State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he and his colleagues will take up a partial government spending bill passed by the House earlier this month.

The minimum wage, abortion rights, and the state budget were among the rallying points for women marching on the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday. The event put liberal issues — and Democratic candidates — front and center.

Governor Bruce Rauner indicates a key difference in competing school funding bills is a bargaining chip.

Rauner said Chicago Schools should be treated the same as other districts by the state. That came during a tour of the Beer Nuts factory in Bloomington as WGLT asked Rauner about Senator Jason Barickman's school funding formula bill.

U.S. government attorneys are appealing a Chicago immigration judge's decision to grant asylum to a teenage blogger from Singapore.  That means 18-year-old Amos Yee remains in U.S. custody. 

A former suburban Chicago police detective has admitted to stealing drugs from his department's evidence room.  Gregory Salvi faces at least 10 years in prison when he returns to court in July for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Facebook/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign athletic director says his department was operating at about a $6.2 million deficit in 2016, with both revenue and spending numbers ranking in the bottom half of the Big Ten. 

wikipedia/Katherine Baskin

State officials say a maximum security prison in southern Illinois remains on lockdown after a weekend assault that left staffers and inmates injured.  The staff assault happened Sunday at Menard Correctional Center. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Larissa Puro

The Democratic-controlled Illinois House has approved public funding for all abortions.  The House voted 62-55 to allow state-employee health insurance or Medicaid to cover abortions. Medicaid currently covers abortions in limited cases.  The vote capped a two-hour debate and coincided with the Illinois Women March on Springfield for a progressive agenda.

A new report by a court-appointed watchdog group charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois transportation department, details how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even though many had little or no experience.

President Trump: The First 100 Days

21 hours ago
Chelsea Beck / NPR

Before his election, back in October, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a 100 Day Action Plan. He called it his Contract With The American Voter. Among other things, it called for the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from certain "terror-prone regions," and the lifting of "roadblocks" to let "infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward."

The 100-day mark is not an official milestone, but it is a traditional point to take stock of a new presidential administration. Throughout President Trump's time in office so far, there have been both flurries of action and some setbacks. In many cases, the status of these efforts is not clear-cut, with substantial talk but not yet action. In other areas, progress is clearer.

The end of this week marks the 100th day of President Trump's term, and NPR is revisiting his full action plan, with annotations from journalists throughout the newsroom, taking stock of how the president's accomplishments compare with his campaign promises.

DANIEL SCHWEN / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois General Assembly is back in Springfield and is heading into the final six weeks of its spring session. 

Women from across Illinois are expected in Springfield Tuesday for a march and rally at the Statehouse.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's information technology chief has contracted to spend thousands in tax dollars for two professional memberships despite the budget crisis.

Tamie Yost

Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield today as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget, and prospects for an overall deal look grim.  Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.  But Democrats in the Senate say they don’t know what the Republican governor is talking about. Legislators have been on a two week recess, and say no high-level meetings have been taking place.

Obama Speaks In Chicago

Apr 24, 2017

Barack Obama was back in Chicago today for his first big appearance since leaving the White House three months ago.  Obama sat on a University of Chicago stage with six young people to talk about issues he’d like to address now that he’s no longer president.

Tom Winkle / historicbridges.org

Flooding has delayed progress on a new bridge that will span the Illinois River at Meredosia in the western part of the state.  The bridge project was scheduled to be finished next year, but Halverson Construction Superintendent Scott Halverson says now that date is 2019.

Attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia are faulting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for rolling back Obama-era guidance they say is helping protect student loan borrowers.  In a letter sent Monday, Democratic attorneys general Lisa Madigan of Illinois, and Maura Healey of Massachusetts called on DeVos to restore the memos instituted by the federal Education Department last year under President Barack Obama.

The 39th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival will celebrate the 100th birthdays of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Ella Fitzgerald.  The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events recently announced the headliners. The three-day festival at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center will be Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. 

It's a sentiment shared by Democratic politicians and liberal pundits: disgust over how Republicans drew up favorable (for them) legislative districts after the 2010 Census.

Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are returning to the Capitol this week to resume work on trying to end the budget stalemate that has eluded them for almost two years.

Illinois is observing its first-ever Distracted Driving Awareness Week, starting today.

More than 300 law-enforcement agencies in the state will focus on violations for distracted driving, along with providing general education about the problem. That includes departments like Sycamore and Carol Stream, which announced on their Facebook pages that they will focus on ticketing drivers for illegal cell phone use this week.

eric molina / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois county coroner has found a tranquilizer used on elephants and other large animals in the blood of two recent drug-overdose victims. 

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Democrats are pushing an ambitious minimum wage hike despite opposition from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Clean Energy Deal On Uncertain Footing

Apr 24, 2017
Mike Gifford / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some derided last year’s sweeping energy law as a bailout for power giant Exelon. But it was also a major win for environmentalists — who are now hedging their bets against Illinois’ budget problems.

Legislation aims to improve working conditions for temporary workers as the need for them increases.

Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Friday why he’s changed his position on an abortion law since the 2014 campaign.

Flickr Creative Commons/Alan Cleaver

The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs.  A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter to federal officials saying the government cannot abandon this commitment to our communities.

Flickr Creative Commons/airpix

Illinois' continued state budget problems have prompted S&P Global Ratings to downgrade the credit worthiness of six state universities and the City Colleges of Chicago.  The credit house says it took action with the schools because it's possible lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner will fail to agree on an annual budget by the scheduled end of the legislative session May 31. 

An Illinois State Board of Elections hearing officer is expected to issue a recommendation next month regarding allegations that the state's auditor general violated campaign finance disclosure laws while serving as a Democratic state representative.

Documents show the man overseeing Chicago's investigation into the dragging of a passenger from a United Airlines plane was hired despite his termination from the Illinois Tollway amid sexual harassment allegations.

Pages