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Illinois Department of Revenue

Almost every time House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks to the press lately, he says that the state's estimated $6 billion deficit cannot be addressed through cuts alone.

Public Domain

Union members have long been at odds with government in Illinois. They have come out attacking both Democrats and Republicans alike for measures to cut or freeze benefits as the state grapples with its billions of dollars of debt. One historical figurehead in the movement for workers' rights is still highly lauded - Mary Harris Jones, aka Mother Jones

Men'shealthmonth.org

None of us look forward to visiting the doctor.  But getting a regular checkup and telling your physician about any problems you are experiencing can save your life.

June is Men's Health Month.  Dr. Shaheen Allanee, Head of Urologic Oncology at SIU in Springfield, says men are notorious for putting off medical care.

bluffstone.com

Springfield aldermen turned down a plan to use tax increment financing to help develop a downtown student housing project.  The city council unanimously rejected the idea to give 700-thousand dollars.

John Cullerton
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois' new Republican governor and the Democrats who lead the General Assembly are deadlocked over the right path for the state.

Gov. Rauner is pushing an agenda that’s both pro-business and anti-union. He says only once that’s passed will he consider raising taxes to stave off deep budget cuts. 

But Democrats say his plans would hurt the state and that the focus needs to be on the budget.

Amanda Vinicky

State legislators are back in Springfield today, and a budget impasse means they have serious issues to deal with, but they spent a brief time getting into the bipartisan spirit of celebrating an Illinois victory, the Blackhawks's win last night. 

State Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, led the Illinois House in a quick cheer. "We would like to congratulate the 2015 Stanley Cup champions."

Other legislators joined in to sing the chorus of "Chelsea Dagger," the tune the Blackhawks play when a goal is scored. 

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois' next statewide election isn't until March and even then it'll be another two years before Governor Bruce Rauner has to run again. But already, he's airing commercials. They hit TV screens Tuesday morning.       

On one of his first days as Governor, Rauner said he'd use his wealth to directly reach Illinois voters.

 

youtube.com

Over the last several days, talk has circulated that the uber-rich Illinois GOP Governor Bruce Rauner will be using his resources to take his ongoing message of "shaking up Springfield" to the airwaves. Not through interviews with media, but by buying ad time and creating commercials to promote his ideas for crafting a budget. 

SJ-R.com

Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register, joins WUIS' Sean Crawford to discuss who is interested in developing the YWCA block in downtown Springfield.  7 developers submitted letters to the city, although only one was local.

Ruler Foods, a discount brand of Kroger, is looking to make MacArthur Boulevard its second Springfield location.  There is already a story on Sangamon Avenue.  The company has a contract to purchase the former Esquire Theater,  but there is no construction schedule.

Amanda Vinicky

The end of the month, and therefore the end of Illinois' fiscal year, gets closer every day. With no budget deal in place, Illinois' General Assembly will return tomorrow.

The Democrats who control the legislature have already approved a spending plan, but that's on hold. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he won't go along with the out-of-balance budget; he'll only discuss the tax hikes required to help fund it if his pro-business agenda is passed.

bluffstone.com

Developers are moving forward with plans to bring student housing to downtown Springfield. But it's not clear whether the city council is on board.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Federal records show that Illinois television stations will begin to air ads tomorrow, paid for by Governor Bruce Rauner's political action committee.

When the depths of the dispute between Republican Gov. Rauner and the General Assembly's Democratic leaders really became public at the end of last month, Senate President John Cullerton said the governor had warned a media blitz was on the way.

Amanda Vinicky

An Illinois Republican Party elder statesman is endorsing State Senator Darin LaHood's bid for U.S. Congress.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says he's known LaHood for 20 years, "and I can't think of anyone that would be better qualified to serve this Congressional district; and by this Congressional district, he'll be my Congressman."

"He is a very thoughtful, no-nonsense young man," he says.

LaHood is one of three G-O-P candidates vying for the 18th Congressional seat vacated by Peoria's Aaron Schock following an ethics scandal.

quad stroller
Bill Barber / flickr.com/wdwbarber

The ongoing budget clash between Democrats and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has complicated financial planning for non-profit organizations across Illinois.

WUIS/Lisa Ryan

The contracts for more than 40,000 Illinois state workers will expire at the end of the month. But it appears their unions and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's negotiating team aren't close to agreeing on new ones. 

WILL

The American Association of University Professors voted today to censure the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the state’s flagship university. Censure is a means of informing the academic community worldwide that the administration of an institution “has not adhered to generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure.”

Millenium Entertainment

 The Humane Society is trying to use star power to protect Illinois bobcats. But will it work?

Ever seen Iron Man 2? The HBO show The Newsroom? Excited about the X-Men: Apocalypse movie that's filming?

Each of them star Olivia Munn. She's also the girlfriend of Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Apparently her interest in the Midwest crosses the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

Bruce Rauner at Illinois Chamber forum.
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Another swath of programs could get the axe. Governor Bruce Rauner this afternoon released a second round of cuts given the uncertainty over a new state budget. There's no deal, with the new fiscal year beginning July first.

At the start of this month, Rauner - a Republican - announced that he's closing a downstate prison workcamp, the State Museum in Springfield, and cutting off funding of a program that helps low-income people pay their electric bills.

That list has grown.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The war of words continues between Governor Rauner and Democratic leaders in the Legislature and they seem to be no closer to an agreement on a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year - which leaves Illinois facing a possible government shutdown on July 1st.  Doug Finke of Gatehouse News joins the panel this week.

If you are done taking the picture of your happy hosts super seriously ... then it is time to listen to this week's version of THE SCENE. The lovely Allison Lacher, an art professor, artist, curator, etc. etc. joins Scott Faingold and Rachel for this edition:

Events discussed this week include:

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / WUIS / Illinois Issues

A plaque on my desk reminds me of one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my work:  “What people need is a good listening to.”  While there’s often lots of talk in families, there is sometimes a mismatch as we fail to really “hear” what’s being said.  Most families I know could sharpen their communication skills by learning to do a little OPERA listening.

No, I’m not referring to listening to Carmen or The Marriage of Figaro, although there are certainly merits to that activity.

Springfield's Muni, an outdoor theater,  is opening up for the season this weekend. The first musical is Spamalot - Monty Python's Broadway musical hit. Mac Warren is the director - he joined us to talk about the production: 

Ticket info and other information about the Muni, here.

 

Lisa Ryan

Illinois lawmakers have a couple of weeks left to reach a resolution on the state budget. If they don't get it done by the end of June, the comptroller has warned that she'll no longer have authority to pay the state's bills.

Open mic nights in Springfield come and go. Some have more of a jam-band feel, others may cater to singer-songwriters, the list goes on. Expressions in the Dark brings an urban vibe, and a major focus is poetry. I recently visited one of the events, held monthly at the Homespun Republic in the Vinegar Hill Mall .


A couple of years ago, two people in Urbana were hit by darts fired from a blow-dart gun. They weren't seriously injured. That’s not what this story is about.  

The attacks were so random, and frankly so weird, that most people found them humorous. One of those happened to be a middle-school teacher, who posted a comment on Facebook.

coin flip
Ray Nelson / flickr.com/ray811

In episode 5 of the State of the State podcast, we look at moral luck. In the context of the law, moral luck is the notion that chance outcomes can play a significant role in how one is treated — think of the different punishments for attempted murder versus actual murder.

Amanda Vinicky headshot
mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

WUIS' Sean Crawford talks with Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky on where the state budget gridlock goes from here. 

Leslie Munger at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger, says she will have to stop nearly all state payments if a budget impasse remains unresolved by the end of this month, when the fiscal year ends.

Sex Trafficking And The Legislative Session

Jun 10, 2015

1 (888) 373-7888 National Human Trafficking Resource Center SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO") Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week Languages: English, Spanish and 200 more languages Website: traffickingresourcecenter.org Edit | Remove

  Sex trafficking is not just a problem in other countries or big cities. It can happen just down the street. And you're probably unaware it's going on.

“For people to think that slavery is over … it is not.”

A new museum has opened in Pontiac - all about gilding arts. Displays in the museum show how gold leaf is made and where gilding can be found. There is also a recreation of a gold-leaf manufacturing company and what it looked like in 1887. 

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