Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Another set of unions have reached contract deals with Gov. Bruce Rauner. Amanda Vinicky looks at whether it's really a sign the Republican isn't quite as anti-union as his critics allege.

A press release from Rauner's office proclaims he's agreed to terms on new collective bargaining agreements with electrical workers, boilermakers, bricklayers and painters, covering some 500 employees.

The agreements include a "new performance incentive program," overtime earnings beyond a 40-hour work week, and a program "to address minority underutilization in state government."

Tune in and hear from Lisa Higgs, the president of the Vachel Lindsay Association which organizes community and poetry-related events in Springfield. Plus find out about the holiday farmer's market, a performance from the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and much more:

In The Fields, A Search For Monarch Butterflies

Nov 18, 2015

The population of monarch butterflies has declined so dramatically in recent years that the iconic insect is being considered for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list. In Nebraska and across the other areas of the Midwest, a stop on the monarch migration route, efforts are underway to determine the scope of the decline.

Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College in Normal is bracing for a potential faculty strike but the school's president intends to hold classes whether it happens or not.  

Imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of his corruption convictions that included his bid to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Amanda Vinicky

The Illinois Supreme Court is taking on another pension case, six months after justices unanimously tossed out the state's landmark pension law. Tuesday they heard arguments as to whether a law affecting thousands of City of Chicago employees is constitutional or not.


Today on the Business Report Bill Wheelhouse talks with Tim Landis of the SJ-R about home sales in Springfield,  the number of people in Illinois with land lines  & a regulatory victory for a company wanting to bring power lines through the region.

The University of Illinois at Springfield recently presented its Alumni Achievement Award to Wenguang Huang -- a Chinese-born writer, journalist and translator who earned his masters degree at UIS in public affairs reporting.

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

Illinois' Governor and the four legislative leaders won't meet in Springfield this week after all; the gathering has been postponed until next month.

Republicans interested in running for Raymond Poe's former district in the Illinois House have until 5 p.m. on Wed.,  Nov. 18 to submit an application to the Sangamon County GOP. Details are online at

Poe on Friday announced he'll begin Monday as the agriculture director, meaning he won't be running for reelection.


  For the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, it's all about philanthropy.

Governor Bruce Rauner has named a longtime Republican state representative -- Raymond Poe of Springfield -- to head the state's agriculture department. 

Democrats in the Illinois legislature fell one vote short of being able to undo governor Bruce Rauner's cuts to state daycare subsidies, with democratic state representative Ken Dunkin of Chicago facing criticism for allying himself with the republican governor.


University of Illinois Springfield researchers are taking an unusual tack at getting funds to do research. They have created a crowdfunding account to pay for testing kits. They plan to investigate hepatitis c in homeless people in central Illinois.

UIS professors Kanwal Alvarez and Josiah Alamu need to raise at least $500 and hope to get $2,000.

Alvarez says UIS researchers have not used the fundraising method previously.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois has gone four and a half months without a budget. It's gone even longer -- five and a half months -- since the governor and leaders of the legislature have all gotten together to talk about it; the last time that happened was at the end of May. They're scheduled to finally come together next week, on Wed., Nov. 18 But the meeting's particulars have themselves become a subject of controversy.

University Of Illinois OK's Salaita Settlement

Nov 12, 2015
Jim Meadows/WILL

On an 8 to 1 vote… University of Illinois Trustees have signed off on an 875-thousand dollar settlement with Steven Salaita.

Tune in this week where we are joined by guest host from The Pharmacy, Janet Sgro - the collective will host an art show this weekend called Neo Surrealism: Third Eye Opening

Claudia Quigg headshot / WUIS / Illinois Issues

A mom friend wrestled with the question of how much support she should provide her 14 year-old son. 

His heart was set on playing football, which meant early morning practices before school.  But he stays up late watching TV and playing video games until she nags him to get to sleep.  Each morning, she was dragging him out of bed with lots of lectures and threats.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield is home to a variety of antique markets, book and record shops, and boutiques. l would like to introduce you to a few over on a corner of Governor St. off of MacArthur Blvd. that have popped up in the past couple years. 

Illinois Issues: The Racial Achievement Gap

Nov 12, 2015
School desks
Flickr user: dcJohn

Why does it persist, even at well-funded suburban schools?

Lisa Ryan

A month and a half after the Illinois State Museum shut its doors to visitors, lawmakers Tuesday passed a measure that could lead to its reopening.

The Illinois State Museum and its affiliated sites shut their doors to visitors at the end of September. Advocates have mourned the loss of the Springfield-based museum, which also hosts researchers and preserves millions of artifacts, from mastodon skeletons to Native American relics.

Illinois State Museum

 The Illinois State Museum and its affiliated sites shut their doors to visitors at the end of September. Legislators Tuesday took action that could result in its reopening ... one day. 

advocates confront Ken Dunkin
Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner is standing by his decision to backtrack on cuts to a low-income daycare program. That comes even as Democrats in the Illinois House failed to pass legislation that would have forced Rauner to undo his changes.

The program is meant to help parents out of poverty by subsidizing daycare, so they can work or go to school.

Rauner unilaterally slashed eligibility this summer. After months of outcry and a Democratic threat to pass legislation undoing his changes, Rauner on Monday announced he'd back off most of the cuts.

Amanda Vinicky

Five months into operating without a state budget, Illinois Democrats and Republicans came together Tuesday to pass a budget bill. But it was a relatively minor one; a full agreement is sure to be a ways off.

National Weather Service - Lincoln

Forecasters say a mixture of bad weather that could bring tornadoes is expected as a strong storm system plows toward the central U.S. from the Rocky Mountains. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois state Rep. Ken Dunkin, a Democrat from Chicago, made headlines in September when he skipped votes on two controversial measures Democrats wanted to pass.

flickr/Jenn Durfey

Has Springfield reached the saturation point when it comes to the number of pizza restaurants? 

Amanda Vinicky

Donald Trump used a campaign stop in Springfield Monday to further stir up controversy over what Starbucks is serving its java in.

It seems that Starbuck's new, ombre red holiday cups aren't Trump's cup of tea (or of coffee, as the case may be).

Some Christians are upset with the cups' new design, which doesn't feature reindeer or ornaments, like in years' past; they view it as a sign the chain is removing Christmas.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois isn't typically a state presidential candidates spend time campaigning in early in the campaign season. But a year out from the general election, Republican front-runner Donald Trump got an enthusiastic reception Monday at a rally in the capitol city.

The Capitol
Brian Mackey/WUIS

A 50-year holiday tradition will light up the Illinois statehouse after all, even if a Grinch-like budget gridlock carries on through the rest of the year. Crews will hang strings of Christmas lights over the dome this morning.

Not having a state budget has led to a lot of consequences. One of the more visible ones: Secretary of State Jesse White announced last week the capitol would have to go dark for the holidays. White says the office can't afford it.