News

Rauner cabinet meeting
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued a budget warning to members of his cabinet on Wednesday.

Rauner told top officials get ready in case Illinois doesn’t have a budget in place by the state of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Former U.S. Rep Aaron Schock's executive assistant testified before a federal grand jury investigating allegations of improper spending by the onetime rising Republican star.  

Sarah Rogers was in Springfield's federal building for a total of five hours Wednesday. But her attorney, Bill Coffield, says she did not testify the entire time.  

Prosecutors began reviewing Schock's travel expenses and spending after reports surfaced that he had decorated his Capitol Hill office in the style of TV's ``Downton Abbey.''  

An international debate has churned since a Muslim chaplain from Northwestern University complained about her treatment on a United Airlines-operated flight.

I talked with University of Illinois professor Stacy Harwood, co-leader of a project on racial  microaggression,  about whether that flight attendant’s action could be considered racist.  


Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he plans to raise eligibility levels for those senior citizens in Illinois’ Community Care program. Rauner says it’s necessary to help handle a budget Democrats’ passed without sufficient revenue.

The program helps keep seniors out of nursing homes by providing in-home health care, allowing them to remain independent. Gerardo Cardenas of AARP says the plan is short sighted as Medicaid will be forced to cover the cost of nursing homes.

University of Illinois Press

Alan Guebert has written the nationally syndicated column "Farm and Food File" for more than 20 years.  Most of the time he keeps a serious focus on breaking down food policy issues. Often, its not the same view as held by major farm groups.   Other times, the Delavan, Illinois based writer harkens back to his days on a southern Illinois dairy farm.

Timothy Killeen will make this announcement today, in a speech at the City Club of Chicago. 

Statehouse exit sign
Brian Mackey/WUIS

The spring legislative session ended without a budget deal between Democratic legislative leaders and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

The legislature plans to continue session into the summer. But what happens if a spending plan is not in place when the state’s fiscal year begins on July 1?

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Illinois leaders have another month to settle on a new budget plan, but given their failure to reach a deal by Sunday's initial deadline, Gov. Bruce Rauner says he must take immediate steps to manage state spending.

flickr/dborman

Illinois law gives political candidates five days to report campaign contributions of $1,000 or more, but it's been weeks since Gov. Bruce Rauner gave Republican lawmakers four times that, and some still haven't told the state. But they aren't breaking the law.

It was May 11 when Rauner's campaign spread $400,000 among Republican senators and representatives, but you wouldn't know that from looking at state election records. Many legislators still haven't disclosed the money.

A high school friend works in DC and worked for Hastert. Here's his reaction.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Your favorite TV show might be interrupted with a pointed message purchased by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, though  the governor is refusing to say whether he's going to buy TV time to promote his agenda as he battles with the legislature's Democratic leaders.

Eleanor Klibanoff / Harvest Public Media

It's no longer enough for restaurants to offer roasted chicken or braised beef shank on their menus. They need to be able to tell customers exactly where that chicken came from and how the cow was raised. If they can remember the pedigree of the produce? All the better.

WGN broadcasting live from the WUIS/IPR Illinois State Capitol bureau for the scheduled adjournment day of the state legislature. Rick Pearson invited Amanda Vinicky to co-host .

State Capitol 100 years ago.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library

ILLINOIS ISSUES - Gov. Bruce Rauner took office deriding state government’s overspending and promising to change things. One hundred years ago, a former Illinois legislator did just that — and he did it outside of government, as a citizen.

The finished product uses shades of green, blue, rose and peach that match the marble throughout the Capitol.
Bethany Carson / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 Illinois lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would set statewide rules for the use of police body cameras.

 Gov. Bruce Rauner will now decide whether to separate the capital city's Lincoln showplace from its parent agency.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois' legislative session was supposed to be over by now. The schedule published months ago marked Sunday, May 31st as the adjournment date. Legislators typically don't return to Springfield until the fall. Instead, members of the General Assembly will be back beginning Thursday for a "continuous" summer session.

Jamey Dunn headshot
mattpenning.com 2015 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

ILLINOIS ISSUES - A recent national snapshot of state preschool programs shows Illinois’ commitment to pre-K education has slipped in the wake of the Great Recession.

Brian Mackey headshot
mattpenning.com 2015 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

ILLINOIS ISSUES - In state government, there are issues, ideas and talking points that recur through history. Take, for example, this line from a State of the State address: “The sentencing and parole system that we now have in Illinois and throughout the nation is a dismal failure. It does not deter, it does not punish, it does not rehabilitate and it should be scrapped.”

Those comments would not have been out of place in this year’s State of the State, but that was actually the late Gov. Dan Walker, speaking in 1976. Thirty-nine years later — this winter — Gov. Bruce Rauner said something similar: “Our criminal justice system in Illinois needs comprehensive reform.”

The Capitol
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Legislators in the Illinois House and Senate approved hundreds of bills this spring. Product bans remain popular, as with powdered alcohol and caffeine, and bumper pads for use in baby cribs. But lawmakers also voted to allow several things that had previously been illegal, such as raw milk and using crossbows to shoot coyotes.

Barack Obama
WUIS/Illinois Issues

There is sure to be an economic benefit to the city of Chicago with the decision to locate the Barack Obama Presidential Center on the city’s south side, but not to the extent a University of Chicago impact study suggested.

Drawing of a Native American
History and Lincoln Collections / University of Illinois Library

Lazy Frenchmen and subjugated Indians: that’s the stereotype of the pre-American French towns along the Illinois side of the Mississippi River valley. Not so, says Robert Michael Morrissey, a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The prevailing perception, developed by historian Francis Parkman, had two components: The French were lazy, anarchic fops dependent on French imperial authorities for direction and support. And they made the technologically inferior Indians dependent on European tools and weaponry.

photo showing statue's decay
Landmark Illinois

Two movie theaters, a 104-year-old statue and a number of mid-century houses are on this year’s list of Most Endangered Historic Places. Landmarks Illinois, a 44-year-old historic preservation group, has been publicizing endangered landmarks with the list for the past 20 years.

Hillard Family photo in field
Tonya Hilliard

Last year, Illinois was one of a handful of states that lost population. The out migration became a campaign issue in the governor’s race last year and has some throwing up caution flags. But the numbers don’t mean there is a crisis, or even a real clamor, to leave the state.

A food scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is researching methods of removing unnecessary salt from processed foods while leaving the flavor intact.

schoolbus and rural setting in disrepair
Rain Rannu

The status of the New Orleans school system post-Hurricane Katrina is a personal issue for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor Adrienne Dixson.

Now an academic focusing on issues of urban education and school reform, Dixson taught in the New Orleans public schools from 1991 to 1995, and has family in the region.

In a paper co-written with scholars from Georgia State University in Atlanta, she says, “We talked about the ways that public education has changed in a way that we argue displaces and disenfranchises people of color in particular.’’

Reproductive Effects of Bisphenol A chart
UIUC

New research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that two common components in plastics could have a negative effect on female fertility in mice.  

Cortlon and Chloe Cofield
Cortlon Cofield

ILLINOIS ISSUES/EDUCATION DESK - Thursday nights were always special, Cortlon Cofield says, during his freshman year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. That’s because Thursdays were “Food for the Soul” night in the Florida Avenue Residence Hall (known as FAR).

flickr/meeshpants

ILLINOIS ISSUES - Idatyna Zarecky was sexually abused as a child, which she believes led to her developing mental health problems. Her mother didn’t have the time or resources to have her treated and would give her medication to calm her nerves.

courtesy of Emma Todd

ILLINOIS ISSUES - Emma Todd, then a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Tulsa, found herself seriously contemplating suicide, again. This time, the Springfield native had made her way to the top of a building.

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