Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is jumping into the 2014 race for Illinois comptroller.
After months of considering other statewide offices, she'll make it official Wednesday with stops in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale. She tells The Associated Press the idea of teaching the public about the budget is appealing.
She could face Will County Auditor Duffy Blackburn in a Democratic primary.
Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is seeking re-election and has a fundraising advantage. She's a former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate.
A member of the Illinois legislature's special committee on pensions says the group is closing in on a compromise. But it remains to be seen whether the measure will have enough support in the full General Assembly.
The 10-members of the bipartisan conference committee have been meeting for more than a month. A good chunk of that time has been waiting for actuaries to analyze the various proposals — seeing how much of Illinois' nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities might be eliminated.
Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley is making his Illinois gubernatorial bid official.
He's set to remove his "exploratory committee'' label Tuesday by filing paperwork with the Illinois Board of Elections. So far, he's Gov. Pat Quinn's only 2014 Democratic primary challenger.
In a video on his campaign website, Daley says the fact that the state Legislature adjourned in May without finding a solution to the pension crisis or voting on same-sex marriage represents a "dysfunction.''
The Stanley Cup made an appearance at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Monday morning, just weeks after the Blackhawks won it for the second time in four seasons. There was an event for invited guests, including politicians and military personnel. Team chairman Rocky Wirtz was also on hand.
"The fans have been terrific," Wirtz says. "You realize that there is hockey south of I-80, and that's what's nice. It's nice to come down to the state capital. ... First time I've been to the museum, and I really enjoyed it."
Illinois legislators were supposed to get their next monthly paycheck on Thursday, August 1st. But Governor Pat Quinn vetoed their salaries out of the budget. Amanda Vinicky reports on how lawmakers may be able to get by.
Many legislators won't feel the pinch too deeply.
Serving in the General Assembly is technically a part-time occupation ... and many own businesses, are partners at law firms, or have other government jobs.
But many don't, and are their family's sole breadwinner.
This is the next installment of the My Farm Roots series from theWUIS Harvest Desk.
In 1986, Becky Doyle was helping her husband run the family’s hog farming operation. She also had a sidelight business of marketing gift baskets made from Illinois products. But that wasn’t enough: Doyle decided she would make a run for the Illinois House.
“I was young, naive and thought I could run as a Republican in a district where it was 11:4 Democrat,” Doyle said.
An influential group of business executives is declining to comment on the possibility it helped to lower Illinois' credit rating. But public employees’ unions are calling for an investigation.
The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago — and one of its leaders, former Illinois Attorney General Ty Fahner — were early leaders of the charge to do something about the state's underfunded pensions.
Fahner's been one of the most vocal advocates of doing not just something, but something major, to bring down the state's pension costs.
An event featuring art, music, and kids activities tomorrow (Saturday 7/26) will highlight the need for support of the arts from the community. The Prairie Art Alliance's Gallery II, located in Springfield's Old State Capitol Plaza, will have art on display and right outside musicians will perform. Rachel Otwell recently spoke with planners of the event, musician Chris Maxey and Prairie Art Alliance interim executive director Jennifer Snopko:
Called "Sharefest" - this weekend over one-thousand volunteers will gather to tear up carpet, paint walls, and generally improve the appearance of Jane Addams and McClernand elementary schools. McClernand is in the Enos park neighborhood, Jane Addams is on Springfield's north-west side.
Both were chosen to make-over based on the income level of students' families. Last year nearly 90% of students at McClernand came from low-income homes. 67% of students at Jane Addams came from low-income families.
The Central Illinois Foodbank is moving into what once was the Pepsi plant on Cook Street in Springfield. The non-profit hosts an open house tomorrow for the public to tour the new facility. Kaleigh Friend joins us now to tell us more about the move and what it means for the organization:
The Central Illinois Foodbank's open house is tomorrow (Thursday, July 25th) from 4:30 to 7 at its new location: 1937 East Cook Street. CLICK HERE for more information.
On the 13-hundred block of Adams street in Springfield sits a building that's been used as a Masonic lodge for decades. What's not obvious by looking at it now - is that it was once the first black firehouse in Springfield, back when the city was segregated in the early nineteen-hundreds.
Molly Beck, Education Reporter for the State Journal Register, has been covering the search for a new superintendent for Springfield public schools. Her recent article outlined the costs associated with that search. Beck joined us to talk about that article and her findings:
Illinois has awarded contracts for computer upgrades intended to screen out people prohibited from carrying concealed weapons under the state's new gun legislation. The State Journal-Register reports on two contracts totaling more than $350,000.
Beardstown is home to the only courtroom where Abraham Lincoln practiced that is still hearing cases. And today that historic site gets a bit high tech. Touch screen monitors have been installed that will allow tourists to learn more about the site. Connie Foley, with the Old Lincoln Courtroom and Museum Commission tells how the effort began...
Wednesday is the last day individuals affected by extreme flooding in the spring can apply for federal assistance. Towns were evacuated. Homes destroyed. Fields turned to swamps. Rivers reached historic crests. Flooding that hit Illinois this spring was bad enough that President Barack Obama issued a disaster declaration for certain counties. Now is the deadline for Illinois residents impacted by flash and river flooding from April 16 to May 5 to get government help with recovery. Individual assistance - which businesses can also apply for - is available to residents of 35 counties. That's to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses. Five additional counties are eligible for public assistance - that's for the state, local governments and certain non-profit groups, who can use the money to help with debris removal and to help repair damaged public facilities. The application is at disasterassistance.gov.
The Lincoln family had its share of health problems, as did most living in the eighteen-hundreds. Local historian and author Glenna Schroeder-Lein recently wrote about it in a book called 'Lincoln and Medicine'.
Even as Congress looks to further roll back President Barack Obama's signature health care program, his home state is officially implementing a key part of it. Amanda Vinicky has more on a new Illinois law expanding Medicaid.
For the first time, low-income adults without children will be eligible for Medicaid.
Specifically ... adults within 138-percent of the poverty level, so someone making just under $16,000.