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Illinois

PARCC Test Results Released In Illinois

Dec 14, 2015

Illinois schools got results for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers -- or PARCC -- test late last week. That’s the standardized test aligned with the Common Core. Scores were low across the state.

Tony Smith is the state superintendent of schools. He says that’s because it’s not comparing students to each other, but to what they should know.

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?

TSPR Ice Cream Social- June 5, 2015

May 5, 2015
wikipedia.org

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.                     

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.

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.

Major Illinois Races Neck and Neck

Oct 26, 2014
Illinois Public Radio

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

Absentee Voting? Here Are The Details

Aug 6, 2014

Applications for absentee voting begin today. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the first day for mailing-in absentee votes for the fall election is September 25th. Absentee voting forms must be postmarked by midnight on November 3, 2014.

Find out if you qualify for absentee voting here.

  Business and labor leaders are urging Illinois' Department of Natural Resources to finish the rules for hydraulic fracturing. The coalition says it's left wondering if the governor's administration might be dragging the process for political reasons.

It's been over 400 days since the General Assembly passed a law to allow hydraulic fracturing in Illinois. Proponents say the technique of drilling for natural gas deep in the ground will lead to job and revenue growth.

  A year after Illinois legalized concealed carry, new rules are out to determine the process for deciding who can't carry a gun in public. The Illinois State Police issued the emergency rules Monday 7/14 afternoon.

Illinois Tourism Sets Another Record

Jul 14, 2014

There were more than 100 million visitors to Illinois in 2013. State agencies aim to grow those numbers more in the face of budget cuts. 

For the third year in a row, Illinois broke its own record for visitors to the state. In 2013, travelers spent $34.5 billion dollars in Illinois, according to the state's office of tourism.

en.wikipedia.org

Galesburg city council members are reviewing new zoning rules that accommodate medical marijuana facilities.

Illinois Ends Fiscal Year In The Black...Temporarily

Jul 10, 2014

The state took in over a billion dollars more in taxes than the prior year, thanks to an uptick in sales tax money.  Personal income tax revenue also rose , but the amount coming from corporate income taxes dropped. It's something Jim Muschinske, a budget forecaster for the state, said was predicted.

"That was not unexpected. In fact, we actually did better this fiscal year than what was initially assumed back when the budget was passed," Muschinske said.

Assessing The Minimum Wage Landscape

Jul 9, 2014

Despite Democratic majorities and a push from the governor, Illinois' legislative session adjourned without a bump in the minimum wage.

Lawmakers settled for putting a non-binding question on the November ballot asking if that's something voters want.

Part of the problem was that legislators from downstate -- from both parties -- were against a hike.

Andrew Biggs says it doesn't make sense to make sense to have a national, or even statewide, minimum wage. Biggs is a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C. think tank that leans toward free enterprise.

"Poaching" Not In Blueprint For Illinois Job Growth

Jul 3, 2014

Illinois' economy was slow to feel the effects of the Great Recession, and has been slow to recover from it. The state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is submitting a five-year plan to the General Assembly, with suggestions for business growth and more state spending.

An Illinois home care worker argued that being forced to pay union fees violates her first amendment rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken her side.

But it limited its decision to non-traditional public employees-- like home care workers, who are paid by the state but hired and fired by the people they care for.

  The Illinois Teachers' Retirement System says it expects a lower return on its pension investments in the next year. That means the state will have to cover more of the cost of teacher pensions.

TRS says it's still a good assumed rate of investment return at 7.5 percent. That falls in line with similar pension systems nationwide. But it's not as profitable as 8-percent, which TRS had been using for the previous few years.

Illinois' jobless rate is now at 7.5 percent. It's the third consecutive monthly decrease. And it's at its lowest level since 2008.

Flickr Commons / Markheybo

An economist predicts raising the minimum wage would hurt already poor job growth in Illinois.

The election returns in yesterday’s Illinois primary were not even in before the candidates for governor started attacking each other. Republicans chose wealthy investor Bruce Rauner to take on Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn. Brian Mackey looks at the surprisingly close election results, and what’s ahead for the campaign.

Galesburg Reviews Paint Rebate Proposal

Dec 2, 2013
http://www.ci.galesburg.il.us

After months of debate a draft paint rebate program will be unveiled in  Galesburg  tomorrow.

Fight over Fulton County Coal Mine Drags On

Nov 25, 2013
SSS

A judge is set to rule soon on whether the Illinois DNR made the right call in renewing a permit for proposed coal mine near Canton Lake in Fulton County.

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