Officials at Chicago area rail transit agency Metra are being reprimanded for allowing workers to switch shifts without properly filling out paperwork. Illinois' inspector general says this practice could have led to fatigued conductors operating trains.
The so-called shift "swapping" created confusion at Metra, according to the office of the executive inspector general. In its three-year investigation, it concluded employees who were swapping shifts — usually to allow some to get a Saturday off — wouldn't fill out paperwork indicating they weren't working.
Two individuals are being fined for violating ethics rules in their capacities of running Illinois' two State Fairs. Both incidents involved free beer tickets.
The state's Executive Inspector General found John Rednour Jr., the former manager of the DuQuoin State Fair, guilty of soliciting free beer tickets from a vendor in 2012. According to a report, Rednour asked for "a roll or two" of beer tickets. The tickets were valued at $4 each, which would total $4,000 to $8,000, but the vendor did not comply.
Illinois has set its regulations for medical marijuana in the state. While, those who may benefit medically are looking forward to the substance becoming available, those who are interested in making money growing it and selling it are getting there ducks in a row. Kurt Erickson, Springfield Bureau Chief for Lee Enterprises newspapers has been covering the issue he joined a roundtable discussion with Bill Wheelhouse, Amanda Vinicky & Brian Mackey.
The Illinois State Police graduated 37 state troopers today Friday, the last class the academy will graduate for a while. State police officials say they can't train more due to the state's budget.
The 37 cadets took their oath in the auditorium of the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield — in the last graduation ceremony it'll see in a while. This class was the fifth to graduate in a year.
A new group had been scheduled to begin the 27-week training on June 15; instead the session never started.
Boys in a holding area at a Border Protection center in Nogales, Ariz. Generally, minors are put into deportation proceedings and given a "Notice To Appear" in immigration court, but they have permission to stay in the country while the U.S. decides their fate.
Federal officials say 305 unaccompanied children caught at the U.S.-Mexico border were placed with Illinois sponsors this year, but officials say hundreds more could be at shelters.
The country faces a sharp rise in unaccompanied minors. They're placed at government shelters and then released to sponsors as they go through deportation proceedings. Often, sponsors are family members. The Chicago-based Heartland Alliance contracts with the federal government for area shelters and legal services. The group doesn't make shelter locations public for safety reasons.
This week's topics include the Illinois Inspector General's investigation into possible political hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Also, an overview of the state's rules and regulations regarding medical marijuana.
Attorney Michael Shakman's lawsuit accuses Gov. Pat Quinn's administration of political hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation, which until late June was headed by Anne Schneider. In this photo, taken in April, Schneider is introducing a state roads plan with Quinn by her side.
Business and labor leaders are urging Illinois' Department of Natural Resources to finish the rules for hydraulic fracturing. The coalition says it's left wondering if the governor's administration might be dragging the process for political reasons.
It's been over 400 days since the General Assembly passed a law to allow hydraulic fracturing in Illinois. Proponents say the technique of drilling for natural gas deep in the ground will lead to job and revenue growth.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants companies exempt from offering birth control in their healthcare plans to make that known to potential employees.
It's a response to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last month, which determined certain business owners don't have to pay for contraceptives that violate their religious beliefs. These so-called "closely held" companies — typically small, family owned businesses — are exempt from the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.
The Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General is criticizing incumbent Lisa Madigan for defending the state's pension overhaul law, which he thinks is unconstitutional.
A clause in the state's constitution says that once earned, pension benefits shall not be diminished.
The pension law, passed last year, law reduces cost of living benefits paid out to state employees and public school teachers. That, and other changes, haven't actually taken effect yet; a lawsuit challenging the law is ongoing.
It has been just over half a year since Illinois made it illegal to talk on your phone while driving without the use of a hands-free device. There are some exceptions: you can hold your phone if your car is stopped -- say at a railroad crossing for a freight train -- and in park or neutral, or if you pull off onto the shoulder. The law also makes an exemption for law enforcement. A recent YouTube sensation that raises the question: should police get special treatment?
Illinois gun owners who've been denied a concealed carry permit can appeal. But instead of going through the courts, Illinois' Attorney General wants a state panel to decide those cases.
There are about 200 concealed carry denials before Illinois courts, brought by people who say they shouldn't have been deemed dangerous or a threat to public safety by Illinois' Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.
Until recently, applicants didn't actually know why they were rejected.
Illinois students could get a day off of school come election day. Schools are often at the heart of a community, metaphorically, if not literally. That's part of the reason they've long been voting sites.
But with shootings at schools across the country, some lawmakers are concerned the practice is dangerous.
Most of the time visitors need to sign in before entering a school; they say allowing anyone in on election day is asking for trouble.
This week, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner proposed more ways to fix the state's budget woes. Also, a state legislative commission has pushed back the investigation into Governor pat Quinn's controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative until October.
Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner has presented a plan he says will help grow Illinois' economy and create jobs.
The Winnetka businessman spoke today at a family-owned manufacturing company in Schaumburg.
Rauner wants to eliminate the income tax increase Democrats approved in 2011, phasing the rate back to 3 percent from 5 percent. He also says he would freeze property taxes and impose a sales tax on services such as charter flights, travel agencies and sewer service.
Rauner says Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has been ``a failure on job creation.''
After a day-long meeting Wednesday, a legislative commission will meet again Thursday morning in Chicago. They're set to begin with a call to the U.S. Attorney's office. Democrats and Republicans are at a standstill over what to do next in their probe of Gov. Pat Quinn's controversial anti-violence program.
A legislative hearing convened to probe a troubled anti-violence program run by Gov. Quinn is underway in Chicago. Federal prosecutors have asked lawmakers to hold off taking testimony, because it may obstruct their investigation.
It all goes back to a program called the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which debuted in 2010, when Quinn was in the midst of a tight race for governor against Republican Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington. A state audit showed it was rife with mismanagement, and Republicans say that's because Quinn was trying to use it to boost his campaign.
Governor Pat Quinn's troubled anti-violence program will be in the spotlight today (7/16) when a bipartisan legislative commission meets in Chicago.
It's not yet clear how lawmakers will proceed, given that the federal government wants them to put a hold on their investigation until mid-October, just before the November election, when Quinn will face Republican Bruce Rauner.
Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown says that's what Quinn's campaign wants.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation overhauling the state's grant oversight and accountability process.
Quinn's office said Wednesday that he has signed the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act. The governor says it will give Illinois a comprehensive set of uniform rules for grant applications and make those who receive grants more accountable to taxpayers.
The signing comes on the same day as legislative hearings are to begin on a controversial Quinn program.
The candidates for Illinois governor are hammering each other's records on business and caring for the developmentally disabled.
Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Paul Vallas blasted Republican Bruce Rauner Monday after a published news report said a long-term care company once tied to Rauner faced lawsuits and disciplinary action over the mistreatment of residents, fatalities and ``deplorable'' living conditions.
Vallas suggests Rauner profited from substandard care and should be questioned
Bruce Rauner -- the Republican nominee for Illinois governor -- says he followed the letter of the law when filing his taxes. But he won't say whether it was fair.
Rauner, a businessman, has said his wealth puts him in the top .01%. Even so, a Chicago Tribune analysis showed that in several recent years, he paid no Social Security or Medicare taxes. Rauner has released limited parts of his tax returns.
It's believed he took advantage of I-R-S rules to legally cut his tax burden. Rauner defended that ...