Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Non Tenure Track professors at ISU are showing solidarity with their counterparts at other budget strapped campuses with a demonstration on the quad.

Jacob DeGeal

The Head of the McLean County Board says work still needs to be done to adjust to same day voter registration. Students at Illinois State University had wait times of up to three hours on primary Election Day last month. Some left discouraged without voting.

Higher Ed Budget To Governor

Apr 13, 2016
Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

The Illinois Senate has moved swiftly to approved a spending plan the House passed just Tuesday.

Ralph Weisheit

A development entity is urging the Bloomington and Normal City Councils to talk about a sales tax revenue sharing agreement.

Nora Dukowitz / City of Bloomington

A $207 million balanced budget for the next year is under consideration by the Bloomington City Council tonight. The proposal includes additional revenue from a sales tax passed last year and includes more spending for the city’s infrastructure.


The Bloomington Police Department says it can't prove who drove over grave markers and damaged them in connection with a Donald Trump rally. The department says it has declined to file charges in the case.

Donald Trump speaks at a podium
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Although he may need them during the convention, don't expect Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to make an attempt to woo uncommitted delegates. That's according to Kerri Milita, Assistant Professor of Politics and Government at Illinois State University.

During an appearance on GLT's Sound Ideas, Milita said, "I don't see him being able to pull that off. With Trump, it's first ballot at the convention, or not at all."

Milita said Trump's retaliatory campaign style hurt him in Wisconsin, where she says voters are more sensitive to civility and being nice.

Staff / WGLT

There's evidence the state budget standoff is hurting the economy in Illinois and in Bloomington Normal.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University students complaining of long lines at the polls last month have a sympathetic ear in a McLean County Board member. During a Finance committee meeting, Erik Rankin echoed Illinois State University students’ frustrations after waiting hours in some cases to vote at the Bone Student Center in last month’s primary.

Staff / WGLT

As part of the general budget planning process Illinois State University goes through every year, the administration offers guidance to Deans and Department Chairs to come up with spending plans.

A judge overseeing Dennis Hastert's hush-money case has appointed a Northwestern University doctor to review the former U.S. House speaker's medical records. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said in a filing that Dr. Robert S. Golden would conduct the review, which was ordered last month after Hastert's sentencing was delayed because his lawyers said he had nearly died and remained in poor health.

Late-payment penalties have cost Illinois more than $900 million over the last six years, according to new figures from the state comptroller's office. The penalties for paying bills late cost the state about $160 million during the 2014 fiscal year.

Charlie Schlenker

The Town of Normal is pulling back on its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application for a year. The $14 million plus request would have funded a pedestrian underpass below the train tracks in Uptown. Mayor Chris Koos says the town did not want to get in the way of other requests of the TIGER program.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Heartland Community College in Normal is marking a quarter century of existence this week. Heartland is one of those entities which proves the public is not always right.

Sen Durbin Defends Prez Over Cuba Visit

Mar 25, 2016
whitehouse.gov/photos / YouTube via Creative Commons

An Illinois Senator who traveled with President Barack Obama says those giving him political heat for spending time in Cuba fostering relations with America's neighbor instead of rushing to Washington following the Brussels attacks are off base. US Senator Dick Durbin traveled with Barack Obama and addressed the issue upon his return. He says returning to DC would be a win for terrorists. The Democrat went on to criticize one of the candidates for President who says the US should get out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

State of Illinois

A Bloomington State Senator says he will carefully read the Supreme Court opinion on the Chicago pension case.

stalebg / Wikimedia Commons

After the Paris bombings in November, ISU Political Scientist Ali Riaz told Charlie Schlenker and GLT listeners that it was ISIS perhaps showing signs of weakness at home by extending the front to Europe.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Mayor Tari Renner voiced his concerns over a plan that would allow a group of three Aldermen to add discussion and action items to agendas. He said it could create a problem as it has in polarized states and communities.

Nia Gilbert

A sizeable percentage of students at University High School in Normal recently dressed all in black for a day to mark the Black Lives Matter movement. There was some contention as other students dressed all in white as part of an All Lives Matter response. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with two organizers of the Black Lives Matter effort, Juniors Seba Nassar and Nia Gilbert about why they thought it was a necessary thing to do at U-High.

Wikimedia Commons

The West African food crisis of 2008 had various causes: rising energy costs, increasing use of grain for ethanol production, shifting diets linked to rapid urbanization, export bans, and globalization and economic dependence on western countries. It's that last pressure on which this year's Ridgley Geography lecturer at ISU focuses.

Staff / WGLT

An independent review of Matt Sorensen's financial dealings while serving as McLean County Board chair finds no evidence of illegal or unethical conduct.

The review was conducted by former Normal town attorney Steve Mahrt, who produced a 600-plus page document. Sorensen resigned his seat in January following indictment on federal wire fraud charges in connection with a business dealing. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.


Expect Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders to attend this summer's Democratic convention as a candidate. That's according to Illinois State University Assistant Professor of Politics and Government Kerri Milita.

During GLT's Sound Ideas, Milita said Sanders' path to the nomination is closing fast, but he'll continue to pursue the nomination throughout the process.

Ralph Weisheit

City, town and county officials in McLean County are being visited by small groups of people with many questions. It's part of a study to figure out just what it is these officials do, and how their work can be made more efficient.

The county chapter of the League of Women Voters is embarking on a year-long "Exploring Government Initiative" to study of effectiveness and efficiency of local government. WGLT's Willis Kern talks about the study with longtime league member Sally Rudolph.



Texas Senator Ted Cruz took 40 percent of the Republican ballots cast in McLean County during the Illinois Primary. His 12,530 votes edged out Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who polled 12,133 votes on the Democratic side. This is with 98 percent of vote totals in as of early Wednesday.


McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis easily defeated two challengers to win the Republican nomination for Coroner. Davis far out-polled Gary Morefield and Ryan Gibson to win her first elected term. Davis said she is thrilled with the support given her by voters and said she hopes that this was a referendum on professional qualifications for that office holder.

McLean County Government

McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis said she is thrilled with the support given her by voters in a victory over two other opponents in the Republican Primary.

Jim Browne

The last voter in line at the Bone Student Center on ISU's campus will cast their ballot at about nine o'clock this evening, according to poll watchers.

Jim Browne

There are very long lines to vote at the Bone Student Center polling place on the ISU campus. And as in past presidential primary cycles, some university students are getting discouraged and leaving.

'I voted' sticker

The Bloomington Election Commission staff is a little surprised people care all that much about getting an "I Voted" sticker on election day.

County Clerk Kathy Michael has made a point of saying her jurisdiction is giving out stickers, but the city is not.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Alderman Scott Black says “engaging the public is key” in moving forward with economic development projects. The City Council passed a resolution approving a contract to purchase the former Mennonite Hospital for $1.4 million, which formerly housed Electrolux on Main Street north of downtown.

Black said he’d love to see a development go into the Electrolux property that will benefit the tax payers in the long term.