Illinois

State News
2:16 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Congressman says Pat Brady should serve out term

  A Republican Congressman says he believes his party's chairman should be allowed to complete his term, after taking a controversial stance earlier this year.  High-level Republicans unsuccessfully tried to overthrow State Party Chairman Pat Brady after he announced his support for same-sex marriage. Congresssman Rodney Davis of Taylorville stands by Brady, saying he did a “good job” bringing the GOP together during the 2012 election season.  Instead of focusing on inner-party politics, Davis says Republicans should focus on solving the problems that plague Illinois.

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Government
5:21 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Illinois House passes pension measure

Illinois legislators have yet again done what was long unthinkable, the House Thursday passed a measure reducing state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits.   IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has more: 


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Government
4:42 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Illinois Senate approves pension measure

 Teachers would have to make a major decision about their retirement benefits under a measure the Illinois Senate approved Wednesday.  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has the latest on lawmakers' attempts to overhaul the state's pension systems. 

   The legislation would require any teacher working at a downstate or suburban public school to make a choice:
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Government
8:50 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

AFSCME votes to accept state contract

By a margin of 96 to four, members of the state's largest public employees' union voted to ratify a new contract with the state.  AFSCME and Governor Pat Quinn's administration reached a deal in late February.  But in order for it to take effect, a majority of the union's more than 35,000 members had to agree to it.  AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says this may have been the toughest negotiations the union's ever experienced.

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State News
7:07 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Ambulatory services face money shortage

Providers of ambulance and other emergency services in Illinois face a shortage of money. Some patients use on Medicaid, Illinois' low-income health insurance, to pay for trips.

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State News
7:44 am
Thu March 14, 2013

The battle over the bill for teacher's pensions

Republicans are fighting the idea that Downstate and suburban schools are the only ones getting a "free lunch" from Illinois state government. House Speaker Michael Madigan has has used the phrase in describing how local school districts should have to pay the employer's share of pension costs for teachers. That expense is currently covered by the state for all school districts, except Chicago.

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Politics
12:21 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Madigan supports fracking moratorium

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan doesn't want Illinois to allow fracking, a controversial process that injects a mixture of water and chemicals deep underground to reach oil and natural gas reserves.  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports. 

 Companies are longing to access the oil and natural gas laced in the rocks of the New Albany Shale, in southeastern Illinois.
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Education
7:30 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Illinois education board asks for more funding

A week after Governor Pat Quinn suggested lawmakers slash the state's education budget -- Illinois school officials are asking them to instead increase spending on schools. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more: 

 The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, Gery Chico, says public schools can't afford any more cuts. He says they're already eliminating extracurricular activities, getting rid of staff, and shortening the school day.
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Environment
5:56 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Environmentalists pressure advocates on fracking issue

A coalition of environmental groups accuse other advocates of selling out when it comes to the drilling technique known as "hydraulic fracturing."  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has more.  

 Environmentalists have warned of the dangers of "fracking" - a process that extracts natural gas or oil by pumping millions of gallons of water and chemicals deep underground.That's why it was a big deal a couple weeks ago that the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council stood with business leaders to announce they'd reached an agreement that could pave the way for fracking in Illinois.
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Economy
2:40 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Group explains Illinois’ lagging economy

Illinois' economy usually rises and falls with the rest of the country. But a government forecasting group says as the nation slowly emerges from the recession, Illinois isn't. IPR’s Chris Slaby reports.

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