencies were forced to react immediately at the end of last June when Governor Bruce Rauner and Lawmakers chose not to agree on a state budget. Among them was Mid Central Community Action in Bloomington.

Soda Tax May Bubble Up In Springfield

May 18, 2016
Rex Sorgatz / Creative Commons

Lawmakers scrambling to find money to fix Illinois' multi-billion dollar deficit are looking to sugary drinks as one potential source of revenue.

Jerry Harcharik

An estimated eight thousand union members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

It's an election year and pay raises are difficult things to pass when people are on the ballot. So it proved on the McLean County Board when members turned down a two percent pay hike amounting to about ninety eight dollars per year.

Lee Milner / Illinois News Broadcasters Association

A state senator says the biggest scandal in Illinois and across the country isn’t getting much attention and he’s not sure why.

Sam McCann, R-Plainview, says the rise of super PACs (political action committees) since the U. S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is killing democracy and will discourage people from running for public office.

Charlie Schlenker / Schlenker

A move to cut the McLean County Coroner's salary by six percent has failed soundly. Outgoing County Board member Ben Owens made the motion, saying new hires in businesses often come in at a lower rate than their predecessors. Owens framed the proposal as a money saving move for taxpayers.

Mathew Paul Argall / Creative Commons

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents. 

The head of the Children's Home and Aid Society in Bloomington says the last ten months has done a lot to her organization. During Sound Ideas, Lisa Pieper talked WGLT's Charlie Schlenker about the impact on human services from the state budget standoff over Governor Rauner's turnaround agenda.

Michael Allen Smith / Creative Commons

Count the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council among the interest groups on board a proposed sales tax sharing agreement in the twin cities.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the Budgeteers has forwarded a draft of an outline of a spending plan to the Governor and legislative leaders. It includes spending cuts and revenue increases, but not Governor Bruce Rauner's proposed reforms to the structure of state government.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons

Illinois’ school funding formula relies heavily on property taxes. That leaves districts with low land values to make do with about six thousand dollars per student each year, while districts with thriving businesses can spend up to five times that amount.

Matt Turner / Flickr

Court orders have kept money flowing to certain social services.  But many others have had to scale back or close after waiting more than ten months for the state to pay their bills.

This is the latest bid to minimize the damage.


Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents. 

A growing number of human service providers are suggesting Illinois residents express their dissatisfaction in the voting booth over the state's nearly year-long budget impasse.

Ralph Weisheit

The head of the company that just took the Mitsubishi plant in Normal off the automaker's hands says they will start liquidating the equipment in two or three months if they do not find a buyer for the plant.