News

Illinois State Museum in Springfield
Lisa Ryan / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Supporters of the Illinois State Museum told state legislators Monday a slew of reasons why it should remain open, but it doesn't appear like anyone who will make the decision on its future was there to hear much of it.


Lisa Ryan/WUIS

The SJ-R's Tim Landis talks about the Logan County wind farm proposal, gives us an update on demolition around Springfield and a Springfield based company is growing.

Jason and Jamie Parrott

The mayor of Quincy says his city will remain under a state of emergency for the time being after it was struck by a strong thunderstorm.  

Mayor Kyle Moore said Tuesday that the main streets in Quincy are blocked with fallen trees and live wires. He says those streets should be passable by Wednesday morning and neighborhood streets later in the week.  

A powerful thunderstorm with winds as high as 70 mph tore through the Quincy area Monday night damaging homes and knocking out power to tens of thousands in Adams County.  

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' high court has been asked to decide once and for all whether Illinois can pay government workers when there's no state budget.

Illinois Comptroller website

Despite uncertainty bred from dueling court rulings ... Illinois' Comptroller is issuing paychecks to state employees.  It's a continued issue, as Illinois has been without a spending plan since the start of the month.

Hermann Tourism Office

The town of Hermann, Missouri is located approximately 180 miles away from Springfield, Illinois. 

In our latest midwest travel segment, Mary Bohlen wrote about the town with strong German heritage for Illinois Times. 

She tells WUIS' Sean Crawford there is a lot to see and do, but it's not necessarily a family destination.

Box truck with petitions from front to back
Amanda Vinicky / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner pushes for legislators to authorize a new way of drawing the state’s political map, a citizen-driven initiative is underway

Illinois Comptroller website

Illinois officials say they have begun processing paychecks for state workers even though there's no budget for the fiscal year.  

Bradley Hahn is chief of staff to Comptroller Leslie Munger. He told The Associated Press on Friday the office is writing checks and they should be delivered Wednesday to 6,800 workers.  

The fiscal year began July 1 and there's no budget agreement between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature.  

State records show 64,460 workers are paid through the comptroller's office.  

The stalemate on a state budget agreement continues.  The Associated Press' John O'Connor joins the panel this week.

As the fight over Illinois’ budget drags on, an addiction treatment program for juveniles and an anti-violence program, which both saw their state funding cut off earlier this year, still wait for a lifeline.

amazon.com

Come along for the next episode of The Scene ... where Scott Faingold and I discuss Springfield's newest festival, Springfield's newest counter-festival to the new festival, one of our favorite cartoonists/artists - and much, much more!

Amanda Vinicky

There's no clear path forward on a long-term budget solution for Illinois, and temporary solutions are murky too. As the stalemate in Springfield persists, Democrats are moving forward with an emergency spending plan, that would cover "essential" services through July. It would also keep state workers' paychecks coming for the next month.

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

The highly-touted 25-year-old program that boasts it's more selective than Harvard comes under criticism from its own alums in a new book edited by T. Jameson Brewer.

commons.wikimedia.org/ParentingPatch

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, and the insurance marketplace in Illinois - more contraceptives are available at no cost to women who are covered under the plans. But there is still confusion when it comes to just what methods are included. 

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared The War on Poverty. The following year, a panel of experts designed Project Head Start, aimed at helping break the cycle of poverty by providing low-income preschoolers a comprehensive program of education.

Head Start was based on the recognition that middle-income kids were entering school light years ahead of their low-income counterparts.  The theory was that, if disadvantaged children could get some of the benefits of better-resourced kids, they would be better prepared for school success.

Taste of Downtown was a festival that Springfield had put on for 15 years. But it's gone. In its place is the Bacon Throwdown & Music Fest, also hosted by Downtown Springfield Inc. Victoria Ringer heads the non-profit group. She joined us to talk about the new fest - which will feature bacon as the key ingredient to the food being offered from Springfield-area resturants.

ALPR
Garrett Brnger / Illinois Issues

Sometimes, police don't put up much of a fight when it comes to limiting their use of technology. That's what happened when Illinois regulated drones. But if they've already invested in the tools, passing legislation to rein it in becomes a lot harder.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS - Illinois Issues

In the midst of a budget stalemate, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's re-introducing his five-point agenda, with some changes. The Republican is also putting out a new pension plan.

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An internet hoax led some to believe a  Springfield restaurant was posting help wanted ads that were discriminatory.  The ads were soliciting applications for servers and bartenders at Dublin Pub (1975 Wabash Ave.) in Springfield. The owner, Joe Rupnik, says he believes an ex-employee tampered with the ads by hacking into the establishment's online accounts. He says a lawyer is looking into it. The ads were placed on Craigslist and Indeed.com.

The Republican nominee to replace ex-Congressman Aaron
Schock says he spent most of his campaign talking about his record as a state
senator and former prosecutor, not his famous former U.S. transportation
secretary father Ray LaHood.
 
 State Sen. Darin LaHood won his party's nomination Tuesday. He tells The
Associated Press his campaign team hit the ground running early on and didn't
take anything for granted.
 
 LaHood had early backing from the state GOP, more money than the other

Last week I alluded to the responses WUIS has received since announcing program cuts and promised to share the drift of their content.  Some of the following comments stand on their own, for other thoughts, I provide an explanation.

A Cook County judge's ruling Tuesday that state employees won't receive their salaries during a budget impasse adds a new wrinkle as the Republican Governor and Democratic-led legislature struggle to reach an agreement.

http://www.sangamonauditorium.org

Each year, dozens of performers make their way to Springfield to perform at Sangamon Auditorium. From dance, to magic, to folk tunes and Broadway - the season line-up is always a varied one. 

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

WUIS took quite a chance 3 years ago when then-manager Bill Wheelhouse decided the station needed its own locally produced news program. The change came with the retirement of Karl Scroggin who used to host classical music programming during weekdays. The entire station made the switch to all news and information programming during the day.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan heatshot
flickr.com/jrockefelleriv

A Cook County judge has ruled Illinois may not continue to pay
state workers in full during an ongoing budget impasse.
 
 Judge Diane Joan Larsen ruled Tuesday that Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger
may pay only some workers who are covered under a federal law. Those workers
would receive federal minimum wage plus overtime.
 
 But attorneys for Munger say it would take the state as long as a year to
determine which employees would be paid under federal law and how much.

Amanda Vinicky

Voters throughout central Illinois on Tuesday will winnow down the options for who will replace Aaron Schock in Congress. Schock, a Republican, left his seat in March following a swirl of controversy, and weighty ethical questions.

Shock's resignation forced Illinois to schedule a special election. After a brief campaign, it's time for the primary. Head of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan, says Democrats will be "competitive."

Peter Gray / WUIS - Illinois Issues

A week into its new fiscal year, Illinois has no new spending plan in place. And it could be awhile before there is one. Illinois isn't alone.

Across the border in Wisconsin, lawmakers can't reach a spending deal. Over on the east coast, North Carolina is in budgetary flux. Pennsylvania's negotiations are dragging on.

Fiscal year 2016 is upon us and Illinois still doesn’t have a budget.  Will Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner ever reach an agreement with legislative Democrats?  How quickly will state government grind to a halt?  And who will take the blame?  

Lisa Madigan at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

 A stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget has taken a new political turn. It comes as the Attorney General is asking a court to determine what bills Illinois can pay when the state has no spending authority.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has been feuding with Democrats, especially Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan. Now Rauner's taking aim at the Speaker's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

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