State News

State News
7:43 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Il has option of spending more money than realized

The state of Illinois' budget has been under pressure for years, forcing lawmakers to make difficult decisions to cut spending. But as IPR’S Brian Mackey reports, they learned about an entirely different kind of problem on Monday.

Even people who closely follow state government can lose track of all the billions and millions that get tossed around during budget-making season. But lawmakers were paying attention when financial experts reported Illinois would have the option of spending $200 million more dollars than they previously realized. It's because of the "April surprise."

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State News
7:22 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Sen. Durbin says vets should receive disability payments sooner

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the way American veterans receive disability claims has “got to change.”His comments come as the federal Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a new digital, paper-less way of handling the claims. The V.A. is working to get that done by September.

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State News
7:46 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Lawmakers have a lot of work to do before legislative session wraps up

There are five days left in the Illinois General Assembly's spring session.  And as IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports legislators have a lot of work ahead of them.

Typically, fighting over the budget carries into the waning hours of a legislative session. But Democrats, who have enough seats to pass a spending plan without any Republican votes, say they've already reached a deal.

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State News
7:25 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Former Il Gov comments on legislative session

A former Illinois Governor says he's watching Illinois lawmakers closely as this legislative session draws to a close. Jim Thompson says he’s disappointed with “the partisan rancor” in Springfield, but doesn’t blame the usual suspects:

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State News
7:17 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Senate Democrats to meet on concealed-carry legislation

Senate Democrats are planning to meet Monday to figure out how to respond to concealed-carry legislation passed by the House on Friday.

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State News
7:14 am
Mon May 27, 2013

House passes measure allowing internet gambling on horse racing

Internet gambling on horse racing would once again be legal in Illinois under legislation approved Sunday by the Illinois House of Representatives. IPR’S Brian Mackey has more.

Online and telephone horse betting has been illegal in Illinois all year.  A law authorizing it expired on Dec. 31. The practice, known as "advanced deposit wagering," was a $122 million business in Illinois last year.

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Government
5:43 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

IL House approves concealed carry plan

Credit Brian Mackey, IPR.

The Illinois House Friday approved legislation that would let gun owners carry concealed firearms in public.  But as IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, the governor says he'll work to "stop it in its tracks."
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State News
9:22 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Why are gas prices higher in Chicago?

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and people are hitting the road. Drivers are paying more for gas. The Lundberg Survey says the price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose sharply in the last two weeks because of outages at Midwest and West Coast refineries. Gas prices in Chicago are often higher than New York, Los Angeles -- even Hawaii. Why does this happen when we aren’t far from oil-rich Canada and we have a huge refinery right next door. Illinois Public Radio’s Michael Puente reports.

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State News
7:12 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Judges left out of pension conversation

Illinois lawmakers remain at odds over how to handle the state's 100 billion dollars of pension debt. But there's a chance that this spring the General Assembly may finally do something about it. After years of no major action, there are not one, but two major packages designed to reign in Illinois' retirement costs.  The House and Senate passed competing plans.  Both of them seek to save Illinois money by cutting current and retired government workers' benefits.

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State News
7:03 am
Fri May 24, 2013

House to consider concealed-carry legislation

A measure that would allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms is heading to the House floor after lawmakers approved it in committee Thursday. The legislation prohibits concealed-carry in many public places, like public transit, sports arenas, schools, and street festivals. Some of these have been sticking points for gun-rights advocates, who would prefer universal carry.

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