Hannah Meisel http://wuis.org en Congress Reevaluating Militarization Of Local Police http://wuis.org/post/congress-reevaluating-militarization-local-police <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Since law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri, began using its federally supplied military-style equipment, the spotlight has been on police departments everywhere. Members of Congress have begun to question the program that distributes extra supplies to local law enforcement.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Pentagon has been supplying local law enforcement agencies with its surplus equipment for years, but most of the time, that equipment is out of sight.</span></p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:53:09 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31815 at http://wuis.org Congress Reevaluating Militarization Of Local Police Local Members Of Congress Condemn ISIS' Actions http://wuis.org/post/local-members-congress-condemn-isis-actions <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is condemning the murder of American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by terrorist organization the Islamic State.</p><p>Durbin, a Democrat, says the group also known as ISIS must be stopped from advancing on more territory in Iraq and Syria. And he says the American military can help Iraqi forces do that.</p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:21:42 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31814 at http://wuis.org Local Members Of Congress Condemn ISIS' Actions Ground Broken On Tenth Street Rail Corridor http://wuis.org/post/ground-broken-tenth-street-rail-corridor <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Construction of the Tenth Street Rail Corridor in Springfield has officially begun after a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday. Over the projected two years of construction, an underpass will be built at Tenth and Carpenter for vehicles and pedestrians, allowing trains to pass above.</p><p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says diverting rail traffic from street level will provide better access to hospitals, which is vital especially in a life-or-death situation.</p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:12:16 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31813 at http://wuis.org Ground Broken On Tenth Street Rail Corridor Green Party Candidates Won't Appear On Ballot http://wuis.org/post/green-party-candidates-wont-appear-ballot <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Candidates from the Illinois Green Party will not appear on the November ballot.</p><p>A federal judge Thursday denied the party reprieve from the state's election requirements for third parties.</p><p>The Green Party had sued, claiming the barriers for third parties are too onerous ... threatening the right to free speech and equal protection.</p><p>Scott Summers, the party's candidate for governor, says he's disappointed with the judge's ruling.</p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:41:44 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31786 at http://wuis.org Green Party Candidates Won't Appear On Ballot Green, Libertarian Parties Await Approval For Nov. Ballot http://wuis.org/post/green-libertarian-parties-await-approval-nov-ballot <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>For third parties in Illinois, it's down to the wire to get on the November ballot. Decisions Thursday and Friday will determine how many choices voters will have.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">To get their candidates on the ballot in Illinois, the two established parties — Democrats and Republicans — have to collect the signatures of 5,000 registered voters. But to get its nominees on the ballot, a third party must collect five times as many.</span></p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:35:20 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31735 at http://wuis.org Green, Libertarian Parties Await Approval For Nov. Ballot Push Continues For School Funding Overhaul http://wuis.org/post/push-continues-school-funding-overhaul <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>As students across Illinois begin the new school year their schools are using funds that rely heavily on property tax wealth. But supporters of a new plan say now is the time to change that.</p><p></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:54:36 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31661 at http://wuis.org Push Continues For School Funding Overhaul Rauner Blasts Quinn On "Failed" Policies, Governor's Mansion http://wuis.org/post/rauner-blasts-quinn-failed-policies-governors-mansion <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner hammered on Democrats at the Illinois State Fair Thursday. The Democrat facing the most criticism is Governor Pat Quinn.</p><p></p><p>Rauner<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> was greeted almost like a </span>rock star<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as he rolled into the Republican Day party on his Harley. Every time he mentioned voting Quinn out of office, the crowd erupted in cheers.</span></p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:07:05 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31377 at http://wuis.org Rauner Blasts Quinn On "Failed" Policies, Governor's Mansion Former Gov. Jim Edgar: Republicans Must Be United http://wuis.org/post/former-gov-jim-edgar-republicans-must-be-united <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says he's all in for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.</p><p>Edgar says the Democratic agenda offers more of the same policies voters have seen for the past decade. He even equated Gov. Pat Quinn's tenure to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is now serving a 14-year term in federal prison.</p><p>"The Blagojevich-Quinn governorship has been a disaster for Illinois," he said. "We have an opportunity this November to end one-party rule by electing Bruce Rauner the governor of Illinois."</p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:31:44 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31358 at http://wuis.org Former Gov. Jim Edgar: Republicans Must Be United Anti-Fracking Activists Crash Democrat Breakfast http://wuis.org/post/anti-fracking-activists-crash-democrat-breakfast <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Environmental activists hoping to curb hydraulic fracturing in Illinois crashed a breakfast held for Democratic party organizers in Springfield Wednesday. They want to stop natural gas extraction in the state before it starts.</p><p></p><blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Drought! Pollution! Earthquake! </span>Fracking<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a big mistake!"</span></p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 01:53:00 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31290 at http://wuis.org Anti-Fracking Activists Crash Democrat Breakfast Downstate Democrats In GOP Districts: Re-electing Quinn Uphill Battle http://wuis.org/post/downstate-democrats-gop-districts-re-electing-quinn-uphill-battle <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair brought out Democratic leaders from across the state — including those counties where Democrats seem few and far between.</p><p>In these heavily Republican counties, momentum for Democratic candidates can be hard to come by. Compound that with lower Democratic voter turnout in non-presidential election years, and the fight to "keep Illinois blue" gets even more difficult.</p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:31:39 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31278 at http://wuis.org Downstate Democrats In GOP Districts: Re-electing Quinn Uphill Battle Republicans Blast Treasurer Candidate Frerichs On Champaign County Record http://wuis.org/post/republicans-blast-treasurer-candidate-frerichs-champaign-county-record <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>The Democratic candidate for state treasurer is catching flak from Republicans, who are critical of his time as a local official. But Mike Frerichs' (D-Champaign) campaign says Republican opponent Tom Cross (R-Oswego) is playing "revisionist history."</p><p></p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:35:40 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31216 at http://wuis.org Republicans Blast Treasurer Candidate Frerichs On Champaign County Record AARP Poll: Rauner Has Edge Over Quinn Among Senior Voters http://wuis.org/post/aarp-poll-rauner-has-edge-over-quinn-among-senior-voters <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>The debate over state retiree pensions has been a consistent backdrop for the Illinois gubernatorial election, bringing older voters to the forefront of many debates. It's this senior voting bloc that could make all the difference this election.</p><p></p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:14:00 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31147 at http://wuis.org AARP Poll: Rauner Has Edge Over Quinn Among Senior Voters Civil Engineers Advise Infrastructure Investment In Illinois http://wuis.org/post/civil-engineers-advise-infrastructure-investment-illinois <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Infrastructure in Illinois is getting dangerously close to disrepair, according to a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The state received a "C-" for its maintenance of roads, bridges and waterways.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The group says Illinois' grade is cause for concern, especially given recent infrastructure failures. Those headlines include last weekend's water crisis in Toledo, Ohio and chemical pollutants in West Virginia water earlier this year.</span></p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 02:37:58 +0000 Hannah Meisel 31146 at http://wuis.org Civil Engineers Advise Infrastructure Investment In Illinois Durbin, Kirk Weigh In On Air Strikes In Iraq http://wuis.org/post/durbin-kirk-weigh-air-strikes-iraq <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk each say they support limited air strikes over Iraq to try to deter the Islamic State terrorist organization. But Durbin's expressing reservations.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">President Barack Obama Thursday night authorized air strikes on the terrorist group which has been gaining territory in Iraq.</span></p><p>While Durbin (D-IL) says he is glad the action involves no boots on the ground, he's still cautious about getting involved in the conflict.</p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 22:31:46 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30988 at http://wuis.org Durbin, Kirk Weigh In On Air Strikes In Iraq Quinn Won't Say Why Administration Contradicted Itself On Patronage http://wuis.org/post/quinn-wont-say-why-administration-contradicted-itself-patronage <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Governor Pat Quinn won't say why his administration contradicted itself when it came to cleaning up hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation. The administration had previously said the fix was done, but now says it isn't complete.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In facing a lawsuit over political patronage hiring at </span>IDOT<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span>Gov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Quinn characterized it as a non-issue.</span></p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:52:29 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30953 at http://wuis.org Quinn Won't Say Why Administration Contradicted Itself On Patronage Officials Urge Caution At State Fair http://wuis.org/post/officials-urge-caution-state-fair <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>With the Illinois State Fair set to begin later this week, officials say they have safety in the forefront of their minds. The event, which attracts nearly 1 million visitors yearly, is set to open Friday morning ... though anyone can get an early preview Thursday evening after the annual opening parade.</p><p></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 00:08:55 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30836 at http://wuis.org Officials Urge Caution At State Fair Miranda Rights In Schools To Be Revamped http://wuis.org/post/miranda-rights-schools-be-revamped <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Summer is a time lawmakers can work on legislation that didn't move anywhere during the General Assembly's spring session. One of those proposals would require schoolchildren be read their Miranda Rights.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It happens in schools across Illinois: one student pushes another in a hallway, or there's a full-fledged fight.</span></p><p>Often, police, based on- or off-campus will come break up the altercation. That means an official police report will be filed.</p> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:48:00 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30376 at http://wuis.org Miranda Rights In Schools To Be Revamped New Law Lets School Staff Administer EpiPen Dosage...Not Just Nurses http://wuis.org/post/new-law-lets-school-staff-administer-epipen-dosagenot-just-nurses <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>About 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy, but many of them are unaware ... until they have a reaction. Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law Wednesday that makes it legal for a school official who isn't a nurse to administer drugs to quell an allergic episode.</p><p></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:51:03 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30372 at http://wuis.org New Law Lets School Staff Administer EpiPen Dosage...Not Just Nurses Two Teachers Unions Back Quinn Despite Pension Strife http://wuis.org/post/two-teachers-unions-back-quinn-despite-pension-strife <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Governor Pat Quinn now has the support of the two statewide teachers unions. The Illinois Federation of Teachers endorsed Quinn Wednesday despite the union's opposition to Quinn's ideas for pension changes.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The IFT is one of the groups suing Quinn for the pension overhaul law passed late last year that would reduce public employee benefits, including those for teachers.</span></p><p>But the union's president, Dan Montgomery, says the election is bigger than the ongoing lawsuit.</p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:31:25 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30371 at http://wuis.org Two Teachers Unions Back Quinn Despite Pension Strife Authorities Investigating Downtown Bomb http://wuis.org/post/authorities-investigating-downtown-bomb <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Authorities say they're investigating a pipe bomb that was found and destroyed Monday night in downtown Springfield. The Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad neutralized the bomb after it was found on the sidewalk outside of Brewhaus pub, on Sixth and Washington Streets.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Once local police were on the scene, the bomb squad responded by identifying the object, then disabling it in a water cannon.</span></p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:28:55 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30299 at http://wuis.org Authorities Investigating Downtown Bomb Governor Approves 'Millionaire's Tax' As Advisory Referendum http://wuis.org/post/governor-approves-millionaires-tax-advisory-referendum <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>This November, Illinois voters will be asked whether millionaires ought to pay more in taxes. The plan is being sold as a way to raise money for education. But opponents see more political motives.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Governor Pat Quinn signed the measure at a suburban elementary school on Tuesday.</span></p><p>The so-called "millionaire's tax" would rake an additional three percent off personal income greater than a million dollars ... with that money going exclusively to schools.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:27:46 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30298 at http://wuis.org Governor Approves 'Millionaire's Tax' As Advisory Referendum Inspector General Finds Old Metra Practice Could Lead To Fatigued Conductors http://wuis.org/post/inspector-general-finds-old-metra-practice-could-lead-fatigued-conductors <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>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.</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:34:21 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30217 at http://wuis.org Inspector General Finds Old Metra Practice Could Lead To Fatigued Conductors State Fair Officials Fined For Violating Gift Ban...For Beer Tickets http://wuis.org/post/state-fair-officials-fined-violating-gift-banfor-beer-tickets <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Two individuals are being fined for violating ethics rules in their capacities of running Illinois' two State Fairs. Both incidents involved free beer tickets.</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:13:06 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30216 at http://wuis.org State Fair Officials Fined For Violating Gift Ban...For Beer Tickets State Police Cancels New Trooper Training, Citing Budget http://wuis.org/post/state-police-cancels-new-trooper-training-citing-budget <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>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.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">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.</span></p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:35:19 +0000 Hannah Meisel 30055 at http://wuis.org State Police Cancels New Trooper Training, Citing Budget Business, Labor Leaders Urge Quinn Administration To Finish Fracking Rules http://wuis.org/post/business-labor-leaders-urge-quinn-administration-finish-fracking-rules <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>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.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">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.</span></p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:18:30 +0000 Hannah Meisel 29986 at http://wuis.org Business, Labor Leaders Urge Quinn Administration To Finish Fracking Rules Durbin Files Legislation Reacting To Hobby Lobby Decision http://wuis.org/post/durbin-files-legislation-reacting-hobby-lobby-decision <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants companies exempt from offering birth control in their healthcare plans to make that known to potential employees.</p><p></p><p>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.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:09:59 +0000 Hannah Meisel 29888 at http://wuis.org Durbin Files Legislation Reacting To Hobby Lobby Decision Republican Attorney General Candidate: Pension Changes Unconstitutional http://wuis.org/post/republican-attorney-general-candidate-pension-changes-unconstitutional <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>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.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A clause in the state's constitution says that once earned, pension benefits shall not be diminished.</span></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:29:36 +0000 Hannah Meisel 29817 at http://wuis.org Republican Attorney General Candidate: Pension Changes Unconstitutional Tourism In Illinois Sets New Record http://wuis.org/post/tourism-illinois-sets-new-record <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Illinois' tourism numbers set another record in 2013, bringing in over 100 million visitors to the state. State agencies say they aim to grow those numbers more in the face of budget cuts.</p><p></p><p>For the third year in a row, Illinois broke its own record for visitors to the state. In 2013, travelers spent $34.5 billion dollars in Illinois, according to the state's office of tourism.</p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:57:33 +0000 Hannah Meisel 29697 at http://wuis.org Tourism In Illinois Sets New Record Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix http://wuis.org/post/seven-months-and-two-storms-later-executive-mansion-gets-mini-fix <p>The governor's executive mansion in Springfield is receiving much-needed repair after rainwater caused damage twice in the last two months. But the repairs are only a stopgap measure; it's all the state can afford right now.</p><p></p><p>Walk into the executive mansion in Springfield, and nothing looks awry. But climb the stairs to the third floor, where the governor's apartment lies, off-limits to tours and most events, and the damage is apparent in two historical bedrooms.</p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:58:09 +0000 Hannah Meisel 29701 at http://wuis.org Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long http://wuis.org/post/illinois-sees-growth-tax-revenue-it-wont-last-long <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>2014 is only halfway over, but Illinois' new fiscal year just began last week. The state closed out its year with a billion-dollar growth in tax revenue.</p><p></p><p>The state took in $32 billion in revenue this past fiscal year, more than $7.6 billion of that in sales tax. That's up almost 4.5 percent from last year.</p><p>Jim Muschinske, who analyzes revenues for the state's forecasting commission, says that's not amazing, but it's a healthy increase.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:27:07 +0000 Hannah Meisel 29696 at http://wuis.org Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long