State News

State News
6:57 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Head of Il Municipal League says legislature needs to continue work on pension reform

The new head of the Illinois Municipal League wants lawmakers to remain committed to a pension overhaul. Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg was recently named president of the organization. Lindberg says the group has not put its support behind any one plan, but is paying attention to work being done by the bipartisan pension panel:

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State News
6:41 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Activists working to end Illinois' flat income tax

A group of activists are working to end Illinois' flat income tax. They say they've gathered more than 150-thousand signatures so far, and are making their case to Illinois lawmakers. Brian Mackey has more.

Income in Illinois is taxed at a uniform five percent, whether you're working at a drive-thru window or you're the CEO of a multi-national corporation.

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State News
6:18 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Congressman Shimkus weighs in on ACA

Congressman John Shimkus says continued problems with the HealthCare.gov website should be reason enough to delay the individual mandate for coverage by a year. The 15th District Collinsville Republican notes that some Democratic Senators are also seeking such a change. 

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Government
8:08 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sen. Kirk supports Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois took to the Senate floor Monday for the first time since suffering a stroke.  He spoke out in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  It’s a bill to prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender people, something that’s already in effect in Illinois.

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State News
8:06 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

State sues Chicago company for ash pollution

The state of Illinois is suing a company on Chicago’s south-east side for not containing harmful pet-coke ash.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against KCBX, a company owned by the wealthy Koch Brothers,Madigan’s office alleges the company is violating state environmental laws. KCBX is contracted by oil giant BP to handle tons of pet coke, a dust-like substance that is sold as a cheap fuel in foreign markets. Huge piles of it are stored along the Calumet River. In recent months, much of the dust has allegedly been landing around the homes of residents, affecting

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State News
7:05 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Veto session continues this week

Illinois legislators are scheduled to finish out their veto session this week. As IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports, their back-loaded agenda ranges from dealing with budget matters to social issues.

The first week of the veto session - late last month - went by with little of substance accomplished. But what the General Assembly didn't touch then is back now.

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State News
6:58 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Push for same-sex marriage

The Illinois Senate this year approved a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry. That vote came on Valentine’s Day. Now nine months later, gay and lesbian couples in Illinois are still waiting for the House to vote on the bill. Their final chance to win approval this year comes during this week’s veto session, and supporters are making sure lawmakers know how important this is to them. Illinois Public Radio’s  Rich Egger has the story. 

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State News
6:55 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Auto dealers push for change in law on car leasing

Auto dealers in Illinois are pushing for a change in the law on car leasing. Supporters of the plan say it would lower the cost of a lease, in some cases by sixty dollars a month. IPR'S Brian Mackey has more:

Under current law, when you lease a car, there's a good chance the company is collecting sales tax on the full value of the vehicle. Those companies, however, through a complicated system of dealer credits, might only pass on a portion of that to state tax collectors.  

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State News
1:46 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Push for statewide registry on stroke victims

The American Heart Association's Illinois chapter is pushing for a statewide registry to keep tabs of people who suffer strokes.  IPR'S Bill Wheelhouse reports:

The group wants the legislature to consider requiring a state wide stroke database.  The Heart Association's Alex Meixner says it is a recommendation of a statewide advisory committee on stroke issues:

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State News
6:45 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Illinois school report cards released

Thursday is report card day across Illinois. It’s not students who are being graded, but schools and school districts. At first glance, the news is not good. But as IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, state officials say it’s a one-time blip because of a change in the grading.

On paper, Illinois students appear to be doing quite poorly. The percentage of those meeting state standards dropped from 82.1 percent in 2012 to 58.8 percent in 2013. We learned that last month, the latest release of numbers shows the same trend at the level of individual schools and districts. Except state officials say that’s not actually what’s happening.

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