State News

State News
4:23 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

State teacher pension system sees returns

Illinois' largest public pension system saw greater than expected returns, according to an early analysis of the last fiscal year's investments. IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports: 


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State News
1:34 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Potential impact of increased speed limit on rural interstates

Now that Illinois’s top speed limit is going up, questions remain on the potential impact. Governor Pat Quinn said the change would curb speeding and promote traffic safety when he signed the bill Monday raising the rural interstate speed limit to 70 miles per hour. But an official with the Illinois-based National Safety Council is not so sure. Illinois Public Radio’s Jim Meadows talked with Safety Council Vice President John Ulczycky.

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State News
7:27 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Conversation on pension reform

A panel of ten Illinois lawmakers has been working this summer to find a solution to Illinois' pension problem. With an unfunded liability of about 100-billion dollars, payments to the public pension systems are taking up a larger chunk of overall state government spending. Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford spoke with Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat and one of the leaders in the push to change how retirement systems are funded. Recent meetings of the committee have occurred in private, making it difficult to determine progress. But Nekritz says she's hopeful:

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State News
7:22 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Senate panel studying state education funding

Illinois ranks 50th among the states in the share of education funding that comes from state government. The formula used to distribute that money dates back to the '90s. But on Monday afternoon, a group of state senators began working on an update. IPR'S Brian Mackey has more.

State education officials spent nearly 30 minutes detailing the formulas Illinois uses to decide how much money the state will pay each school district. It's based on poverty rates, property values, student attendance, and a host of other factors.

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State News
7:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Value of farmland on the rise

Even though farm income saw a marginal increase between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013, there continued to be a rapid rise in the value of farmland, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis which surveyed agricultural banks in parts of seven Midwestern states, including Missouri and Illinois. 

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State News
7:07 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Iowa study on raising the state's speed limit

Critics of the new speed limit say it will increase the level of accidents and fatalities on Illinois roads. One man who studied the impact of Iowa’s switch to a 70 mile-per-hour speed limit says that seems to be the case, but there are other factors involved.

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Government
4:50 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Quinn signs higher speed limit bill into law

Drivers will be able to legally go five miles an hour faster on most Illinois highways, beginning in January.  Governor Pat Quinn has signed a new law increasing the speed limit to 70 miles an hour.  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has more.


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State News
7:11 am
Mon August 19, 2013

New law targets litterbugs

Litterbugs, be on notice. Two new Illinois laws could cost you.  IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports.

Before Deborah Mell became a Chicago alderman last month, she pushed two pieces of legislation through the Illinois House, both trying to crack down on people who litter. The first:

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State News
7:01 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Political pranksters target Congressman Davis

Political campaigns are gearing up for next year's elections. So, too, are political pranksters. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, Congressman Rodney Davis has lately found himself being shadowed by a giant duck.

Technically it's a woman in a duck suit.

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State News
7:42 am
Fri August 16, 2013

IL Republicans at crossroads

More than a hundred Republicans heard from their party leaders and top candidates at the State Central Committee and County Chairmen’s Association meeting on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Springfield, Ill.
Credit Brian Mackey/ Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Republicans are at a crossroads. The party has a historically small number of people in the Illinois Senate, and a small minority in the House, too. But Republicans are also hopeful about 20-14, when they have the chance to win back the Illinois governor's office, ending 12 years of Democratic rule. Party leaders and candidates rallied in Springfield Thursday at the Illinois State Fair. As IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, the men competing for the top of the ticket each say they're uniquely qualified to revive the Illinois Republican Party

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