The Illinois Legislature has adjourned until Monday. The Senate wrapped up early Friday afternoon, shortly after the House completed its work for the week. Legislators in both chambers are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday for the final week of the spring session.
The Illinois House overwhelmingly rejected a so-called "doomsday budget" Friday — one that does not rely on extending 2011's income tax hike. It would have imposed deep cuts across Illinois government.
It was the budget that few legislators — Democrat or Republican — actually wanted to pass. It would have slashed education and other government services.
But the budget did not pass. In fact, only five lawmakers voted for the stripped-down budget, including Rep. Fred Crespo, from Hoffman Estates.
You can take a "Spirited Stroll Into The Past" this Saturday afternoon at Oak Ridge Cemetery. The Lincoln Monument Association has an event that is designed to raise funds to mark historic trees at the site.
From 1-4 p.m., you can tour and hear about some of those trees, visit the newly renovated Lincoln's Tomb and hear the Springfield Municipal Band perform. Ice cream and cake will be sold.
While the state's budget for next year is still in flux, Republicans in the Illinois Senate say they have a new plan that would fully fund public schools. They say it's something that would help schools now, unlike a competing Democratic proposal that's still building support.
Illinois has been shortchanging schools for several years. Instead of funding them at the full amount required by law, they've been cutting — it's at 89 percent this year. That's because mandatory spending on things like health care and pensions has been choking out other priorities.
The Illinois House is advancing legislation intended to get more people saving for retirement. Advocates say "nudging" workers into a savings program could help keep them out of poverty in retirement.
The so-called Secure Choice retirement savings program is an idea of the conservative Heritage Foundation. The plan would require all companies with more than 25 employees to automatically enroll workers in a state-supervised retirement program.
A St. Louis based produce distribution company is recalling walnuts that the FDA says may be contaminated.
Sherman Produce distributed 10 ounce packages to Schnucks Grocery Stores where they were sold under the store brand. The FDA says that the walnuts could contain Listeria-which can cause fever, nausea and diarrhea.
Lori Willis, a spokeswoman for Schnucks, says the walnuts were sold a few weeks ago. But Willis says the company takes the recall seriously.
A day after House Democrats said they're unwilling to extend Illinois' higher income tax rate, government observers are trying to figure out what happens next. Top Democrats say they're moving forward on an austerity budget, but things in the Statehouse are rarely as clear as they seem.
House Speaker Michael Madigan took a closed-door poll of his Democratic lawmakers, and found just 34 of the 60 votes needed to make the current income tax rate permanent.
Democrats in the Illinois House on Wednesday handed a significant defeat to Governor Pat Quinn. Fewer than half are willing to go along with his push to extend a higher income tax rate. That could mean significant cuts in state spending. Brian Mackey reports on how Democrats backed themselves into this corner, and where they go from here.
Quinn has for two months been asking lawmakers to make 2011’s temporary income tax hike permanent.
Sangamon County employers have a positive outlook about the economy. The University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office polls businesspeople twice a year for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
This spring's results mark the first time since 2012 that expectations were as high. However, just over half of those responding expected employment to stay the same in the county in the next year.
Illinois lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on a state spending plan. Although Gov. Pat Quinn and top Democrats have been pushing for an extension of a higher income tax rate, House Speaker Michael Madigan says there isn't enough support for that.
With Republicans uniformly opposed to keeping Illinois income tax rate at 5 percent -- instead of letting it drop as scheduled at the end of the year — both Quinn and Madigan have been working to get 60 Democratic members of the House on board.
Then, on Wednesday afternoon, House Democrats met behind closed doors.
Officials say dispensaries in Illinois could start providing medical marijuana early next year . Prospective patients say that's not soon enough.
At a public hearing in Springfield, those seeking marijuana for medical needs argued the rule making process needs to speed up. Illinois lawmakers voted last year to allow cannabis for certain health conditions. Since then, the state has been planning how the program will work. Robert Morgan, an attorney with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says the agency wants to get it right.
GOP candidate for Attorney General Paul Schimpf (right) flanked by Illinois GOP top brass House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). Schimpf says current Attorney General Lisa Madigan has too much Democratic party loyalty to pursue corruption in the state.
The Repubican Party’s longshot candidate for Illinois attorney general is throwing punches at the incumbent Democrat, Lisa Madigan. Paul Schimpf says Madigan is a political insider incapable of going after corruption.
After making a name for herself in Memphis, Texas native Amy LaVere comes to the WUIS Bedrock Stage this Friday Night. She is appearing jointly with John Paul Keith and presenting their side project "Motel Mirrors". From K-U-T in Austin.. David Brown talked with LaVere.
Amy LaVere along with John Paul Keith at Friday night's Bedrock show at Donnie's Homespun on Cook Street in Springfield. The show starts at eight. Tickets available at bedrock66.com. Tickets are $12 dollars.
The way schools are funded in Illinois has been getting a lot of attention lately. The WUIS Education Desk presents a discussion entitled "Transforming Our Schools: A Panel On Education Funding" held recently in Decatur. The panel includes State Senator Andy Manar, Warrensburg-Latham Superintendent Kristen Kendrick, Decatur Public Schools Director of Business Affairs Todd Covault, Center for Tax & Budget Accountability Director Ralph Martire and moderators Brian Byers of WSOY & Bill Wheelhouse, WUIS. The event was coordinated with the Education Coalition of Macon County.
The political boundaries for Springfield aldermen have been set. The city council approved a new ward map last night on a 9-1 vote. It will take into account census data. The map design also was done to ensure an African American represents Ward 2.
Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register, joins WUIS' Sean Crawford for this week's business report.
They discuss how the clock is ticking for the former Esquire Theatre property at MacArthur Boulevard and South Grand Avenue, news involving a pair of restaurants and a court weighs in on Ameren's big project for a transmission line across central Illinois.
Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is wading deeper into the debate over whether Illinois ought to extend a higher income tax rate. He's still refusing to say how he would manage the state budget.
The Rauner campaign says it's making robo-calls to voters in seven House districts. These are key Democrats in the budget debate — most have previously taken positions against the higher tax rate.
The organization that coordinates Illinois high school sports and activities was under scrutiny Tuesday in Springfield. Lawmakers want the Illinois High School Association to be more transparent, but the not-for-profit group is pushing back.
While Illinois high schools are not required to become IHSA members, the organization does run the major statewide competitions.
The question of whether to extend Illinois' temporary income tax increase has dominated the spring legislative session. On Tuesday, Republicans said the question ought to be put to voters this fall.
Illinois voters will face a long list of referenda on the November ballot: on voting rights and crime victims rights, and possibly the minimum wage, term limits for lawmakers and legislative district map-making.
Gov. Pat Quinn appealed directly to Democrats in the Illinois House Monday evening. He’s struggling to win support for his plan to extend Illinois’ higher income tax rate.
The governor appeared at a closed meeting of the Illinois House Democratic caucus.
Quinn is trying to win the support of the 60 Democrats required to make Illinois’ 5 percent income-tax rate permanent — instead of letting it decline by more than a percentage point as scheduled at the end of the year. Quinn warns without the higher tax rate, there will have to be drastic cuts in state services.
The SSU Prairie Stars soccer team of 1986-87 won the NAIA national championship, and went on to defeat powerful UCLA in the World Collegiate Championship. There they placed second in the world, after losing to the University College of Dublin, 1-0.
Springfield District 186 says an employee had a confirmed case of mumps. The district was notified late Friday. Officials say the employee had NOT been in contact with any students during the time of being contagious.
The employee has not been identified, nor the location where they work. Staff who were in contact with the individual have been notified.
District 186 says a majority of students have received the mumps vaccine. It says if mumps are confirmed in a school, parents of those kids without immunizations would be notified.
Springfield attorney and Ward 5 alderman Sam Cahnman has received a censure from the Illinois Supreme Court.
The move follows a recommendation the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission made last year. The Commission says Cahnman intentionally misled an Associate Circuit Judge about how he gained possession of a page from the judge's private calendar. Cahnman has denied that charge.
James Grogan is with the Commission. He says Illinois' high court issues a censure when there has been a violation of the lawyer's ethics code.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is criticizing House Democrats for adopting budget measures without an approved plan to pay for them.
Rauner talked to reporters in Northbrook Monday as Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn was set to meet with lawmakers in Springfield. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Rauner calls this year's budget process ``playing political games'' and ``showing a lack of leadership'' Last week, the House approved budget measures contingent on an income tax increase extension. It rolls back in January, creating a $1.8 billion hole.
Heroin use has surged in Illinois, especially in the collar counties around Chicago. State officials are considering whether new laws are needed to stop the spread of heroin and treat addiction more effectively.
The state's heroin task force met in Springfield to hear testimony from experts on addiction.
Dr. Daniel Angres, a psychiatrist with suburban-based Presence Health, says heroin use has become more prolific because the stigma has faded.