One of the key farm bill negotiators says the nation has entered “a new era of farm and food policy.”
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Oklahoma) said the legislation President Obama signed into law Friday “values saving money, reforming or repealing government programs and yet still providing an effective safety net for the production of our national food supply and for those Americans who are struggling.” Read Lucas' full statement here.
A small southern Illinois community is without any police cars after separate accidents heavily damaged the department's only two squad cars.
The police chief in the village of Ina says the first car was damaged last week when it was hit by an ambulance. The second car was wrecked on Tuesday when it was hit by a semi-truck on a snowy highway. No one was injured in either collision.
When tragedy strikes, politicians often line up to say they'll do something to make sure it doesn't happen again. But the follow-up can lag early promises. That's what happened after the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bill Brady says he was ``insensitive'' when he said out-of-work people don't want jobs because they enjoy collecting unemployment benefits.
The state senator from Bloomington told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register Wednesday he ``didn't take into consideration there are a number of people out there looking for jobs who don't want to be on unemployment.''
It's no secret that marriage, disagreements, and nagging can sometimes go hand-in-hand.
And, with lyrics highlighting the challenges of romantic relationships, a local wedded pair has started a band together - calling it 'The Complaint Line'.
The duo is joined by two others who complete the rock set. The group (Shawnda Phillips on bass and vocals, John Phillips on guitar and vocals, Dayton Cripe on guitar and vocals, and Randy Anderson on drums) recently joined Rachel Otwell in the Suggs Studio for this performance and chat:
A new commemorative stamp will be released to mark Abraham Lincoln's 205th birthday.
U.S. Postal Service officials will be on hand Feb. 12 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield for an unveiling ceremony for the new stamp, which features an image of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Lincoln and his family lived in Springfield for more than two decades before he was elected as the country's 16th president in 1860. Lincoln worked out of the capitol building as both a lawyer and a politician.
The campaign for governor seeped into a debate in the Illinois Senate Wednesday. It let senators get into a little partisan elbowing.
Legislators were in town for just two days of session this week, and they only passed one bill. It lets Gov. Pat Quinn delay his budget address from mid-February to the end of March. The administration says it needs the delay to continue crunching numbers.
Republicans, however — like Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale — say Quinn has something else on his mind.
Illinois schools have seen state funding cut again and again in recent years. A Democratic lawmaker wants to change how that money is distributed. But it remains to be whether they can get more money in the system.
State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) says inequality is basically guaranteed by Illinois' complicated education funding laws. That's because it's based on property taxes, so schools in impoverished areas can struggle to get by.
Tressa Wilson (far left) and Charlotte Cronin (middle) present boxes full of postcards to Gov. Pat Quinn's spokesman, Dave Blanchette. Wilson and Cronin traveled to Springfield to urge Quinn and the General Assembly to pass a higher wage law for personal service workers.
There are thousands of personal support workers in Illinois — home care workers who provide support to developmentally disabled people, and those with other special needs. Advocates say the average wage for the field is just over nine dollars and they're calling for an increase.
Tressa Wilson is one of the thousands of personal support workers in Illinois who see to the needs of those with disabilities — needs ranging from feeding and bathing to companionship and general care.
Illinois lawmakers are beginning to confront the huge hole expected in next year's state budget. The temporary income tax increase of a few years ago is set to roll back at the end of this year. Lawmakers are being told Illinois will have $1.58 billion less to spend next year.
"The budget is going to be one of the, if not the big issue, as it generally is," said Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion).
Bradley is chairman of the House Revenue Committee.
Republican members of the Illinois House are trying to head off a post-election tradition... taking up controversial legislation when it's too late for voters to do anything about it.
Rewind to January, 2011. Newly-elected members to the General Assembly were about to be sworn in. But before the turnover, the old General Assembly took a few final votes. Support from retiring legislators and those who'd lost their elections helped pass laws, like one that abolished the death penalty, and another that increased Illinois' income tax.
If proceeds from video gaming were a coconut cream pie, Illinois municipalities would only get a taste. But if you added up those nibbles every month, it may be enough to notice an increasing waistline.
In December alone, Illinois municipalities that offer video gaming shared $1.8 million.
Video gaming machines starting spewing out the green in the fall of 2012. Illinois started with a few hundred gaming terminals. By the end of last year, there were more than 13,000 terminals in the state.
Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops this year. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business. Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.
Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for more time before he delivers his budget address in part to prepare a five-year spending blueprint. Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that the governor would like to delay his annual budget speech from Feb. 19 to March 26.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education will recommend at its meeting tomorrow that Governor Quinn at least keep state funding for colleges and universities level for the coming fiscal year.
The board is putting out a number of funding options for the governor's office to consider. The first one, and the one likely to be the most realistic, calls for the same funding amount as the current year. However Harry Berman, the board's Executive Director, says, "An increase in funding for higher education is justified, would be warranted, and in the long run would be beneficial."
Last month, a local panel put together a list of recommendations designed to make Sangamon County governmental units work better and, in some cases, save money. Voters helped create the Citizens' Efficiency Commission of Sangamon County through an earlier referendum. They have another chance to keep the effort going in the March election.
With the price of farmland at record levels across the Corn Belt, many farmers have been renting acres to plant. Now, with the price of corn and soybeans in free fall, farmers that depend on renting risk big losses if they’re unable to negotiate lower rents.
Illinois ranks first in a nationwide study surveying traffic safety laws. The new report card by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety gave Illinois’ collection of traffic laws a very high grade with just one caveat: llinois does not require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet.
Jackie Gillan, president of the lobbying group, says this is the biggest factor precluding Illinois from a higher grade.