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Taste of Downtown was a festival that Springfield had put on for 15 years. But it's gone. In its place is the Bacon Throwdown & Music Fest, also hosted by Downtown Springfield Inc. Victoria Ringer heads the non-profit group. She joined us to talk about the new fest - which will feature bacon as the key ingredient to the food being offered from Springfield-area resturants.

ALPR
Garrett Brnger / Illinois Issues

Sometimes, police don't put up much of a fight when it comes to limiting their use of technology. That's what happened when Illinois regulated drones. But if they've already invested in the tools, passing legislation to rein it in becomes a lot harder.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS - Illinois Issues

In the midst of a budget stalemate, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's re-introducing his five-point agenda, with some changes. The Republican is also putting out a new pension plan.

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An internet hoax led some to believe a  Springfield restaurant was posting help wanted ads that were discriminatory.  The ads were soliciting applications for servers and bartenders at Dublin Pub (1975 Wabash Ave.) in Springfield. The owner, Joe Rupnik, says he believes an ex-employee tampered with the ads by hacking into the establishment's online accounts. He says a lawyer is looking into it. The ads were placed on Craigslist and Indeed.com.

The Republican nominee to replace ex-Congressman Aaron
Schock says he spent most of his campaign talking about his record as a state
senator and former prosecutor, not his famous former U.S. transportation
secretary father Ray LaHood.
 
 State Sen. Darin LaHood won his party's nomination Tuesday. He tells The
Associated Press his campaign team hit the ground running early on and didn't
take anything for granted.
 
 LaHood had early backing from the state GOP, more money than the other

Last week I alluded to the responses WUIS has received since announcing program cuts and promised to share the drift of their content.  Some of the following comments stand on their own, for other thoughts, I provide an explanation.

A Cook County judge's ruling Tuesday that state employees won't receive their salaries during a budget impasse adds a new wrinkle as the Republican Governor and Democratic-led legislature struggle to reach an agreement.

http://www.sangamonauditorium.org

Each year, dozens of performers make their way to Springfield to perform at Sangamon Auditorium. From dance, to magic, to folk tunes and Broadway - the season line-up is always a varied one. 

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

WUIS took quite a chance 3 years ago when then-manager Bill Wheelhouse decided the station needed its own locally produced news program. The change came with the retirement of Karl Scroggin who used to host classical music programming during weekdays. The entire station made the switch to all news and information programming during the day.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan heatshot
flickr.com/jrockefelleriv

A Cook County judge has ruled Illinois may not continue to pay
state workers in full during an ongoing budget impasse.
 
 Judge Diane Joan Larsen ruled Tuesday that Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger
may pay only some workers who are covered under a federal law. Those workers
would receive federal minimum wage plus overtime.
 
 But attorneys for Munger say it would take the state as long as a year to
determine which employees would be paid under federal law and how much.

Amanda Vinicky

Voters throughout central Illinois on Tuesday will winnow down the options for who will replace Aaron Schock in Congress. Schock, a Republican, left his seat in March following a swirl of controversy, and weighty ethical questions.

Shock's resignation forced Illinois to schedule a special election. After a brief campaign, it's time for the primary. Head of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan, says Democrats will be "competitive."

Peter Gray / WUIS - Illinois Issues

A week into its new fiscal year, Illinois has no new spending plan in place. And it could be awhile before there is one. Illinois isn't alone.

Across the border in Wisconsin, lawmakers can't reach a spending deal. Over on the east coast, North Carolina is in budgetary flux. Pennsylvania's negotiations are dragging on.

Fiscal year 2016 is upon us and Illinois still doesn’t have a budget.  Will Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner ever reach an agreement with legislative Democrats?  How quickly will state government grind to a halt?  And who will take the blame?  

Lisa Madigan at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

 A stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget has taken a new political turn. It comes as the Attorney General is asking a court to determine what bills Illinois can pay when the state has no spending authority.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has been feuding with Democrats, especially Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan. Now Rauner's taking aim at the Speaker's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

netflix.com

It's time for this week's episode of The Scene with Scott Faingold of the Illinois Times and me, take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / WUIS / Illinois Issues

Most of us extend love with the expectation that our kind deeds will come back to us.  If we do a friend a favor, we assume that friend will be there in our hour of need.  If we offer to cover a duty for a coworker, we know we can count on the same support when we need a back-up.

But this summer, four of my grandchildren are learning a small lesson about giving with no hope for return.  They’re fostering a pair of kittens from their local Humane Society.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

A temporary budget to keep Illinois government operating in a new fiscal year has failed in the House, but one is still alive because the Senate OK'd an identical measure.  

Democrats battling with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner put up a $2.3 billion, one-month spending plan Wednesday for the state to limp along during the impasse. It fell four votes short of the 71 needed for approval. 

Illinois Issues: The Next Pension Time Bomb

Jul 2, 2015

Illinois has more than $100 billion in pension debt. So far, attempts to fix it have been mostly illegal.

flickr/dborman

Doctors who care for patients on Medicaid, drug treatment counselors, and probation officers could all go without pay because Illinois is without a new budget. But elected officials will keep getting their paychecks.

Without a budget, Illinois loses its spending authority -- much of it anyway. Some spending is built in by law, automatic: like paying off debt, sending municipalities their cut of the income tax, and lawmakers' pay.

Steve Brown and Michael Madigan at press conference in statehouse blue room.
Amanda Vinicky / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Illinois began its new fiscal year on July 1. But if you work for the state or rely on state services, there is no reason to celebrate.

Illinois State Museum in Springfield
Lisa Ryan / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Almost 7,000 people on Facebook have "liked" a page titled 'Save the Illinois State Museum.' Supporters have planned a rally for July 21st. 

SJ-R

Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register, talks about 3 downtown Springfield building projects.  Historic items were discovered during the work being performed by Rick Lawrence, whose ultimate plan is for apartments, offices, restaurants, etc.

Also, Magro Meats and Produce is looking to open this fall in the former Eagle grocery store along Stevenson Drive. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget director says a one-month spending plan proposed by Democrats is ``unconstitutional'' because it would lead to an unbalanced budget. 

Hobson & Young midshot with Here & Now logo
Kalman Zabarsky / Boston University Photography

Recent program cuts necessitate the movement of some programs to replace what was broadcast.  Additionally, the listener survey indicates some programs may benefit from new time slots. 

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois is officially without a state budget -- the deadline to pass one came and went any movement toward a compromise. Lawmakers are poised to vote on a temporary version Wednesday.

Campus Smoking Ban Goes Into Effect

Jun 30, 2015

College and Universities will begin to implement a smoke free ban on Illinois campuses on July 1st.

Colleges and Universities will begin to implement a smoke free ban on Illinois campuses on July 1st.

The American Lung Association has been working with Illinois college officials to pass the Smoke Free Campus Act. The legislation was signed last year.

People age 19 to 25 have the highest rate of tobacco use for current users.

The Lung Association says there is no safe level to exposure and that smoking is a health hazard.

WUIS

Kenny Winslow will remain as the City of Springfield's Police Chief, Mayor Jim Langfelder announced Tuesday. 

Winslow has been in the role since his appointment in 2013. 

Hearings were held in all the city's wards as the new administration considered other applicants.

The following news release was sent from the Mayor's office:

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Even if Illinois lawmakers and the governor can't reach a budget deal by Wednesday, state employees have another two weeks before they really need to worry about being paid. That's when their first paychecks of the new fiscal year are set to be issued.  But there's confusion over whether they'll get money after that point, or not.

An email sent by Gov. Rauner takes a reassuring tone.

"State employees will be paid for their work --- and I will do everything within my power to ensure you don’t miss a single payroll," he writes.

But will the money come through?

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Freelance travel writer Mary Galligan says if creativity interests you, Oak Park should be on your destination list. 

The city just outside of Chicago boasts former homes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway and museums devoted to each. 

Her article in the Illinois Times showcases famous residents and their respective careers.  She also explains the best ways to get to Oak Park and visit the sites.

It's the budget deadline day in Illinois. If a meeting yesterday between Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders is any indication, they're not going to make it.

It's seemingly been weeks since Rauner, a Republican, meet with all four of the legislative leaders. Since what's believed to have been the last time they were all together, the governor began airing ads that attack Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. The state has also gotten a lot closer to a partial shutdown since then. They all got together yesterday.

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