News

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

As college students wrap up the fall semester, there is still a lot of uncertainty for the coming months. Those low-income student who rely on the Monetary Award Program to pay for tuition have no guarantee the money will arrive. Most colleges and universities have been fronting the money for their students, but even the University of Illinois has warned MAP recipients they may have to repay their grants if the budget impasse drags on through the spring semester.


loc.gov

On this week's business report, Tim Landis talks with Bill Wheelhouse about some renovated apartments coming on the market in downtown Springfield.

Illinois Lottery

The Illinois Lottery will resume paying out big prizes, thanks to a partial budget just signed into law. But that won't be enough to end a class-action lawsuit.

The jackpot's been out of reach, even for Lottery players lucky enough to win $600 or more. Illinois suspended paying larger prizes; without a budget, it didn't have the legal authority.

When you get your drivers' license renewed, chances are you're going to a building that the state doesn't own; it leases. Due to the budget impasse, Illinois hasn't paid its rent checks, electric or water bills since July.

Dave Druker, with the Secretary of State, says while most have been patient, one landlord was close to kicking the state out, and a utility sent a shutoff notice.

"You know these are folks that are in business. And they've honorably entered into contracts with us -- leases, and we hope that they can be paid as soon as possible," Druker said.

flickr/borman18

Money can now be released to local governments and community organizations that have been waiting for state funding since July. The Senate was in Springfield briefly Monday to approve the funding; within hours the governor had signed the plan into law.

An ideological, political feud between the governor and the Democrats who control Illinois' legislature has left the state without a budget.

But they've reach a minor agreement. Republicans had previously been against piecemeal budgets, but Governor Bruce Rauner says he was concerned about public safety.

Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture, food and natural resource sectors each year for the next five years, according to a report from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Illinois Municipal League

Illinois Senators are poised to approve sending some $2 billion to local governments, money that thus far has been caught in the political fight between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats.

The funding will send 911 fees to the call centers, give municipalities their share of proceeds from video gaming and allow localities to pay for road salt.

WUIS

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says a budget deal could take a while longer. 

Rodger Heaton
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

On episode 16 of the State of the State podcast, a commission working on an overhaul of Illinois’ criminal justice system has approved its first set of recommendations.

ilga.gov

The new Republican state representative for the Springfield area says she won't always agree with the governor.  

The Scene Gets In The Holiday/Punk Spirit

Dec 4, 2015

There are going to be a lot of holiday shows to gab about for the next month. But if you happen to be a Scrooge, don't worry. There are still other events that have nothing to do with Christmas, like the long-standing nationally renowned punk band The Queers coming to town...

Listen up!

After more than six months, Illinois' governor met with the four top legislative leaders to discuss the state's budget impasse. No progress was made, but all agreed to meet again someday soon. Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times joins the panel.

This Sunday is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment banned slavery in America. 

To commemorate the event, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will display a copy of the amendment signed by Lincoln. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' unemployment insurance program will see some changes next year, the result of something that's rare in Springfield these days as a budget stalemate persists: hard-fought negotiations giving way to a compromise.

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

The young mother sat amidst a group of parents and shared the news that her baby had just been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.  It was no surprise that a tear slipped down her cheek as she haltingly spoke these devastating words.

I looked around the group, and saw that almost every person present was tearing up, right alongside her.  The outpouring of concern that followed was natural and powerful. 

Illinois Issues: No Place To Call Home - Pt. 2

Dec 3, 2015
David Wilson

The second installment of a three-part series on homelessness looks at how the problem plagues Illinoisans in the state’s rural reaches, too

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since Tuesday's big summit with legislative leaders.

Courtesy of ILGA.gov

Illinois still has no full budget, but local governments, 911 call centers and the state lottery could soon get money.

Some legislators may have done it begrudgingly, but Democrats and Republicans alike voted for a measure that spends $3 billion.

It'll also pay for road salt, send money to domestic violence shelters, and cover police training. It seems to be a U-turn for Republicans, who've previously opposed such "piecemeal" budgeting.

Illinois has not funded its colleges or universities for the past five months. It's easy to overlook that fact, because professors have continued to teach, athletes have continued to compete, and students have continued to learn. But around the state, college administrators are saying they've burned through their financial reserves.

Il House Republicans

Illinois' newest state legislator has been sworn in.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With Illinois in its sixth month without a budget, the state's top political leaders met Tuesday in Springfield. It was the first time they'd all gotten together in months. We asked Brian Mackey to tell us whether anything was accomplished.

flickr/borman18

Even with Illinois' ongoing budget stalemate, it wasn't until a coalition of good government groups called for a meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and all four legislative leaders that they agreed to get together.

Susan Garrett chairs one of those groups, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

She says she's pleased with the result of Tuesday's summit.

Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell from the Turkish border by Aleppo

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is rebuffing a bid by the White House to assuage concerns over Syrian refugees.

Rauner's one of some 30 governors nationwide who've said no to taking in people fleeing war-ravaged Syria. Rauner, a Republican, cited security concerns following the terror attacks in Paris. "What matters is a coordinated, cooperative, highly communicative effort at a national scale to protect the people of America against terrorists," he said in November.

www.edwardsplace.org

One of the nation's most historical instruments is getting back in working order.

WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner closed the public portion of Tuesday's budget summit with a forceful plea to take on what he says are the root causes of Illinois' financial woes. 

Nelson Chenault / The Clinton Foundation

The fatal shooting last year of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer rocked the celebrated Chicago poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti.

He was so disturbed, he says, that he couldn't sleep and rose at 4:30 a.m. to write. What would become the book Taking Bullets: Black People in the 21st Century America Fighting Terrorism, Fighting Violence and Seeking Healing is now in galley form for final proofing. 

National Egg Quality School

Tim and Bill chat about an old concept coming to Springfield... Starting a small business in an incubator.
 

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

A group of human service providers is calling on lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to not only pass a budget for the current fiscal year, but also approve a plan for next fiscal year. 

uis.edu


Illinois lawmakers are set to reconvene this week, and college presidents are hoping they will make progress toward passing a budget. But even if they do, universities are facing a proposed 30 percent cut. 

http://quigley.house.gov/media-center

Earlier this month, people across the country and state recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was created by activists as a way to honor those who have been murdered in a hate crime. Transgender people say their biological sex does not match the gender they identify with. Studies show they are much more likely to face violence and discrimination than the general population.

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