Ask any teacher, superintendent, or government official about it and many would say education funding is in need of some serious change. Local districts are struggling to make ends meet as state and federal appropriations drop - and that means layoffs, school closures, and even shortening the school day in some cases. Some education reform activists say the answer to fixing this problem and others within the system is something called "school choice."
People who buy medical marijuana in Illinois might find out it's cash-only.
Lawmakers approved using cannabis for medical conditions last summer. But the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports selling and using marijuana remain federal offenses, so it's unlikely pot dispensaries will be able to open a bank account or get a line of credit.
Workers at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield are reviewing security procedures after a man broke in to the basement.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/1dIqzN9 ) a man from Marshall in southeastern Illinois pleaded guilty to trespassing and criminal property damage after being found in the basement earlier this month.
Jordan Clark was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution.
Nearly three million Illinoisans receive benefits in the form of food stamps, welfare or medical help. But one lawmaker says too much of this assistance is being "drained" by drug users.
Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) is proposing changes to the way beneficiaries qualify for assistance. He wants to require drug testing when people sign up for welfare. The representative says the state pays money to people without assessing their ability to be productive.
The Illinois Supreme Court says a southern Illinois school district can't sue an architectural firm for building a school over an underground coal mine that later collapsed, causing the school to be torn down. In a unanimous decision, justices ruled Friday that Gillespie Community School District's "fraudulent representation'' claims against Wight & Company came after a statute of limitations passed.
The four men competing for the Republican nomination for governor met in Peoria last night. They were participating in a live debate broadcast on public radio and television stations across Illinois. There were no big blow-ups or arguments. In fact, the candidates seem to agree on a lot of policy issues.
That left each man making the case for why he thinks he's in the best position to be the first Republican elected governor since 1998.
Hear the broadcast from January 24, 2014 involving the four candidates: Bill Brady, Dan Rutherford, Bruce Rauner and Kirk Dillard.
Also, listen to analysis from political observers, including Institute for Government and Public Affairs Director Chris Mooney, WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky, WILL host Jim Meadows and Public TV's Jak Tichenor and H. Wayne Wilson.
The President of the Illinois State Senate - John Cullerton - says he wants to meet with the eventual Republican nominee for governor about the state’s finances. It comes as the state’s income and corporate tax rates are scheduled to go down in a year.
The governor’s office predicts the tax decrease will create a nearly $2 billion hole in the next budget. Cullerton - a Chicago Democrat - says he’d like to hear from the Republican nominee about the state’s budget.
University of Illinois President Robert Easter and other administrators will consider ways to help university employees make up for some of the money they will lose when state pension reforms begin June 1.
University trustees on Thursday directed Easter to assess the changes coming to the state pension system and options for preserving benefits that will be lost. The president is expected to make recommendations to the trustees before June. The board of trustees oversees the university's three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield.
Newly approved tuition increases at the University of Illinois mean that four years of college on the flagship campus will top $100,000 for many students. Trustees voted Thursday to raise tuition by 1.7 %. They also increased fees and housing costs. Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Pierre says the increases sticks to a university plan to keep increases in line with inflation.
Scientists said today that the New Madrid fault zone in the nation's midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes.
The journal Science published the study online. U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough was part of the study. She says the fault zone is ``not dead yet.'' Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid poses. The zone stretches 150 miles, crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The Illinois State Board of Elections is putting a stop to a practice that's allowed political campaigns to hide some of their spending.
This is a story of new technology coming under the purview of older campaign finance laws.
At least two major candidates this year have been paying staff through outside payroll companies: Democrat Mike Frerichs, who's running for treasurer, uses ADP; and Republican Bruce Rauner, running for governor, uses Paylocity.*
Illinois has registries for sex offenders and for those who've harmed children. Now a lawmaker wants to create a registry for people who've hurt animals.
Representative Toni Berrios' proposal would create a registry for animal abusers, to be maintained by the state’s Department of Agriculture. Once on the registry, a person couldn’t buy a companion animal, or be employed in a job involving animals.
Berrios, a Democrat from Chicago, says the current penalty for a first-time offender is too light.
Illinois ranks last in the nation when it comes to how much money the state kicks in for public education. This has to do with the complicated formula that determines school funding. But it also has to do with the amount districts are being prorated.
This year, Illinois is only paying 89 percent of the money it's supposed to send to schools. Currently those cuts are applied across the board, hitting wealthy and poor districts alike.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon says she wants to make sure schools districts with more impoverished students aren't left behind.
Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. will pay $2.2 million as part of settlement with the federal government over discrimination allegations involving three of its U.S. meat processing plants.
The money will be used to pay back wages and interest to nearly 3,000 applicants who were rejected for jobs at facilities in Springdale, Ark.; Fort Morgan, Colo.; and Beardstown, Ill., between 2005 and 2009.
U.S. Department of Labor officials say the company's hiring process discriminated based on sex, race and ethnicity.
Illinois law says after four DUI convictions, that person can never drive again, not even if his or her offenses are long in the past. But one lawmaker wants to give people who've gotten their lives together another chance drive.
Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) says her bill was inspired by a constituent who had several DUIs in the past, but has been sober for years.
The story of The Odd Couple is one that's been told not only on stage, but as a movie, TV series - even a cartoon. The story is a classic one full of comedic one-liners, but also a lot of heart. Starring in a new local production is radio personality Johnny Molson, and the head of the Hoogland Center for the Arts, Gus Gordon. They recently joined us for this interview, which begins with Gordon explaining why he thinks it's a good fit for local audiences: