State News

Government
1:49 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Lawmakers want study for east-west rail corridor through Peoria

A group of Illinois lawmakers are encouraging the state to study the feasibility of an east-west passenger rail corridor.

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State News
6:53 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Law to increase the speed limit heads to Governor

The Illinois House has votes to raise Illinois' top speed limit to 70 miles-per-hour. Currently, cars and trucks are limited to 65 miles-an-hour on most Illinois highways. 

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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: 


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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