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Gov. Bruce Rauner says passage of his pro-business Turnaround Agenda would help to curb violence in Chicago. Rauner recently said he's "disappointed" in how the Mayor Rahm Emanuel has handled the outcry over video of a police officer killing Laquan McDonald, a black teenager.

Your driver's license will suffice to get through airport security for another couple of years, even though Illinois doesn't meet federal guidelines under the REAL ID Act. Here's what Illinois needs to change if it's to comply.

Sarah Mueller

Tuesday, Jan. 12 marks Bruce Rauner's first anniversary holding the title "Illinois Governor."

The U.S. may be on the verge of a boom in new fertilizer plants, which could be good news for farmers, but not the environment.

I am not unique in that I am a huge David Bowie fan. So while I could probably muster up a remembrance about how he spoke to me as someone who saw herself as a weird kid - I will spare you. There are plenty of those to read. What I can't seem to get my mind around however, is that now - more than I ever noticed in his life - people are saying Bowie had a "problematic" past.

mrlib.org

Tim and Bill chat about the recent spate of business closings downtown & elsewhere.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

When a police officer, firefighter or prison guard is killed or disabled in the line of duty, the state promises to provide their dependents with a college education. But the budget impasse has put that promise on hold, says Eric Zarnikow, director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

afscme31.org

Some 36,000 state employees are members of AFSCME, Illinois' largest public employee union. Friday afternoon, the union announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner made a push to walk away from contract talks.


WUIS

More than 30-thousand state employees are members of AFSCME, Illinois' largest public employee union. Today, the union says Governor Bruce Rauner has walked away from contract talks.

Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel escalated their war of words this week, with Rauner saying that before he'll help the Chicago public schools he expects Emanuel to agree to his pro-business agenda.  Mike Riopell, political editor for the Daily Herald, joins the panel.

Fuel: It's What's For Dinner

Jan 8, 2016

There are few places where the connection between energy and food is more obvious than at the Bright Agrotech warehouse in Laramie, Wyo.

Creative Commons

It's a week into the New Year, and gyms across the country are packed with people who've vowed to get in shape. Our Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky had resolved to be one of them, but admits that already, she's fallen short. Maybe Illinois' leaders will have better luck. Vinicky asked around for their civic-minded resolutions.

No matter your political persuasion, given the stalemate that's gripping the state, we can all agree that Illinois could use some self-improvements.

flickr/401(K) 2012

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office released three-year budget projections today. According to the estimate, if Illinois remains on its current fiscal path, the sate’s backlog of unpaid bills would swell to nearly $25 billion by Fiscal Year 2019.

If that were to happen, the backlog would be equal to nearly three quarters of the state’s operating funds.

Illinois State Board of Education

State funding for public schools has remained stagnant or decreased for the past five years. Districts with low property values have no way to supplement that aid, leaving Illinois with one of the most inequitable funding scenarios in the nation.

But a plan approved by the State Board of Education on Wednesday would increase state funding to all but the wealthiest districts, by shifting about $300 million from special education into the general school funding formula. 

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Most experts say the governor’s target of a 25 percent reduction in the state's prison population can't be met by simply backing off the war on drugs. Instead, policymakers will have to look beyond the "nons” — nonviolent, nonserious and nonsexual offenders — and in so doing, challenge entrenched attitudes about crime and justice. 

flickr/ Photo Monkey

The monthly Flash Index provides a snapshot of the Illinois economy. In December, that picture showed the slowest economic growth the state has seen since March of 2013.

flickr/DennisCarr

Residents who have experienced flooding are being warned to watch out for those trying to take advantage.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

It's time to learn about what's the haps. This week, we get to know a local fixture in the Springfield scene. Scott Richardson heads the Legacy Theatre - a building that has had many incarnations and could have dilapidated into the ether if not for Scott. Now it's one of Springfield's most eclectic venues. He talks the 2016 season with Rachel and (other) Scott.

Events discussed this week include:

James Daniels

A local crew of actors has banded together to bring a decade back to life that has seen much popularity. The 1920s with its glitzy flappers, big band jazz and swing, and of course, the booze -- is not a decade hard to make glamorous. With shows like Downton Abbey, even the more mundane aspects of life, like working as a servant - have become something that draws people in.

BarackObama.com

President Barack Obama cited gun violence in his hometown Tuesday during a White House speech.

Obama says he's using his executive authority to put restrictions on firearms because too many innocent people, including children, have lost their lives to bullets.

"Every time I think about those kids, it makes me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day,” he said.

A supportive audience applauded the statement, as Obama used his index finger to wipe a tear from his cheek.

Bill Wheelhouse WUIS

A total of 23 Illinois counties are under state disaster status due to flooding. Gov. Bruce Rauner added 11 to that list Tuesday.

ArtsAlliance.org

The new year is bringing a big change for Ra Joy - who has been one of the state's leaders in art advocacy.He has spent the last seven years with Arts Alliance Illinois as its leader - but this month he switches roles and becomes the executive director for Change Illinois. It's another advocacy group - but one with broader goals for systemic change in government.  

Morguefile

You are what you eat. Those with the worst eating habits face the most negative health consequences. So doctors, especially those with low-income patients,  should be asking questions and offering information about good nutrition.

Blue Ice
RL Boston

Springfield would like to get its coal for CWLP at a lower price.  Bill and Tim talk about how that could affect an area coal mine.

Amanda Vinicky

A month ahead of the the Iowa caucuses, presidential contenders can officially file to run in neighboring Illinois. 

Five Republicans got their petitions in early Monday, with at least 3,000 signatures each.

The Illinois Republican Party's attorney John Fogarty says the popular vote for president is known here as the "beauty contest."

That's because who Illinois GOP primary voters pick as delegates -- who are listed on the ballot as supporters of a particular candidate -- is where the race is really won.

flickr/RubenHolthuljsen

Illinois' state climatologist says December weather that brought flooding to parts of the state also made it the second-wettest December in recorded state history. 

WILL

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he spent his nearly two-week holiday vacation in Spain and Morocco with his family.

Once you graduate from high school, you're ready for college. At least that's the theory. But the Illinois State Board of Education recently released data that shows for a significant number of students, that’s not the case. 

Record store
Todd Gehman (flickr.com/pugetive)

Gretchen Peters - Blackbirds      

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