State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

As Illinois enters a second quarter without a budget in place, Governor Bruce Rauner put the blame on legislators.  He made the remarks today following a manufacturing event in Effingham. 

Officials have concluded that the death of a member of the Army's elite parachute team during the Chicago Air & Water Show was accidental. 

A former suburban Chicago deputy police chief has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest. 

Former Gov. Pat Quinn has made a public appearance in central Illinois, saying he still believes an income tax increase is needed to cover expenses and end the budget stalemate. 

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity / Facebook

 CHICAGO (AP) - A newspaper's analysis of Illinois' signature corporate tax-break program has found the companies that receive the deals often don't add jobs and sometimes even lay off workers. A Chicago Tribune analysis of 783 tax deals the state has made through the Economic Development for a Growing Economy program found that two-thirds of the companies that completed agreements didn't maintain agreed-upon job levels. And state officials can't say how many jobs have been created by the program known as EDGE. Illinois has used the progr

Chicago authorities are investing what's behind a spike in heroin overdoses on the city's West Side. Fire Department Commander Frank Velez said late Thursday that at least 18 people overdosed within twenty hours beginning Wednesday evening. Local hospitals and paramedics noticed the increase. A Chicago Department of Public Health memo says it may have been heroin laced with fentanyl purchased at two locations.

Mumps case turns up at NIU

Oct 2, 2015

DEKALB, Ill. - County health officials have confirmed a Northern Illinois University student has mumps. A notice was sent to students, faculty and staff by email. University officials say they're working with the DeKalb County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide more community information. Illinois' outbreak has centered on the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus, where more than 100 cases have been confirmed. Two cases were confirmed last month at Eastern Illinois University. Mumps is no longer common in the U.S.

Illinois treasurer issues warning

Oct 2, 2015

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs says the state budget impasse could affect "critically important" services run by his office.  The Democrat from Champaign wrote a letter to top state leaders this week saying banking and financial services may stop if he can't pay vendors. He says his office also might not be able to make funds available to Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger. That means less money to pay state workers and vendors. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats can't agree on a July 1 fiscal year budget. Other constitutional officers have weighed in on the impact.

ConAgra Foods will receive an unspecified amount of Illinois tax credits in exchange for 150 new jobs in the state as it moves its headquarters from Omaha, Nebraska, to Chicago. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity confirms Con Agra will benefit from a corporate-recruitment tool that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner put on hold in June amid the ongoing state budget impasse.

Illinois' elementary and high schools are operating as normal; funding for education was the only spending spared from Governor Bruce Rauner's veto pen. But universities are another story. They haven't gotten a dollar from the state since July.

Collectively, Illinois' public universities educate some 200,000 students a year. Now, the campuses are "on the brink of serious operational damage."

Solar Tour Being Held This Weekend

Oct 1, 2015

CHICAGO - The typical patient seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois is an older woman in Cook County with either severe fibromyalgia or cancer. That's the picture revealed Thursday in a new report to the Legislature from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The report shows more than one-third of 3,300 completed applications submitted through June 30 came from patients in Cook County. Counties with the next highest number of applicants - Will, DuPage, Lake and Kane - also are in northern Illinois.

@RealBenCarson / Twitter

Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson visited Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais Thursday.  As I-P-R’s Heather Claborn reports the soft-spoken neurosurgeon steered clear of campaigning to share his life story during a packed chapel service. 


MOLINE, Ill. - Deere & Co. says it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union, that represents 10,000 Deere employees at 12 factories in three states.  The Moline-based manufacturer of farm equipment and other motorized gear announced the agreement Thursday. The new contract replaces a six-year contract that expired Wednesday at midnight. The new contract still needs to be approved by rank and file union members. 

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc


Mitsubishi Workers canceled the strike authorization vote scheduled for today. A post the UAW 2488 Facebook feed says, “due to late bargaining advancements, the strike vote scheduled has been suspended to a later date.”

The statement goes on to says they have a few items to finish up today/ Thursday, but the fully believe they will have an agreement to present to the Membership on Sunday.

Judson University in suburban Chicago will be getting the royal treatment next year.  he Christian liberal arts university in Elgin says Queen Noor of Jordan will give the keynote address April 18 at the annual World Leaders Forum. The American-born Noor is the widow of Jordan's King Hussein. She has long been an advocate for cross-cultural understanding, human rights and other global issues such as climate change and poverty.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is set to give the opening address to her Midwest counterparts aimed at preventing and addressing gender-based violence.  The two-day conference covers issues including domestic abuse and sexual assaults on college campuses. Madigan is the chairwoman of the Midwest region's National Association of Attorneys General.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A second straight monthly survey of nine Midwest and Plains states suggests a slowdown in the region's economy. 

Attorneys for former congressman Aaron Schock are disputing the claims of federal prosecutors their client has been deceptive in complying with a subpoena. In mid-September, federal prosecutors said Schock had "deceptively refused" to hand over all the documents they've subpoenaed as part of an investigation into his activities.

The U.S. Justice Department is suing a suburban Chicago community that denied a Muslim group permission to open a place of worship in a vacant office building. 

The search for Illinois' next Auditor General has been narrowed to a field of four. That includes a pair of state lawmakers, both Democratic members of the Illinois House: Frank Mautino of Spring Valley and Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook. 

UPDATED 10/1/15: UAW Local 2488 members have canceled a strike authorization vote against Mitsubishi Motors. This story will be updated. 

Less than two months before production is supposed to end at the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Union officials have scheduled a strike authorization vote. That doesn't mean a walkout will happen. But, as the contract is set to expire tomorrow night, negotiators have apparently reached an impasse on issues.

Daily news feeds are full of announcements and updates about candidates for next year's election. But already worry is beginning to set in about the 2016 campaign season at Illinois' elections board. It's one of the agencies that has no state funding as lawmakers are at an impasse. 

A U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned an Illinois law requiring non-union home health workers to pay fair-share union fees. This prompted a federal lawsuit by home day care workers seeking a refund of millions of dollars in past payments.

The University of Illinois and the hospital it's working with to open a new engineering-based medical school, hope to have the first dean hired by spring 2016.

The mayor of Lockport says he's trying to keep open an art gallery that Gov. Bruce Rauner has ordered closed amid state budget cuts.

rcbodden / Flickr/Creative Commons

Bloomington officials plan to review concerns raised by an Illinois State University professor about the effect a new oil pipeline might have on the city's water.

Industrial sociology professor William Rau told the city council Monday that he’s worried the Enbridge pipeline could leak where it crosses three creeks that contribute to the city's water supply.

Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen said at a meeting Tuesday that city staff are looking at Rau's concerns and talking to Enbridge about safeguards.