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State News
7:01 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Dan Rutherford running for governor

Today is day two of state Treasurer Dan Rutherford's three-day tour of Illinois. He's meeting with supporters to say he's OFFICIALLY running for governor. Rutherford has been laying the groundwork to run for years, making the formal announcement one of the least surprising events in Illinois politics. So we asked reporter IPR'S Brian Mackey to find something about Rutherford's announcement that WAS surprising.

Like many Republican candidates, Rutherford likes to remind people he was a businessman. And although he was the only Republican senator to vote for civil unions in 2010, he's opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage. Nothing too surprising about any of that. But Rutherford is distinguishing himself on a matter of tax policy.

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Politics
6:22 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Gov. Quinn endorses concept of sealing Illinois River from Great Lakes

Asian Carp jump when startled by boat engine noises
Credit Minnesota Public Radio

There’s been some tension among the Great Lakes states over what to do about Asian carp spreading from the Mississippi River system to Lake Michigan. The two bodies of water join at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that links to the Des Plaines and into the Illinois River.

At their weekend meeting on Mackinac Island, The Great Lakes Council of Governors agreed to adopt a common strategy to fight the spread of invasive species. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn endorsed the concept of sealing off the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin.

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Government
7:24 am
Sat June 1, 2013

IL lawmakers adjourn, leave some big issues unresolved

The Illinois General Assembly ended its 2013 session last night. As IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, it's more likely to be remembered for what was not accomplished than for what was.
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Government
4:29 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

IL concealed carry measure heads to Gov. Quinn

Both the Illinois House and Senate have approved legislation allowing people to carry guns in public. Illinois, under threat of a court order, is poised to be the last state with such a law. IPR’s Chris Slaby has more.

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Government
2:07 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Peoria County changing strategy to help minority, women-owned businesses

Peoria County is also using federal grant money to help boost small, minority and women-owned businesses in the area.  The $270,000 grant was intended to help the County purchase and renovate a small-business incubator facility in the region.  County Board member Rachel Parker says the grant and a local match of $400,000 will instead be used to invest in existing programs:

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Out and About
8:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Out and About - May 31, 2013

The Heartland Festival Orchestra and conductor David Commanday close their 2013-2014 season with a program of "Maestro's Favorites" -- works by Stravinsky, Wagner and Brahms. David Commanday talks about some of those pieces, and the significance they hold for him. The concert also includes an unannounced sneak preview of a special appearance at the Peoria RiverFront Museum. The orchestra performs Saturday night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington.

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State News
7:24 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Legislators have many issues to take up before they adjourn

Illinois has the worst funded pension system in the nation, and lawmakers have until today to do something about it. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn by midnight. After that, it requires extra votes to get legislation to the governor's desk.  Pensions are not the only thing left. As Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky reports, plenty of other big-ticket policy issues are also unresolved.

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State News
7:17 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Senate votes down pension measure

It's the final day of the legislative session, and the foremost issue that has plagued lawmakers all year remains unresolved. There's a chance yesterday's actions may have deepened a divide between the House and Senate over what to do about the state's massive pension debt. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky explains. 

Gov. Pat Quinn is asking the state senate to reconsider its vote, after the chamber quashed a pension measure that would cut state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits. Quinn says the Senate's action lets down the people of Illinois, whom he says are paying $17 million every day the current pension system stays in place. 

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State News
7:08 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Fracking regulation bill advances out of the House

It's been three months since business and environmental groups announced an agreement to regulate hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil and gas extraction process. As IPR’S Chris Slaby reports, the Illinois House finally voted to approve those regulations Thursday night.

Advocates pointed to a study by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, which says the state could gain up to 45-thousand jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity.

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State News
7:05 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Economic development bill approved

The Illinois House approved a massive economic development bill Thursday evening. The legislation makes way for projects across Illinois from a fertilizer plant in Tuscola to remodeling the convention center in Rosemont. It also has what Governor Pat Quinn calls a "breakthrough" meant to advance the proposed third Chicago airport near Peotone.

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