State News

State News
7:15 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Measure regulating fracking gains steam

A new plan to regulate the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing is back on track in the Illinois legislature. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky has more.

New technology allows energy companies to use high volumes of water mixed with chemicals to drill deep into the ground for oil and natural gas. There's hope Illinois' New Albany shale could be rich with both. But before companies start "fracking," as the practice is known, the state needs to set up rules.

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State News
7:06 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Rita Crundwell's assets all sold

Federal marshals have finished selling all the known assets of Rita Crundwell. IPR’S Jenna Dooley has more:

The former Dixon comptroller is now serving a federal prison sentence for embezzling nearly $53 million from the city. Last week, marshals sold Crundwell’s final three assets, including two vehicles and a trailer. 

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State News
7:01 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Work begins on U.S. Farm Bill

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee began work Wednesday on a five year farm bill. Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis introduced an amendment to give the U.S. Department of Agriculture more say in any changes introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency that affect agriculture.

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Politics
4:24 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Group pushes Illinois redistricting plan

A grassroots group says it is almost done with a plan that would change who draws Illinois legislators’ districts.

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Government
3:36 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Dog-tethering measure passes IL Senate

The Illinois Senate has approved limits on how dogs can be tethered.  The animals would have to be kept on a rope or light chain that's at least 10 feet long. The sponsor of the legislation, Senator Linda Holmes, a Democrat from Aurora, says it's meant to promote the humane treatment of animals.

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Business
2:25 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Deere and Company posts record earnings

Deere and Company set another earnings record in the second quarter, and it's also an all-time high for any quarter. Deere says net income totaled nearly $1.1 billion for February, March, and April, or $2.76 per share, compared to $2.61 a year ago.  Spokesman Ken Golden says agriculture and turf equipment sales rose 12 percent in the second quarter. But sales of construction and forestry equipment dropped five percent.

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State News
7:13 am
Wed May 15, 2013

WIU announces budget cuts

Western Illinois University workers now have an idea of what the administration plans to do to cut costs. But the plan unveiled Tuesday is the first step in a long process. Illinois Public Radio’s Rich Egger reports. 

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State News
7:06 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Less than half of the Illinois Road Fund actually used for road projects

A new audit says Illinois' Road Fund overpaid for employee health insurance. More than 150-million dollars that should have gone for road construction was diverted. IPR’S Brian Mackey has more.

The Road Fund collects fees, taxes and federal money and is supposed to spend it on building and maintaining highways. But a report from Illinois' auditor general found that less than half the money was actually going for such projects. The majority went to pay off bonds and to fund salaries and other benefits.

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Courts
4:43 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Quad Cities business at center of court battle

Can the state of Illinois grant a permanent property tax exemption to a private, for-profit business ? That's the question for a court battle getting started in the Quad Cities. IPR’s Herb Trix reports: 


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Government
4:38 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

State measure would increase drunk driving penalties

House Republicans in Illinois have introduced a measure that would increase the penalties for hired drivers who work while drunk. Violators would be charged with a felony, which is punishable with up to three years in prison. Representative Dennis Reboletti, a Republican from Elmhurst, says currently only school bus drivers can be charged with felony DUI's.   Other hired drivers who are caught drinking while driving can only get a misdemeanor charge.  Reboletti says that isn't tough enough.

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