Lisa Ryan

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.

In addition to public radio, Lisa loves traveling. In 2014 she traveled to Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava as part of an international reporting class.

The Illinois Hospital Association wants the state to pass a temporary budget if a deal on a full year's spending can't be reached soon. If lawmakers and the governor don't agree on a budget by the June 30 deadline, state agencies might have to shut down. A representative of the organization A-J Wilhelmi says hospitals receive payments for Medicaid and other services.

Democrats in the Illinois House Thursday held a hearing over the salary for one of Gov. Bruce Rauner's top aides.

The issue is not that Education Secretary Beth Purvis is being paid $250,000 a year, but where the money is coming from. Rather than the relatively small budget for governor's staff, her salary comes out of the Department of Human Services.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he plans to raise eligibility levels for those senior citizens in Illinois’ Community Care program. Rauner says it’s necessary to help handle a budget Democrats’ passed without sufficient revenue.  

Hunting for bobcats could soon be legal in Illinois, but the measure barely passed the legislature.

When the proposal was first introduced, its sponsor, Democratic Rep. Patrick Verschoore, had to postpone the vote because it didn't have enough support.

But the second time around, it passed with the minimum number of required votes.

Verschoore says it is an important bill to manage the bobcat population.

An Illinois proposal would provide funding for police body cameras.

The measure creates procedures for arrests and traffic stops, including pedestrian searches. Incidents like officer-involved shootings and arrests would have a standard protocol across Illinois, and the proposal would require more police training.

Funding would come from an increase in fines for traffic tickets.

Democratic Rep. Elgie Sims says when police officers wear body cameras, both the community and police benefit.

Democrats are moving forward with a new state budget. The House passed a huge chunk of it on Tuesday.

The Democrats' budget includes funding many programs the governor planned to cut, even though Illinois is short about $3 billion to pay for all of that spending.

Higher education will see a funding cut next year, but Democrats want to lessen the impact compared to what the Republican governor called for. 

Despite overall cuts to higher education, "MAP" grants could see an increase in the next fiscal year. The grants help Illinois students -- especially ones from low-income families -- pay for college. 

Democratic Rep. Christian Mitchell from Chicago says this will help get rid of the barrier of access for some students. He says those who qualify and are able to get into college should have the money to go so that they can “be productive citizens.”

Memorial Day is a state holiday, but lawmakers are back at work in Springfield. But how do legislators feel about not taking the day off?

In the wake of officer-involved deaths in Ferguson, Baltimore and New York City, Springfield is looking at how to change Illinois laws regarding police officers. 

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure that would lower the penalties for possession of marijuana.  

A group of eleven people rode their bicycles 190 miles for three days from Chicago to Springfield to protest a loss of state funding. 

Two tax policy organizations with distinct views released a joint report about Illinois revenue. 

It outlines how taxing services, such as haircuts and pet grooming, could generate up to two point one billion dollars in new annual revenue.

Ralph Martire, who is from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, says Illinois has one of the most narrow tax bases in the country.

An Illinois Senate proposal would automatically register people to vote when they receive and renew a drivers' licenses. 

Illinois legislators brought in the head of a nonpartisan research group to hear about its problems with Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget proposal. 

The Civic Federation's Laurence Msall told senators he applauds the governor's efforts to balance next year's budget, but he doesn't see how some savings would be possible. 

Msall scolded lawmakers for not raising revenue through more taxes.  

Illinois House Democrats continued to advance budget measures that would restore funding to human services programs that the governor proposes cutting. 

Lawmakers are considering a plan to spell out rights of crime victims. Illinois voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2014. Representative Lou Lang is sponsoring a measure to implement it into existing law. 

The Illinois Cancer Action Network is calling attention to breast and cervical cancer screenings, especially as some of those programs face cuts.

The governor's proposed budget would reduce funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings by 71 percent. Democratic Rep. Mike Smiddy of Hillsdale is opposed. He says his wife is a cancer survivor, and without early screening his children might not have a mother.

After partisan debating over the budget, Democrats and Republicans came together in America's pastime.

Lawmakers put aside partisan differences to play softball. Forget Republicans versus Democrats; this match pits Senate against the House.

Rep. Anthony DeLuca, a Democrat from Chicago Heights, was named Most Valuable Player for the House. DeLuca says the annual game is a way for lawmakers to become teammates rather than opponents.

After partisan debating over the budget, Democrats and Republicans came together in America's pastime. IPR’s Lisa Ryan reports.


Olympic gold medal winner Jackie Joyner-Kersee says she never imagined as a girl growing up in East St. Louis that she would one day speak at an event hosted by the governor. Gov. Bruce Rauner introduced her, but didn't stay for her speech.

"To the head table, I am honored to be in your presence. To, you know, the governor, he left," she said.

Rauner was scheduled to be in Chicago three hours after he left. He was originally supposed to give a presentation, but that was taken out of the program.

Governor Bruce Rauner made an appearance at the annual Illinois Governor's Prayer Breakfast, but didn't stay long. 

As Illinois faces major budget problems, everyone has a different answer for which services to cut and which taxes to raise.

Mike Nobis is worried. His commercial printing company has been in Quincy, Illinois for 108 years. He says he's struggling to compete with other companies, especially those across the border in Missouri.

Illinois' current sales tax does not cover most services. Nobis says if that tax is expanded to cover the printing industry, he might go out of business.

Friday was Girl Scout Day at the Capitol, and hundreds of Girl Scouts marched to the Statehouse to learn more about government and the history of Illinois.

About 2,000 Girl Scouts gathered in the Illinois capital to earn their Citizenship badge.

Kate Peters of Girl Scouts of Central Illinois says during part of the expo, the girls spoke to women in different careers.

Cuts the governor is proposing for next year's budget are a concern for transportation officials. 

A proposal that would ban smoking in cars failed in the Senate today.  

A proposal in the Illinois Senate would make sure students are completely recovered before returning to athletics or the classroom.

Each year, there are 200,000 concussion-related emergency room visits for children and teenagers in the U.S. For one Chicago lawmaker, that’s not just a statistic.

Both of Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul's kids have sustained concussions. Raoul says his teenage daughter, Mizan, is still recovering from one she received one when she was playing basketball in January. At first, nobody realized it was a concussion.

A scholarship program run by the state treasurer's office is on hold. For about a decade, the treasurer's office has given out scholarships. It's a program associated with the Bright Start college savings program.

Treasurer Michael Frerichs ordered an independent review upon taking over the office in January. The report found there aren't proper rules to determine how the treasurer should award the scholarship money.

On top of that, he says there was no follow up. Only about half of the scholarships have been used.

It doesn’t take much time at all, fractions of a second, to be marked and mapped, recorded and reported.

The automatic license plate reader cameras don’t look like much — just a pair of strobe lights on the back of a squad car, or maybe a cartoon character, depending on whom you ask.

Illinois DCFS

Young adults in foster care could see services like job training and educational assistance cut.  Republican Governor Bruce Rauner didn't include those programs for 18-to-21-year-olds in his proposed budget.

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