Judicial races are getting increasingly politicized, according to a study published Thursday surveying 2013-2014 state Supreme Court races called "Bankrolling the Bench."

(Data: Nancy Rabalais, LUMCON; R Eugene Turner, LSU. Credit: NOAA)

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico grabs the media's attention every summer when scientists funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) boat around the Gulf, taking its annual measurement. This year, it was bigger than expected at 6,474  square miles - roughly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. 

Should criminals bear the cost of their own rehabilitation?

Tri States Public Radio invites you to celebrate the partnership of public radio with a cool serving of ice cream in the company of your fellow TSPR listeners and supporters. Weather permitting, we will be setting up a small area behind our studios at 320 W. University Dr. Come out and enjoy ice cream and some of your favorite toppings, drinks, the sounds of TSPR, and some fantastic weather (we hope...). But even if the weather decides not to cooperate, we'll move the party inside to our Vallillo/Holtz performance studio.

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.                     

Macomb Eyes Budget As Possible State Cuts Loom

Apr 8, 2015
Rich Egger

Macomb's next budget year begins in less than a month (May 1) and the city is bracing for cuts in state funding. The city council plans to pass a balanced budget, despite Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to cut in half cities' share of the state income tax. That would mean a loss of more than $1 million for Macomb.

U.S Sen. Mark Kirk will face a challenge from Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, who announced Monday she'll run for the seat. It's unknown who else will vie for the spot, but it's already expected to be a tight race.

Duckworth, who was elected to the U.S. House in 2012, took to YouTube to declare her candidacy.

"I'm running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 because it's time for Washington to be held accountable, and to put Illinois' families and communities first," she said in the video.

Darin Lahood's Campaign for Congress

Aaron Schock's soon to be vacant congressional seat is attracting the attention of some Illinois politicians.  The Republican is resigning following public scrutiny into his office's spending and use of taxpayer money. He plans to leave office next week.

Illinois taxpayers are waiting longer than usual for their state income tax refunds. 

Terry Horstman of the Illinois revenue department says the agency is working to fix the problem.

Author Thomas Gradel says when he first thought about the project that would become the book Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality, he envisioned it as an encyclopedia of corruption. But his collaborator Dick Simpson couldn’t picture that approach.

“Dick said he didn’t think we’d have time to do it in our lifetimes,’’ says Gradel, a media consultant and former staffer to then-Gov. Dan Walker, who previously worked on several political campaigns.

One in every 10 Illinois state employees earned more than $100,000 in 2014. That’s according to a published report. 

The employees included judges, prison guards and nurses. The Chicago Sun-Times cites public records, saying 682 workers made more than former Gov. Pat Quinn's six-figure salary.

More than 100 workers doubled their base pay by working overtime or through compensatory time, including more than a dozen workers who got at least $80,000 each in additional pay.

Thirty-eight days into his term as Illinois' governor, Bruce Rauner yesterday delivered his much-anticipated budget address. Amanda Vinicky recaps the financial reckoning.

Starting this year, home sellers in Illinois need to provide more information to potential buyers. 

Illinois already requires disclosure of problems like asbestos, radon, lead paint... and even if a home was used as a meth lab.  Add to that list... issues with doors and windows.

Some may be warped or leak... and lead to bigger concerns.  

Republican investor Bruce Rauner will be the next governor of Illinois — probably. He declared victory over incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn and is up by five percentage points, but the Democrat is refusing to concede.

Rauner made hundreds of millions of dollars as a private equity investor. Lately, though, he’s been investing in himself — spending $27 million of his vast fortune on a quest to become governor of Illinois.

Illinois Public Radio

Two major races in Illinois are going down to the wire.