State News

State News
6:45 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Sex ed measure heads to the Governor

Schools that have sexual education classes would have to go beyond "abstinence-only" under a measure Illinois legislators sent the governor. As IPR’S Amanda Vinicky reports, the plan seeks to ensure students are getting medically accurate and age appropriate information.

The measure does not require schools to offer sex ed courses. But if they do, the legislation mandates that middle and high schools include information about birth control. Senator Linda Holmes is a Democrat, from Aurora:

Read more
Government
5:54 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Illinois’ bill backlog drops by billions

Illinois' backlog of bills has dropped to under six billion dollars, down from $8.5 billion dollars at the start of April. That's thanks to residents and companies paying their taxes last month. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says that's good news, at least for Illinois' "new normal." She warns that lawmakers should not get "cozy" as they draft a new spending plan.

Read more
Politics
4:23 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Lawmakers override Quinn veto of ‘Smart Grid’

The Illinois General Assembly has overridden Governor Pat Quinn's veto of legislation that addresses so-called "Smart Grid" technology.

Read more
Courts
2:42 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

‘Amazon tax’ issue heard in IL Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the state's so-called "Amazon tax." The decision could change the way Illinois websites make money online. IPR’s Brian Mackey reports: 


Read more
State News
7:17 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Senate overrides Governor's veto of smart grid legislation

The Illinois Senate Tuesday voted to override Governor Pat Quinn's veto of so-called smart grid legislation. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, it was yet another display of ComEd's power over the Illinois General Assembly.

When the Chicago-land electric utility ComEd did not like the way the state regulator was handling its request to charge customers more money, it pleaded its case to the legislature. Lawmakers obliged by superseding the regulator, but earlier this month, Gov. Quinn vetoed the legislation.

Read more
State News
7:03 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Analysis: little savings in union-backed pension overhaul proposal

A state pension overhaul backed by government employee unions may save only half of what advocates had promised.  That underscores an ongoing battle between the House and Senate over pensions, with only ten days left in the legislative session.  IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports. 

There's general agreement on this much: that Illinois' public pension systems have $100 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  That's a fancy word that *basically* means "debt." It's a big number that's getting Illinois in trouble with bond houses and eating into the state's budget. And the House and Senate have different plans on how to drive that number down.

Read more
State News
6:47 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Lawmakers consider expanding Medicaid

The Illinois House is advancing a measure that would significantly expand Illinois' health care for the poor. Under this legislation, Medicaid would for the first time cover adults who do not have children.Representative Sara Feigenholtz, a Democrat from Chicago, says in a way, we're already paying for these people's health care.

Read more
State News
6:41 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Democratic Senator apologizes for Hitler remarks

A Democratic state senator who compared Governor Pat Quinn to Hitler is apologizing for his remarks. Senator Donne Trotter, who's from Chicago, made the comment to Illinois Public Radio on Monday. He was expressing his frustration with Quinn's support for the director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Julie Hamos. Trotter, along with other members of the black and Latino caucuses, is calling for Hamos' ouster.

Read more
State News
2:15 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Funding for Rural Development Program up in the air

Staunton, Ill., Mayor Craig Neuhaus (left) checks out the town’s new water plant with Hank Fey, a public works director. (Bill Wheelhouse/Harvest Public Media).

As Congress fiddles with major farm legislation, there’s a portion of it that gets very little attention. Yet supporters say it is a difference-maker for job creation in small rural communities and provides a boost those towns need. Harvest Public Media’s Bill Wheelhouse reports: 

House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill passed out of the ag committees in Mid-May. The funding status for the various rural development programs remains in flux, though the House bill would eliminate 13 programs and reduce funding levels by more than $1.5 billion over five years.

Read more
State News
2:01 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Lawmakers considering "Homeless Bill of Rights"

The Illinois legislature is considering a measure that would create what's called a "Homeless Bill of Rights." It's intended to prohibit discrimination based on housing status when it comes to things like privacy and employment. But opponents say the proposed legislation could inundate cities with unnecessary lawsuits. 

Read more

Pages