Springfield, IL – Illinois State Senator Rick Winkel of Champaign plans to revise and re-introduce a plan to change how schools are funded. Winkel says efforts came to a sudden halt this session. However, he's working to revise the proposal and place greater emphasis on including property tax relief. He says this proposal is more similar to one former Governor Jim Edgar proposed in the 90s. Winkel believes he can hold committee hearings during the summer and have a bill ready for introduction this fall.
Rushville, IL – The Schuyler-Industry Community Unit School District will continue the appeal of a detachment petition. Last month the Regional Board of School Trustees approved the petition, which seeks to have 15 students and about $2 million in property moved from the Industry district to the Macomb district. Schuyler - Industry School Superintendent Matt Plater says members of the new board agreed they can not afford to lose the property or the students. The Industry school board had agreed to fight the detachment, but that board goes out of existence at the end of this month.
Galesburg, IL – Illinois' junior U.S. Senator is not hopeful on the future of Amtrak passenger rail service. In addition, he has not yet decided whether he will support the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Obama says while Democrats are uniformly supportive of Amtrak, they will have to convince some Republicans to join them. He says the GOP has targeted Amtrak as a source of budget savings. On CAFTA, Obama says free trade is ghenerally beneficial as long as it's structured fairly.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County's jail administrator is hoping a bill that passed the legislature gets signed quickly. Chief Deputy Rick Manser says the measure would require the Department of Public Aid to pay all medical bills over $500 of inmates who are medicaid eligible. Currently, the county has to pay all costs up to $2,500. Manser says that figure is easy to reach, especially if an inmate must be hospitalized. He says he prescription cost for some inmates can easily reach $500, especially with some psychotropic drugs.
Macomb, IL – The city worked to negotiate a better deal with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, but it now appears inevitable that the crossings at Clay, Campbell, and Madison Streets will be closed. The city says it did manage to negotiate a bit more money out of the railroad. It will receive $150,000 instead of $145,000. In addition, most of the city's remaining crossings will be upgraded to concrete within the next five years. The city council will be asked to approve the agreement Monday night.