State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

Customers across Illinois could see lower utility bills as early as next month. The state’s regulatory body has ordered Illinois companies to slash their rates.

Illinois' state climatologist says January weather was colder and drier than normal in the state without much snow.

Southern Illinois University says its spring enrollment fell 8.8 percent this year compared to last spring.

The mayor of Springfield says he's lobbying Illinois legislators to let the city annex the State Fairgrounds and use some city sales tax revenue generated there to repair several of its buildings.

The Illinois State Police is warning people that if they drink too much at Super Bowl parties this weekend they may end up having a not-so-super time on the way home.

Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker stopped in Bloomington on Friday to deliver a fiery stump speech exclusively targeting Gov. Bruce Rauner, looking past the Democratic primary just 46 days away.

An investigation into hiring at SIU Carbondale is being elevated to the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General.

Governor Goofs Honest Abe Quote

Feb 2, 2018

As Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner built toward the crescendo of his State of the State address on Wednesday, he implored lawmakers to cut taxes and spending to ensure a more “prosperous future.”

To drive home his point, he ripped out a page from Speechwriting 101 for Illinois politicians.

He quoted Honest Abe.

“Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it,’” said the Republican governor.

But there’s a problem.

After one year of Donald Trump’s presidency, the business community is largely pleased with the results: reductions in tax rates and a rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations. But there are concerns about the president's positions on immigration, and the general chaos of the White House.

For more on the business perspective of Trump's first year in office, I spoke with with Todd Maisch, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. I began by asking him what, from a business perspective, were the best things to come out of Washington this year.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been in power for a year now. “State of Trump” is our series discussing what’s changed in the state and what might be ahead.

Diane Doherty is the executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition. She talks about federally funded programs for low-income individuals — such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — and their future in 2018.

Rauner And Lawmakers Tour Carbondale Manufacturer.

Feb 2, 2018

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) said he is trying to educate his urban counterparts about rural issues ahead of a vote on the next Farm Bill.

Plans for a passenger train linking Chicago and Iowa were sidetracked several years ago, but that hasn’t slowed efforts by some passionate rail enthusiasts to keep the vision alive.

Amtrak operated the Black Hawk line from 1974 to 1981. Before that, there was the Land O’Corn route between Chicago and Waterloo, Iowa, but that ended in the 1960s.

The future of the Quincy Veteran's Home remains uncertain, as 13 deaths have occurred there in recent years related to Legionnaires' disease. The outcome may impact an entire region. 

Police officers face some scary, illicit drugs when responding to crime scenes, including synthetic painkillers where contact with even the smallest amount can be fatal. That was a concern, in hindsight, after emergency responders found an overdose victim in Bloomington who used heroin mixed with deadly carfentanyl, which can be easily absorbed on contact.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a state law banning guns within 1,000 feet of public park violates a Second Amendment right to self-defense.

The University of Illinois is launching a new bioenergy research center that will be used to generate new fuel products directly from plants.

A Republican Illinois lawmaker is calling on the governor to resign. He’s also endorsing the governor’s opponent in the primary.

State Rep. John Cabello told Rockford television station WREX that a lack of credibility was the main reason he thinks Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican, should resign.

More than 24,000 families across Illinois were unable to submit applications to the state's new private school scholarship program because the online registration system shut down due to ``extreme demand.''

McLean County

A 40-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois woman who pleaded guilty to murder in the stabbing death of her mother. Christine Roush pleaded guilty in December in the July 2017 death of 47-year-old Theresa Poehlman of East Peoria. Forensic pathologist Dr. Scott Denton testified Poehlman suffered at least a dozen stab wounds to her neck and chest, including two knife wounds that pierced her heart. Poehlman's body was found in a wooded area at Funk's Grove Nature Preserve.

 

Governor Bruce Rauner said Democrats and Republicans need to work together to move the state forward.   But a lack of trust in the shadow of an election year and the governor's own remarks seem to make that less likely. 

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner likely considered the upcoming election while crafting the state of the state address he gave Wednesday. There's a host of Democratic candidates vying to unseat him - and a single Republican who says she wants to get him out the way during the primary this March. 

Less than an hour before Gov. Bruce Rauner was scheduled to deliver his State of the State address, lawmakers in the House and Senate voted to override his veto of a small, technical school funding bill necessary to implement the massive school funding reform that Rauner has listed as his main accomplishment.

In his State of the State Address Wednesday, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner talked about balancing the budget and weeding out career politicians. Some of the Democrats in attendance want to unseat him in the election this fall.

Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual State of the State address on Wednesday afternoon in Springfield. In his prepared remarks, he used the occasion of the state's bicentennial to draw upon the state's more well-known historical events.

"We were the first state to ratify the Constitutional amendment to abolish slavery," Rauner said.

He pointed to Illinois as the home of presidents Lincoln, Grant, Reagan and Obama.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his State of the State Address Wednesday to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.  

Illinois Democrats and Republicans sat in the same chamber listening to President Donald Trump's State of the Union on Tuesday night, but they came away hearing different messages. 

Federal prosecutors in the case of a former physics student charged with the kidnapping and killing of a University of Illinois scholar from China say they don't object to delaying the trial now that the government is seeking the death penalty.

Six transgender inmates are suing the Illinois Department of Corrections in federal court, alleging inadequate medical care at state facilities.

U.S. Department of State / Public Domain / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A central Illinois sheriff who's the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he's gearing up to donate $1.4 million to pay for wide-ranging expenses from new software at the Macon County Jail to drug-related autopsies. 

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