State News

State News
7:11 am
Tue June 11, 2013

School transportation state funding to remain the same

The budget lawmakers approved would keep school transportation funding next year the same as this year.  But as IPR’S Chris Slaby reports, Illinois school districts still face financial struggles.

Lawmakers say they were able to accomplish this because of what they call the "April surprise," when Illinois collected an extra one-point-five billion dollars in tax revenue. Anthony Galindo is the superintendent of the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley district.  He says the "surprise" amounts to an extra 300-thousand dollars there.

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State News
7:05 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Gov. says lawmakers should take a lesson from the Chicago Blackhawks

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the state legislature could take a lesson from the Chicago Blackhawks in passing pension reform. IPR’S Tony Arnold reports.

Lawmakers adjourned from Springfield without passing what many consider the biggest issue facing the state: its increasing pension obligations. So Governor Quinn called them back for a special session next week, saying they should take the two rival pension reform plans, put them on the same bill, and pass them both. He says he knows of another team that got the job done when it was needed.

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State News
6:56 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Political scientist says Gov. needs a win on pension reform

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn “Desperately needs a win” on pension reform. That’s the conclusion of political scientist Kent Redfield. The U of I Springfield professor spoke ahead of next week’s special session on pensions, which Quinn ordered. Redfield says the Governor repeatedly blamed pension costs for the state's budget problems. If no agreement is reached, Redfield says, Quinn will look weak going into next year’s primary election:

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State News
6:53 am
Tue June 11, 2013

IDOC official resigns

A top official at the Illinois Department of Corrections has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment. Department spokesman Tom Shaer says two investigations focused on Deputy Director Ty Bates were launched about two months ago. He resigned after the investigations concluded and punishment, including suspension, was announced.

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State News
7:25 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Gov. to meet with legislative leaders on pension reform

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he’ll be meeting with legislative leaders Monday to discuss pension reform. Lawmakers adjourned for the summer without agreeing on the best way to reduce benefits for state employees. Quinn says that cost is cutting into other state expenses.

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State News
7:23 am
Mon June 10, 2013

American Cancer Society to conduct new study

Stephen Hunt (in yellow) of the American Cancer Society instructs volunteers during a CPS-3 sign-up at the Stratton Building in Springfield on May 1, 2013. The Society will accept participants for the study throughout 2013. (Chris Slaby/IPR)

The American Cancer Society says a new national study could be a "gamechanger" in fighting the disease. IPR’S Chris Slaby has more.

Springfield resident Lisa Hopper says she's lost her father, an uncle, and one of her best friends to cancer. She says she signed up for the project.

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State News
7:14 am
Mon June 10, 2013

U.S. Senate could vote on farm bill today

The U.S. Senate could finally vote on a new farm bill today.  But the final version could still be at least several weeks away.  IPR’S Sean Crawford reports:

Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, added a provision that would require wealthier farmers pay more for crop insurance, which Durbin argues is mostly subsidized by taxpayers.

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State News
5:00 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Subsidized student loans face rate hike

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the college student debt situation is "bordering on a crisis," and Congress should act soon to prevent it from getting worse. 

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State News
1:04 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

SIU researcher using "Kickstarter" to fund work

SIU Fisheries Director Jim Garvey, holding a transmitter used in tracking sturgeon along the Mississippi River. (Photo credit: Jennifer Fuller, WSIU Radio)

As federal and state funding sources grow scarce, an SIU researcher is hoping crowdfunding may help bridge the gap.

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State News
10:50 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Catholic Diocese of Rockford asking churches to stick with Boy Scouts

Bishop David Malloy. Courtesy of Jenna Dooley, IPR.

The Catholic Diocese of Rockford is asking churches to continue to keep charters with the Boy Scouts of America. Bishop David Malloy is responding to the new policy that says scouts cannot be denied membership based on sexual orientation. The Chicago Tribune reported a church in Crystal Lake severed ties with a Boy Scout group over the change.

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