State News

State News
7:25 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Republicans call Quinn appointment a political arrangement

Republicans in the Illinois Senate say Governor Pat Quinn’s appointment of a state health official is a political arrangement intended to shape a Congressional race next year. Bloomington physician David Gill was named the assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this month. 

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State News
7:11 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Senators calling for removal of DHFS Director

Two groups of lawmakers in the Illinois Senate are urging Governor Pat Quinn to replace the director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Members of the African-American and Latino caucuses say Director Julie Hamos’ priority lies with cutting the budget  instead of offering medical services for the disadvantaged.

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State News
7:04 am
Tue May 21, 2013

High schools may have to buy "catastrophic insurance"

The Illinois House has voted to require that high schools carry insurance in case student athletes are injured. IPR’S Brian Mackey has more.

Schools would have to buy what's called "catastrophic insurance." The legislation would apply to both public and private schools, and the insurance would kick in once an injured athlete's medical expenses exceed $50,000.

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State News
7:26 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Lawmakers to determine where to cut spending

Despite years of cuts to the Illinois state budget, even more are ahead.  As IPR’S Amanda Vinicky reports, legislators are still deciding where else they can slash spending. 

"Human services" is a legislative phrase that covers ...

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State News
7:15 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Senate committee to vote on gun control measure

An Illinois State Senate committee is expected to vote on a gun control measure today. It's scheduled to hear from some parents whose children died in December’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. IPR’S Tony Arnold reports.

Three parents from Connecticut talked Sunday in Chicago about banning high capacity magazines. A proposed bill would make magazines that hold more than 10 rounds illegal. Nicole Hockley’s 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the Newtown school shooting.

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State News
7:10 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Advocates for disabled fight special education rule

Teacher Carrie Howell with student George Farnsworth

The State of Illinois caps the number of high needs learners who share the attention of a single special education teacher.

For the past decade, there has also been a limit on how many children with disabilities can be placed in what are known as “general education” public school classrooms. But those rules could soon be repealed.

As Illinois Public Radio’s Peter Gray reports, the mother of a young man with autism has joined advocates for the disabled who say the proposed change has to do more with cost-savings than with properly educating kids.

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State News
4:33 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

IL Senate approves Medical Marijuana

The Illinois Senate approved legislation FRIDAY that would legalize the medical use of marijuana. Brian Mackey has more.

In the end, the vote was not that close -- 35 senators voted yes, 21 no.
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State News
4:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Concealed-carry snags in IL Senate

  The sponsor of a concealed-carry plan in the Illinois Senate says he's not giving up, despite the fact that his legislation was not called for a vote FRIDAY.

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State News
7:22 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Senate committee approves concealed-carry legislation

An Illinois Senate committee has approved legislation that would pave the way for concealed-carry of firearms in Illinois. But gun-rights advocates say it's too restrictive, and the measure faces an uphill climb. IPR’S Brian Mackey has more:

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Democrat from Chicago, was trying to negotiate a compromise with gun-rights supporters. But ultimately he went his own way. 

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State News
7:13 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Universities agree to pick up cost of employee retirement benefits

Glenn Poshard (L), Robert Easter (center)

Illinois universities and community colleges have signed on to a deal that would have them pick up the cost of their employees' retirement benefits.  It's part of lawmakers' ongoing efforts to reduce how much the state is spending on pensions. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky reports.

Illinois has cut its spending on universities for years, and even more reductions are expected next year. School administrators say it's forced them to hike tuition, and to leave positions unfilled. And yet they've agreed to a plan that could collectively cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.

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