Hannah Meisel

Hannah covers state government and politics for WUIS and Illinois Public Radio while working toward a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was managing editor for online at The Daily Illini. Hannah has also worked for NPR in Washington, D.C. 



The mumps outbreak at the University of Illinois stands at over 100 cases after the first week of classes. Those who have contact with the U of I are now being encouraged to get an extra dose of the mumps vaccine. Most who’ve come down with the disease had already been vaccinated. Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department administrator Julie Pryde says the outbreak is a "public health crisis", an exasperating one.


The University of Illinois' Urbana campus is losing yet another top administrator. Provost Ilesanmi Adesida announced Monday that he's stepping down after three years on the job.  

The University of Illinois has accepted Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise’s second resignation, and she’ll be taking a faculty position.

Meanwhile, the U of I says it’s won’t initiate dismissal proceedings.  Wise will accept a tenured position in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.  U of I spokesman Tom Hardy says she’ll take an immediate 1-year paid sabbatical.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar says he doesn't see a way out of Illinois' budget standoff any time soon. A continued fight between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has brought Illinois into its sixth week operating without a budget.

But it hasn't been an all-out government shutdown. Edgar, a Republican, says that would've hastened a budget compromise.

East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center


As lawmakers in Springfield continue to fight over a state budget, service agencies across Illinois are beginning to operate in a reduced capacity. Thousands of human service agencies won't be receiving money from the state in the near future...including those who serve Illinois' population of immigrants and refugees. Illinois Public Radio's Hannah Meisel reports.



Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner continued to blame the state's financial problems on Democratic "special interests" Sunday evening as the regularly scheduled legislative session drew to a close. Among other changes the Republican governor would like is the weakening of lobbyists in Springfield a powerful group of statehouse regulars who've been around the capitol for years.

As the General Assembly's spring session draws to a close in Springfield, nothing about the state's budget is solid ahead of Sunday's midnight deadline.   Politicians say this session's especially contentious process has left them with a bad taste in their mouths.

Legislation that would cap contract lengths and severance pay for Illinois community college presidents is stalled in Springfield. 

Governor Bruce Rauner spent most of the past four months traveling around Illinois, touting his so-called "Turnaround Agenda." 

Illinois Democrats advanced more of their budget Wednesday, despite the deficit it would create. At the same time they squashed some of the Republican governor's requests.

Despite the threat of state funding cuts to Illinois railroads, lawmakers are urging an increase in safety programs for rail operators.

It's the first week of summer break for students at the University of Illinois, but the for the U of I system's new president, it's the first week on the job.  

The University of Illinois' Chief Financial Officer says the state of Illinois is dragging its credit rating down.  

Governor Bruce Rauner has long promised major investments in Illinois' infrastructure system, but has been short on suggestions for how to pay for construction.  Rauner's administration says it's asking taxpayers their opinions on shoring up a public works program.

When lawmakers in Springfield begin crafting a state budget for next year they'll have $2 billion less to work with than they had last year.  That decrease stems from a drop in state's income tax rate, but a new survey says Illinoisans would be up for new revenue, if it meant fewer cuts.

In the two months Governor Bruce Rauner has been in office, the Republican's approval rating has taken a bit of a dip, according to several recent surveys.  

There's just one week left until lawmakers in Springfield go on a two-week spring break, and leaders from both parties say they want to use this week to close the budget holes left in this year's budget. 

Governor Bruce Rauner has long blamed Illinois' pension systems for the state's budget woes. He not only says public employee unions have too much power in negotiating pension deals, but also that the nature of the plan itself -- defined benefit -- is fiscally irresponsible.

Since his election in November, Governor Bruce Rauner has expressed surprise about what he says he's "discovering" in the state's budget. As it turns out, Rauner has been setting himself up to ask for special budgeting powers.

Alex Rusciano

Governor Bruce Rauner is staking out his political ground and digging in his heels, preparing for what could be multiple showdowns with the Democrat-controlled legislature this Spring. In a speech in Decatur this morning, the governor reiterated his plans to attract more business to Illinois, the governor also made a similar speech in Peoria.

Aside from his successful career in the business world, Governor Bruce Rauner's other pre-election claim to fame was his work in the education community. Rauner ran for office on a promise to increase funding to classrooms, and rethink how money is funneled from the state down to schools.

The family of missing University of Illinois student Vincente Mundo confirmed he has died. Mundo’s body was found in Savoy on Saturday. The family's identified the remains. 

It's been 12 years since Illinois had a Republican in the governor's mansion. But in two weeks, governor-elect Bruce Rauner will be sworn in, breaking that Democratic streak and attempting to live up to his campaign promise to "shake up Springfield." Illinois Public Radio's Hannah Meisel spoke with IPR's statehouse bureau chief Amanda Vinicky about the year in Illinois Politics, and what lies ahead for a state lagging behind the nation in economic recovery

David Schaper / NPR

Nine months after the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping law, the legislature passed a bill to replace it. The legislation, which defines eavesdropping and its consequences, is currently waiting on the governor's desk.

Controversial University of Illinois professor James Kilgore will be back in the classroom in the Spring. Kilgore signed a contract this week, and will be teaching an eight-week undergraduate course on the Urbana campus.  

Hannah Meisel / WILL/Illinois Public Radio

The deaths this summer of two African American men at the hands of white police officers again brought racial tension to the national spotlight; The death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson resulted in a decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson last month, and on Wednesday, a grand jury in New York decided to not charge NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner.

Wikimedia Commons

Illinois may soon take on the responsibility of running its own healthcare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is working against a New Year's deadline to create its own exchange, or risk losing millions of dollars from the federal government.

Keenan Chan / WILL/Illinois Public Radio

Before State Senator Mike Frerichs is sworn in as Illinois' treasurer next month, he's got a few more votes to cast as a legislator.

Before State Senator Mike Frerichs is sworn in as Illinois' treasurer next month, he's got a few more votes to cast as a legislator. But Frerichs doesn't think one of them will be for extending the 2011 temporary income tax increase.  

Who’s Tim Killeen? Meet U of I’s 20th President

Nov 20, 2014
Hannah Meisel / WILL/Illinois Public Radio

The University of Illinois will have a new president come July after an eight month search and years of short-term leadership. The search committee picked State University of New York's Timothy Killeen for his success in research, and his experience dealing with tough fiscal situations.