Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

McLean County Democrats / Facebook

A congressman who represents Chicago's northwest suburbs condemned the uproar of violence and hatred displayed in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Now that Republican efforts to scuttle Obamacare have failed, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday he is hopeful a bipartisan reform measure can emerge.

The Illinois Democrat said he trusts GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to help come up with health care reform.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said Wednesday she will fight proposed Trump administration cuts to agriculture.

During comments to reporters at the Illinois Farm Bureau in Bloomington, the Illinois Democrat singled out crop insurance as something that needs to be preserved.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Both U.S. senators from Illinois are criticizing remarks by McLean County Republican Party Chairman Chuck Erickson.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Heartland Community College campus extensions in Logan and Livingston counties could gain more courses in different fields of study.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Unit 5 officials are pleased after the McLean County Board on Tuesday changed a couple of polling place locations in Normal to get them out of schools.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner's proposal to hire an aide does not appear to have solid majority support among aldermen.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A Blue Lives Matter rally outside Bloomington City Hall on Monday evening drew about 15 people.

Tari Renner gestures
Staff / WGLT

The final draft of a police citizen review board may leave advocates on both sides of the issue feeling like they have lost something.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Heartland Community College now knows what the state will give to operate in the current fiscal year, but questions remain about the cost-shifting of employee pensions.

Staff / WGLT

Some members of Bloomington's Downtown Task Force expressed support Tuesday for installing new parking meters in the central business district, as the committee worked to prioritize suggestions for downtown improvements.

Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy said Bloomington and Normal are the only major cities in Illinois he has seen that do not have parking meters.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County Board members disagreed Tuesday on how to fund a job supporting behavioral health services.

Photos: Demolition Begins at ISSCS Administration Building

Jul 18, 2017
Ruthie Cobb

A crew from Stark Excavating has begun tearing down the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School Administration Building.

Above is a slideshow of photos from the progress of the demolition. The photos were taken from the north end of the structure.

Artist Nick Africano became involved in the property in 1986. Thirty years later, Africano said he believes the teardown will improve the neighborhood and property values.

Normal Council Approves Insurance Changes

Jul 18, 2017
Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has approved a new insurance package for workers.

The plan approved Monday will remove a $50 deductible and increase benefits. Deputy City Manager Pam Reece said it will encourage employees to participate in the town wellness program. 

"We just don't want employees to become complacent. So it made sense to us to bump up the wellness incentive. Really, if you look at it, it applies as a penalty. Because, if you don't participate, then you pay more towards your insurance," said Reece.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Bloomington residents are providing scores of ideas to improve the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts programs. 

Howard Daughenbaugh of Bloomington said during a public input session Thursday that the city needs to invest in multicultural organizations. He said meetings like Thursday's should appeal to diverse residents. 

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Central Illinois lawmakers are viewing the newly passed budget as a temporary solution to the state's long-term issues.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Unit Five grade school enrollment will go down in Bloomington-Normal and high school enrollment will rise for the next few years.

That's according to a new demographic study presented to Unit Five school board members Wednesday night.

Staff / WGLT

After a fierce battle over bicycle lanes for Washington Street, the final chapter in the process Monday was anticlimactic.

Opponents scarcely showed up, and the Bloomington City Council gave unanimous approval, 9-0.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan
Courtesy / betsydirksenlondrigan.com

There is another entry into the Democratic race for Congress in the 13th District.

Pat Peterson / WGLT

Democrats plan to mount a challenge next year to Republican McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael. Nikita Richards has announced she is running as a progressive.

Kennedy Slams Rauner For Intentional Damage To State

Jun 20, 2017
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

One of the Democratic Candidates for Governor is accusing Republican Governor Bruce Rauner of purposefully wrecking Illinois.

Speaking recently in Normal, Chris Kennedy said Governor Rauner intentionally used the budget deadlock to target social services.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A slew of high ranking Democrats showed up in Bloomington Normal for a letter carriers union convention at the Uptown Marriot. They included the Senate President John Cullerton, Senator Dick Durbin, and businessman and Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy.
     
Kennedy is taking aim at the state property tax system saying it's 'legalized extortion' when politically elected assessors elevate assessments and politically connected lawyers appeal them. Kennedy said this is not just a problem in Chicago, but everywhere in the state.

Staff / WGLT

In the wake of another spring legislative session that failed to produce a state budget, two ratings agencies have downgraded state universities including ISU.

Standard and Poor's recently chose not to downgrade ISU, but S and P has a rule that no public university can be more than three grades above the rating for its host state. And so when S and P downgraded Illinois, last week it also gave a technical downgrade to ISU to A minus.

Katherine Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

A new Pontiac Rail Station has opened to Amtrak service. State Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said this is the latest of several station improvements on the Chicago to Saint Louis Corridor that will improve performance on the high speed rail corridor.   

“After years of construction along one of the busiest passenger rail corridors in the country, the benefits are beginning to show with beautiful new stations in our state’s great communities,” Secretary Blankenhorn said.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

There's another candidate in the Democratic race for Congress in the 13th District. He is Ben Webb, an English and Drama teacher at University High School in Normal. Webb said he has been frustrated at the lack of listening done by the current Congressman, Republican Rodney Davis, and believes he brings a different approach.

Webb said he sees a lack of attention to scientists, experts, and scholars in politics.

Merlin Mather

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis said the U.S. can still be a climate change leader without the Paris accords.

Critics of the idea of pulling out of the accords on limiting global emissions say they U.S. needs to be engaged with the international community on the issue.

NCHS teacher Patrick Lawler

A group of Normal Community High School students has tried their hands at breaking the budget deadlock.

A group led by Social Studies teacher Patrick Lawler drove to Springfield to meet with General Assembly members.

picture of a field
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A potential multi-sports complex on Bloomington-Normal's west side could top $50 million in public-private investment.

In an interview  for GLT's Sound Ideas, Katie Kim of the Kim Group, a developer working with landowner Dave Stark on a multi-use sports complex in Bloomington-Normal, said she continues to meet with stakeholders.

Merlin Mather

Urbana State Representative Carol Ammons received a warm welcome in Normal from members of the Indivisible 13 group. She held a listening session at the Normal Public Library.

Ammons is a Democrat who has formed an exploratory committee to run for Congress.

Sait Serkan Gurbuz / AP Photo

When asked to characterize the political savviness of the Trump-Pence administration, an ISU political scientist shot back during Sound Ideas with "there is no political savviness."

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