FEMA Formula Update Request
8:10 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Another Chance For Tornado-Ravaged Towns

A subdivision of Washington, Illinois after it was hit by a tornado; despite the extent of the damage, FEMA denied a public assistance grant.
Credit Lee Strubinger/WUIS

Illinois' Congressional delegation is trying to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to revise how it distributes aid after natural disasters. As WUIS has previously reported, the lawmakers tried before to no avail.

When a tornado touched down in southern Illinois several years ago, devastating the small town of Harrisburg, FEMA turned down Illinois' request for disaster assistance.

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12:01 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Fmr. Congressman Lane Evans Dies After Battling Parkinson's

Former U.S. Rep. Lane Evans of Illinois, a former Marine who fought for veterans' rights during his 24 years in office, has died after a long fight with Parkinson's disease.  

His legal guardian and former congressional staffer Michael Malmstrom says Evans died Wednesday at a nursing home in East Moline, Illinois.  
The Democrat was 63.  

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Election 2014
1:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Rodney Davis Says "Do Nothing Congress" Criticism Unfair

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville)

Congressman Rodney Davis says despite pundits calling attention to what might be an historic low for passing bills, this congress can point to some key accomplishments. 

"Just a few months ago, we were able to pass a long term farm bill that had been held up by political, partisan purposes," he said.    "That bill also saved taxpayers $23 billion in unnecessary spending, got rid of direct payments and made sure that those who need food assistance are going to get food assistance."

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4:57 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Services Set For Fmr. Congressman Ken Gray

Ken Gray

Services are scheduled for next weekend for late former U.S. Rep. Ken Gray of southern Illinois.
 Gray was 89-years-old when he died Saturday at a Herrin hospital after a long
 The Democrat represented Illinois in Congress for a dozen terms and was known
for his colorful style. His ability to bring $7 billion in federal funding to
his economically depressed district earned him the nickname the ``Prince of
 Parker-Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort says Gray's services will be at 4

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Election 2014
4:56 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

13th Dist. Congressional Candidate Erika Harold

Erika Harold
Credit Jim Meadows/WILL

Over the next few weeks, you'll be hearing from Congressional candidates running in Illinois' 13th District. There are three Republicans and three Democrats seeking their party's nomination.  

Attorney Erika Harold (R-Urbana) is making her second run for Congress. Two years ago, she tried to replace former Congressman Tim Johnson on the ballot after Johnson announced plans to retire from politics. But Republican Party chairs instead chose incumbent Rodney Davis.

Harold talks with  Sean Powers about her campaign and what she hopes to accomplish.

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Election 2014
12:57 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Durbin Disappointed With GOP Governor Candidates

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) speaks to reporters at his home on Sunday.
Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is criticizing the Republican field of candidates governor for their stances on low-income workers and the unemployed.

It's an ongoing battle the Democratic senator is fighting in Congress, mirrored in the race for the governor's mansion: raising the minimum wage.

The four Republican candidates for governor oppose raising the minimum wage in Illinois, which is currently $8.25 an hour.

One reason they've given is that mostly high school and college students work minimum wage jobs. Senator Durbin says that isn't so.

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Harvest Desk
5:49 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

U.S. House To Vote On 2014 Farm Bill

Credit Ron Cogswell

  The U.S. House is set to vote on a new farm bill Wednesday, after House and Senate negotiators earlier this week agreed on compromise legislation combining each chambers' drafts.

This 2014 farm bill has been a long time coming.  At least one farm bill watcher from the Midwest is pleased that Congress has finally reached an agreement on the farm bill after years of debate.

  Jonathan Coppess, who teaches law and policy at the University of Illinois, says negotiations dragged due to the size - roughly one trillion dollars - and complexity of the bill.

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Harvest Desk
9:27 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Farm Bill Talks Fall Through

While progress was reportedly made, it doesn't seem there will be a farm bill compromise on Capitol Hill any time soon.
Credit flickr/andrewmalone

Though farm bill talks heated up this week in Washington, key legislators emerged from negotiations Thursday disappointed and predicted there would be no progress until after Congress returns in December from its recess.

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11:53 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Former Speaker Hastert Discusses Government Shutdown

Credit npr

Denny Hastert wasn't the Speaker of the U.S. House during the last government shutdown, but he was an Illinois Congressman in 1995 and '96. He told Amanda Vinicky this time is different.

Hastert says back then, Republicans were trying to get a handle on spending. He says it worked.

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8:37 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Federal Shutdown Leads To Worries In Illinois

Credit wikipedia

The federal government's partial shutdown is worrying some Illinois state workers and retirees.
That's because recipients of various state health insurance programs need to
get documents from the IRS by a late October deadline in order to prove that
their dependents should still be eligible to receive coverage.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports
( ) the ongoing government shutdown means that the IRS
isn't providing the federal transcripts.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Tammy Duckworth: The First Asian-American Woman to Serve Illinois in Congress

Tammy Duckworth

The election in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District was defined by personalities, by national ideological and demographic trends and by political realities specific to Illinois. In one corner, Hoffman Estates Democrat Tammy Duckworth, born in Thailand, became another data point in a sweeping national victory for Democrats and the progressive left. In the other, Republican Joe Walsh, the incumbent and an outspoken member of the Tea Party wave that took the House in 2010, became another casualty in a Congress that will be less male and Caucasian than any before.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu February 1, 2007

New Order: The changeover in Congress isn't all bad for Illinois

One of your own as speaker of the U.S. House, the most powerful individual on Capitol Hill? It doesn't get any better than that.

Illinois enjoyed that designation for eight years when Republican Dennis Hastert, a former history teacher and wrestling coach from Yorkville, held the post. Now it's California's turn — Democrat Nancy Pelosi's turn — with the speaker's gavel.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun October 1, 2006

Partisan Playbook: Political parties playing offense & defense in three IL congressional districts

Someone with a decent arm could stand in Springfield and throw a ball from one of the city's congressional districts over another district and into a third. That's because the 17th District, flanked by the 18th on the north and the 19th on the south, gets as narrow as the width of a road when it snakes through the more affluent neighborhoods on Springfield's west side. Once on the city's east side, with its poor and working-class neighborhoods, the district flares back out. This is a shape designed to bypass likely Republicans and capture likely Democrats.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed March 1, 2006

Over the Top: Illinoisans head the national debate over money and politics

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's January 17 appearance before the news media spoke volumes about the troubles facing the Republican majority in Congress. The traditionally camera-shy Illinoisan is vastly more comfortable working behind closed doors.

Exactly two weeks earlier, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to federal influence-peddling and fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in ongoing investigations of lawmakers and congressional staff.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon December 1, 2003

Editor's Notebook: Who really chooses what we read, hear and see?

Peggy Boyer Long
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

We open this eighth annual arts issue with a question. Several, really. None easily answered. 

The essential one is this: Are we ceding our right to decide what we will read in the privacy of our homes, what we will hear on our car radios or what we will see in theaters and galleries to that so-called most-democratic of forces, the marketplace? 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon December 1, 2003

Ends and Means: This month the Capital City will witness a biennial holiday rite

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

In the Chicago area, two of the season’s most beloved traditions are the Apollo Chorus’ performance of Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall and the Joffrey Ballet’s presentation of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre. Both classics are performed by other artists elsewhere across the state, of course, including here in Springfield.

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