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. 

Republicans in Illinois' Congressional delegation are on board with Governor Bruce Rauner's move to temporarily close the state's borders to Syrian refugees in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.  The state's eight Republican House members are also condemning President Obama's plan to let in 10,000 refugees from that country this year.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

The University of Illinois is officially done with the case of Steven Salaita, the professor whose job offer there was rescinded last year. As Illinois Public Radio's Hannah Meisel reports, the U of I's board of trustees approved a settlement this week that marks the end of an expensive and tense period for the school.

Illinois' economy continues to grow, but at a slower rate than it was a few months ago, according to a monthly economic report from the University of Illinois.  

Illinois has been operating in a partial government shutdown for almost four months now, but Governor Bruce Rauner says he sees a light at the end of the tunnel.  

Financial trouble in Illinois' biggest city has many worried about Chicago's potential ripple effects on the state with money problems of its own. But Governor Bruce Rauner sees an opportunity in Chicago's fiscal mess.

Governor Bruce Rauner is continuing his public campaign for pro-business, union-weakening measures before compromising on a state budget.  Illinois has gone four-and-a-half months operating without a budget, but still spending at 90% of last year's levels, despite a steep drop-off in revenues. 

Older people could be spending a greater chunk of their income on healthcare next year, based on a measure of inflation that depends on gas prices. 

Leaders of several state universities and community colleges are sounding the alarm as they begin month three of receiving no money from Illinois. State support for Illinois’ 12 public universities and its 49 community colleges is the largest part of the state government that isn’t being funded during Springfield’s budget impasse. 

Though Illinois has gone over three months without a budget, state government is anything but shutdown. Court orders and existing law have made it possible for the largest chunks of the state's financial obligations to be paid, except for the state's 12 public colleges and universities.  

Illinois will be among the first states to implement a savings program for the lifelong care of people with disabilities.  The financial planning tool is being promoted at a time when state-funded services for those with disabilities are not being paid.

The United States' top education official has been traveling through the Midwest by school bus and made a couple stops in Illinois.  The U.S. Secretary of Education's visit to the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus today highlighted services for disabled students.

Rob Beier / Flickr


More ethanol fuel blends could soon be for sale at gas stations in Illinois after a multi-million dollar federal investment in the industry’s infrastructure. The U.S. department of Agriculture is giving the state $12 million dollars to expand access to ethanol in Illinois. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the announcement this morning in Urbana. It’s part of 100 million dollars in federal funds, and at least that much in matching funding.




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.