An Illinois advocacy group is looking to determine the impact of the state transportation lockbox amendment more than a year after voters approved the measure.

Lawsuit: State Withheld Medical Services to Children

Jan 18, 2018

A lawsuit against Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services claims the state illegally withholds medically necessary services from children with severe mental health disorders. The case was settled in federal court this week.

State officials continue to press forward with plans to hold the Illinois State Fair. That’s despite the budget stalemate that’s led to layoff notices and facility closures. Fair officials are counting on longtime vendors to fulfill their contracts — even though Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Philip Nelson says they might not be paid for some time.

Illinois Comptroller tours Peoria’s EP!C center

Aug 4, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The state's budget woes carry extra impact for groups serving people with developmental disabilities.  That's according to state Comptroller Leslie Munger. She says the budget stalemate is forcing groups to dip into reserves because her office can't cut new checks:

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Bruce Rauner has issued a state disaster proclamation for 23 counties devastated by severe storms this summer and has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help assess the damages there.  Rauner Monday said a series of storms in June and July caused heavy rainfall, flash and river flooding, tornadoes and straight-line winds in the 23 counties stretching from Alexander County on the Ohio River to Grundy County in north central Illinois. 

The state budget stalemate is also affecting finances at the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. 80-percent of the group’s funding comes from federal dollars used for transportation funds.  But Tri-County Acting Director Eric Miller says the commission can’t access that money without a state budget in place.  He says that some funding remains for Geographic Information Systems work:

East Peoria considers array of budget options

May 19, 2015

The City of East Peoria is looking at possible options to help balance its books in the long-term.  The move comes amid looming state budget cuts:

Peoria workers call for minimum wage hike

Apr 15, 2015

A grassroots Peoria group is calling to raise the state’s minimum wage to $13 per hour.  Members of ‘Fight For A Living Wage Peoria’ protested the current minimum-wage of $8.25.  Group founder Zachary Gittrich says booting the wage another five-dollars means financial security:

Rural health could face tough state cuts

Apr 8, 2015

  Proposed cuts to Medicaid and other programs at the state level would have a devastating effect on some rural health programs. Jennifer Fuller reports on a special Illinois Senate Committee hearing Wednesday in Carbondale:

Rob Parks makes local school board choice

Mar 3, 2015

Rob Parks’s name was withdrawn as Governor Rauner’s appointment to serve on the State Board of Education. 

The Peoria Promise foundation is changing the way it pays for District 150 graduates to attend Illinois Central College. 

Rauner appoints Rob Parks to state Ed board

Jan 30, 2015

Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Roberta Parks to a seat on the Illinois State Board of Education.  Parks was the President of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce until 2013, when she left to go work for UnityPoint Health Methodist-Proctor.  

President Obama called for raising the federal minimum wage in last night’s State Of The Union speech. Republican Congressman Aaron Schock says the best way to boost income is to pass pending trade agreements and tax reform:

New state DCFS interim director

Jan 19, 2015

The state agency charged with protecting vulnerable Illinois children has a new interim director Monday. But she faces many problems.

For the first time in a dozen years, Illinois has a Republican governor.  

Rauner could follow income tax drop schedule

Dec 8, 2014

Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner seems to be serious about letting the state’s income tax drop next year.  

The director of the Illinois Secretary of State Police has died.  

Quinn concedes Governor’s race to Rauner

Nov 5, 2014

Governor Pat Quinn has conceded his campaign for re-election to Republican Bruce Rauner.  Rauner defeated the Democratic incumbent by five percentage points, declaring victory Tuesday night. Quinn said he wanted to make sure all the votes were counted.  He says that happened Wednesday:

Illinois Treasurer’s race still close

Nov 5, 2014

Champaign Democrat Mike Frerichs says it may be a week before voters know who won the contest for Illinois treasurer. Frerichs and Republican Tom Cross both ended the day with about 48 per cent of the vote.  Frerichs told supporters on Tuesday night that he’s waiting for every last ballot to be counted.

In addition to choosing a new governor, Illinois voters approved several ballot questions, including two changes to the state’s constitution.

High marks for Illinois school data website

Oct 29, 2014

When the Illinois State Board of Education releases new student achievement results later this week, parents will find even more information online.  The site provides data for each public school and school district, and has added several new metrics this year. Mary Fergus, spokesperson for the board, says it will give a more complete picture:

Advocates seeking to change how Illinois draws its legislative districts are following through on a promise to keep trying, even after getting knocked off of this year's ballot.  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky has more.

Illinois and new greenhouse gas emission standards

Aug 18, 2014

State regulators are beginning to discuss how Illinois will meet new federal requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports:

District 150 aims to expand sex education curriculum

Jul 22, 2014

District 150 is also working to expand it’s sexual education programs starting this fall. A grant from the State Board of Education will help the district implement a five-year plan to add programs that focus on contraception. District 150 Special Education Director Maureen Langholf says the program aims to work with area health departments and community groups to promote safe sex:

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is willing to provide back-up for the Chicago Police Department. More than 50 people were shot in Chicago over the long holiday weekend.  

A look at the state’s minimum wage issues

Jul 8, 2014

Illinois lawmakers are considering raising the state's minimum wage to ten dollars, and Chicago could raise it higher still. IPR’s Amanda Vinicky surveys the minimum wage landscape.

Despite Democratic majorities and a push from the governor, Illinois' legislative session adjourned without a bump in the minimum wage. Lawmakers settled for putting a non-binding question on the November ballot asking if that's something voters want.

Illinois will have a budget in place when the state's new fiscal year begins Tuesday. The governor signed it into law Monday.  

State lawmakers are advancing a plan that could automatically clear the arrest records of some juveniles.  

The annual District 150 ‘State of The Schools’ address is usually this month. But Superintendent Grenita Lathan is working with the Peoria Chamber of Commerce to instead hold the annual event in the fall.  Lathan says the new date is better because the district has more financial and staff hiring data to report compared to the spring:

The Illinois State Board of Education says it found no evidence that a District 150 primary school manipulated test scores. However, a letter sent from the ISBE to the district says it’s forwarding its report to its Licensure Division for further review.