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Plan To Equalize Illinois Universities' Stopgap Funding Disparities

Thanks to a law signed last week, Illinois' public universities and community colleges are finally getting state money for the first time since last summer. Now, more could be on the way.Extended interview with Sen. TrotterThe bipartisan deal is sending $600 million to higher education.But it wasn't spread out evenly.Most schools got 30-percent of last year's funding.Chicago State University got 60-percent.Senator Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, says that's because CSU was on the precipice...
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University of Illinois-Chicago

U Of I Economist Weighs In On Graduated Income Tax

There’s broad agreement in Illinois that it will take at least some additional revenue for the state to get its fiscal house in order. One current proposal in the Illinois legislature would institute a graduated state income tax, currently prohibited by the state constitution. Democrat Christian Mitchell’s bill would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to allow a graduated income tax. Democrat Lou Lang’s measure would then create graduated income tax rates ranging from 3.5...
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#MayThe4thBeWithYou: How The Internet Is Celebrating Star Wars

Impressed, we are. With your #StarWarsDay celebrations, that is. The fourth is strong on the Interwebs.It's a time for Star Wars-themed treats.(Even here at NPR.)And an excuse to show your creative side.Of course, even this sacred day is not free of the presidential campaign.After the Force Awakens came out in December, our politics team took a deep dive into Star Wars' "obsession with politics and political process." Prepare to geek out on multiple levels.Not to keep talking about NPR ......
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Five dozen social service agencies have been working without pay for nearly a year because of the Illinois state budget stalemate. The  group of 64 contract providers claim they're owed $100 million.

"I will not rest, and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in," President Obama told an energetic audience in Flint, Mich. "Because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America."

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A plan to move Illinois to a graduated income tax is dead. Wednesday was the final scheduled session day for lawmakers to advance it. Instead, the Illinois House adjourned without taking a vote.

Illinois' constitution only allows income to be taxed at a flat rate.

Rep. Christian Mitchell and other Democrats wanted to amend the constitution, so the state could charge the wealthy more. He says a package was carefully crafted, so that for most Illinois residents -- it'd lead to a tax cut.

Tanya Koonce

The Peoria Police Department negotiated a stand off today that involved a man with a gun near Glen Oak School at Wisconsin and Republic. 

The controversial North Carolina law that prevents transgender people from using public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, and limits protection for LGBT people, violates federal civil rights law and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is turning to a federal appeals court in his increasingly desperate attempt to keep filmmaker George Lucas from building his museum in another city. 

Dozens of families are taking legal action in a bid to stop a suburban Chicago school district from allowing a transgender student to use a girls' locker room. 

Nearly every day for eight years, a former chemist in Massachusetts was high on drugs — drugs stolen from the lab where she worked.