Efforts to raise the minimum wage have been getting a lot of attention, but it's not the only proposal intended to improve the lives of the working poor. Following the call of Gov. Pat Quinn, some lawmakers want to double Illinois' tax credit for low income workers.
The earned income tax credit began as a federal program, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
Illinois added its own state tax credit later. It's aimed at helping people work their way out of poverty by increasing their spending power.
Advocates for people with disabilities say they're worried Governor Pat Quinn's newest healthcare initiative would crowd out certain groups.
The governor's proposal would consolidate nine separate programs that serve people with disabilities. Michael Gelder, the governor's senior advisor on healthcare, says centralizing these programs would be more efficient.
Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to increase the penalties for a type of Internet shaming known as "revenge porn." It involves posting naked photos of someone on the Web without their consent.
Diana Pisone is an interior designer from Oak Park. A few years ago, she was in what she describes as an emotionally abusive relationship. Sometimes, when her husband said "do this or else," she'd let him tape her in compromising situations.
Often times, the strongest advocates for students with disabilities are their parents. Dr. Holly Novak is a member of the group Springfield Parents For Students with Disabilities. On Saturday the group hosts its "6th Annual Disability to Possibility Conference" from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at Southeast High School.
You’re going to hell. Yes, you, the young male wearing the loud shirt, scarf, and skinny jeans. Yes, you, the student tutor with a 3.8 GPA, who aspires to have a family, who has goals for your life and a career in mind and who was baptized in a Southern Baptist church; none of that matters when the TRUTH is that you aren’t natural and neither are your actions.
It is an example of a measure that might not affect many people.
An Illinois lawmaker says Olympic athletes who win medals shouldn't have to pay state tax on their awards.
State Sen. Julie Morrison is sponsor of legislation approved by a Senate committee Wednesday that would waive the tax.
Morrison is a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield who says she represents many of Illinois' Olympic athletes. She says Olympic athletes proudly represent Illinois and the U.S. and ``we should honor them for their commitment.''
75 % of Illinois lawmakers surveyed by Chicago Public Radio say they have never stepped foot in a maximum security prison cell block. And 40 percent of those legislators have never toured or visited a prison even once.
Yet they’re the ones signing the checks for the $1.3 billion dollar per year agency.
Ninety-five of the 118 House members responded to the survey.
The City of Decatur has ended its voluntary request for water conservation. That request was first made last October as Lake Decatur levels dropped due to the drought.
But city leaders say it has risen two feet from its low point this winter and they anticipate additional rain in the next few weeks will bring the level higher. The lake reached a low point of 610.31 feet above sea level (50% full) on January 10. But it now is above 612 feet (73%). That is within the normal winter range.
Springfield District 186 plans to give parents and students a shorter deadline for immunizations and physicals next school year. They'll have to be completed by the 10th day of school, which means around the end of August. That's much sooner than this year's mid-October deadline. Around 500 students failed to comply and some were out of school for up to 3 weeks.
In middle school I asked myself a lot of questions. Why do I have multiple teachers? Why is my body changing so much? Why do I feel attraction to all these boys? One thing I thought I knew was love; I loved my family so I completely understood what love was and what it took to love someone for life, right? In eighth grade I started “dating” Joe. It was the stereotypical boyfriend/girlfriend, middle school relationship. Our parents drove us to and from our houses watching movies, playing video games, and going to the park to kick a soccer ball around.
Springfield aldermen have unanimously approved the hiring of Kenny Winslow as the city's police chief. Winslow has been in the role since last summer, when he took over after the resignation of Robert Williams. But his hiring on a permanent basis was delayed last night as council members questioned him in private for more than half an hour. An internet site had raised issues about how Winslow might restructure the department. Mayor Mike Houston says aldermen wanted to hear from Winslow:
The four men seeking the Republican nomination for governor met in a debate Tuesday (2/18) night in Springfield, the last time they're scheduled to appear together downstate before next month's primary election.
With political newcomer Bruce Rauner leading in the polls and in fundraising, debates are a chance for the three other candidates to talk directly to voters, free of charge.
State Sen. Andy Manar is setting up temporary office space after fire damaged his district office in the city of Staunton in southern Illinois. Manar is a Democrat from Bunker Hill. He says the fire started about noon on Monday in a business next door to his office in a historic building on Main Street.
Manar says no one was injured. He did not know the cause or a damage estimate. Volunteer firefighters from Staunton, Gillespie, Mount Olive, Litchfield and Olive responded. Manar says they acted quickly to keep the fire from spreading.
It might surprise you to learn Sangamon County ranked 80th out of 102 Illinois counties when it pertains to health outcomes. That's according to a survey by the County Health Rankings and Roadmap program.
After all, Springfield is known for quality medical care. But apparently, more work can be done.
Monday's ice storm didn’t stop Springfield public schools from holding classes. But it also meant many school buses were late to pick up students. Parents complained of students waiting up to 45 minutes in the cold and freezing rain as buses maneuvered the slick roads. Many took to the district’s Facebook page to hurl insults about the decision to keep school open.
An Illinois lawmaker wants to tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports (http://bit.ly/1oMu4vj ) the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat. Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers. Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.
Many people are aware that the Illinois Lottery helps fund schools. But just how much do the proceeds actually help? Well, that's what we aimed to find out:
Most of the money for the state's public schools K-12 come from local sources, like property taxes. The state contributes a large portion as well, and the lottery profits are part of that, but just how much? To find that out, our first stop is the Hometown Pantry at the intersection of Edwards and MacArthur in Springfield.
I don’t choose to wear makeup. Some people may look at me with disdain, and others wonder why I opt out of such a common practice. I see girls around me with perfect faces, unable to tell that they are covered with the cloudy foundation, and with their eyes painted just right so that I find it easy to look and hard to look away. But I myself find no yearning to be “beautiful,” or to look “flawless” simply so that others may be more visually attracted to me.
Each year, public radio station WUIS-FM asks high school seniors to share what they believe. The program was started by journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1951 and WUIS has participated for eight years.The station partners with the Rotary Club of Springfield, which provides scholarships to the selected authors.The winning essays will be broadcast on WUIS (91.9 FM) during the last two weeks of February.Today, we publish five of the winning essays.
Winning big in the Lottery is also a ticket to a lot of media attention. Amanda Vinicky reports on an effort to keep winners' identities secret.
Every now and then, Rep. Will Davis plays the Lottery.
"And I was just thinking if I was fortunate enough to win, I don't know if I would want my name or be required to publicize if I was a winner. And just for the record I'm not, so," says Davis, laughing.
The top Democrat in the Illinois Senate on Monday went on the offensive over state spending. Senate President John Cullerton is calling out the Republicans running for governor.
Cullerton laid out the hits expected in next year's budget, including the roll back of the income tax hike and mandatory spending increases on things like personnel and healthcare for the poor. Add it up, Cullerton says, and it's a nearly $3 billion hole.
A former Illinois state superintendent of education has been chosen as Southern Illinois University's new president.
The SIU board of trustees announced Monday that Randy J. Dunn will be the university's eighth president, replacing Glenn Poshard. Poshard is retiring in June. Dunn is currently president of Youngstown State University in Ohio.
Randal Thomas is chairman of the SIU board. He says Dunn ``has both the skills and the background to ensure that SIU continues to live up to its mission of providing a quality education.''
Springfield, Ill. (AP) - Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have come together to propose changes to Illinois' school funding formula that would narrow the gap between rich and poor districts. But the upcoming election casts doubts on whether lawmakers will act on the plan detailed in a bipartisan Senate committee report.
It was a beautiful summer day. The sun was shining, there was a light breeze, and I was flying down Glenarm Road at speeds upward of 20 MPH. The grass was high that day, providing an attractive view, and I was enjoying the ride with the rest of my cycling group who rode just a few paces ahead.
We were forty-five miles into our weekend ride, when I heard a small rustle in the tall grass. Moments later, I saw a ball headed right towards me. The next thing I know, the “ball” was lodged in between my front tire and the frame of my bike.