Bill Wheelhouse

Anchor / Journalist

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Springfield's population is expected to increase over the next quarter-century but at a lower rate than in recent years.  Tim Landis of the SJR discusses his reporting on the issue with Bill Wheelhouse.  Also a different Parsons in bankruptcy court and goodbye New Coney Island.

This week, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers continued to spar over the state budget and the governor's legislative agenda.  Rauner dismissed the legislature's proposed changes for workers' compensation as "phony reform" and Democrats criticized the governor paying his top education aide, Beth Purvis, a $250,000 salary from Department of Human Services funds.  John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel discussion.

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.

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.

The current situation at the Illinois Statehouse as lawmakers and the Governor enter the scheduled closing weekend of the legislative session.  Rick Pearson of The Chicago Tribune joins the panel this week.

The train controls that were lacking in Philadelphia will be in place when Illinois high speed rail happens... if the state will spend the money.

As the May 31st deadline for passing a new budget looms, Governor Rauner and the Legislature continue to bicker.  John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel this week.


In addition to the Bel-Aire Sputnik getting re-furbished, Tim talks about fundraising for fixes at the Executive Mansion and a Realtor trade group expanding:

Watch Decatur City Limitless

Michael J. Madigan headshot

This week, Illinois House Democrats defeated Governor Rauner's "Right to Work" agenda.  Also, with the Illinois Supreme Court's decision last week, the future of state pension funding is still in question.

Tim Landis headshot

Bill Wheelhouse and Tim Landis talk about a public forum this week on plans to improve the neighborhood near Lincoln's home.

The HyVee Chain has a new service, which a hi-tech grocery trade publication tells us about.

Read it here

Tim Landis and Bill Wheelhouse discuss the appointment of a new state fair director and what his charge may be.

Tim Landis talks about the efforts of Brandt in Beijing on this weeks WUIS/SJR Business Report.

As talk swirls at the State Capitol about privatizing the state's economic development agency, here are some interesting perspectives from Crain's on the topic.

Click here to read

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

This week, the Illinois legislature worked to restore some of Governor Rauner's social service cuts and convened a oversight committee to examine the reasoning behind them.  Meanwhile, Governor Rauner continued his efforts to eliminate public sector "fair share" union dues.  Also, a bill decriminalizing possession of certain amounts of marijuana moves from the House to the Senate.  Jamey Dunn of Illinois Issues magazine joins the panel discussion.

Local employers seem to be optimistic about the Sangamon County economy in the year ahead.

The twice yearly survey gives researchers a read on what local leaders think about the economy. 

Ashley Kirzinger with the U of I Springfield's Survey Research Office says the latest report shows a big jump in the expectations of local employers and a 36 point increase in  the overall economic outlook from four years ago.

Illinois General Assembly

The Illinois Senate this week may vote on a plan to create a "one stop shop" for people wanting to set up businesses in Illinois

The measure would require the state to set up a web site that provides details on the costs and links to the forms and information for setting up a business in Illinois.  Deerfield Democrat Julie Morrison is the sponsor.               

"This will serve everybody from the person who's starting a cottage business in their home to a really large business coming forward with a lot of employees," said Morrison.

While the headline sounds like its from the 1980's, AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon wrote about a new report from a group led by Paul Volcker.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is calling for a reshaping of the U.S. financial oversight regime, which he says is splintered and ineffective.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey/WUIS

This week's discussion includes the fallout over Governor Bruce Rauner's cuts to social services and House Speaker Michael Madigan's new budget oversight panel.  Paris Schutz, political reporter for WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" joins us for the program.

Verizon is giving its customers have more control over the channels they pay for as the cacophony of cord cutting reshapes cable TV.

Verizon's FiOS Custom TV, available Sunday, gives customers the option to buy a $55 base package with more than 35 channels plus two additional themed channel packs.

There's currently seven channel packs to choose from, including genres such as sports, children and lifestyle. Customers can add more channel packs _ which include about 10-17 channels on average _ for $10 each. They may also swap out channel packs after 30 days.

A grocery trade site Brickmeetsclick  has an interesting preview of Aldi's new venture.

Take a read.

Beech-Nut Nutrition is recalling approximately  baby food products that may be contaminated with small pieces of glass,

The following product is subject to recall

  • 4-oz. glass jars containing “Stage 2 Beech-Nut CLASSICS sweet potato & chicken”

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “P-68A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The affected product expires in “DEC 2016” and includes product numbers “12395750815” through “12395750821”. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.                        

On this week's WUIS-SJR Business Report Tim Landis and Bill Wheelhouse chat about an impending decision regarding a hog farm in Menard County and an odd court appearance for a former area businessman:

Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
WUIS/Illinois Issues

This week Rahm Emanuel was re-elected Mayor of Chicago, which (like the state itself) is facing a huge budget deficit.   Also, Governor Rauner declared the Illinois Supreme Court part of a "corrupt" political system.   WBEZ's Lauren Chooljian joins the panel for discussion of these and other topics on this edition of the program.

About 30,000 cases of Sabra hummus sold nationwide is being recalled due to a possible Listeria contamination.
 Listeria is a food-borne illness that can cause high fevers and nausea in minor cases, but the infections can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems and young children, along with causing miscarriages in pregnant women.
     The Sabra Dipping Co. is a joint venture of PepsiCo and Strauss Group.
     The recalled products include:
     Sabra Classic Hummus in 10-ounce sizes with UPC/SKU 040822011143 / 300067

Langfelder campaign

Springfield's next mayor will be Jim Langfelder.

Langfelder defeated Paul Palazzolo 55-45 percent. Langfelder, who has served as City Treasurer, will replace Mike Houston.  Only about one third of registered voters turned out in Springfield. 

Frank Lesko topped Rianne Hawkins for City Clerk.  

Misty Buscher, a banker, won for Springfield Treasurer.  She beat city alderman Frank Edwards. 

Springfield councilman Sam Cahnman lost his bid for re-election in Ward 5 to Andrew Proctor.  

Hillard Family photo in field
Tonya Hilliard

Last year, Illinois was one of a handful of states that lost population. More than 90,000 people moved elsewhere.  It became a campaign issue for Governor when then candidate Bruce Rauner criticized the state's lack of friendliness to business. And it has others  throwing up caution flags.   The numbers don't mean mean there is a crisis, or even a real clamor, to leave the state.                     

Tammy Duckworth

Much of the focus of this week's political news centered on Washington D.C.  U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Mark Kirk.   And with the upcoming retirement of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, there are questions whether Senator Dick Durbin will continue as Minority Whip after 2016.  Also, the latest on beleaguered former Congressman Aaron Schock.  John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel to discuss those and other topics on this week's edition of State Week.