Associated Press | St. Louis Public Radio

Associated Press

Associated Press
File photo | WUIS Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday signed into law sweeping changes to the way the state funds schools, calling it a historic day that will bring "more equality, more fairness and better opportunity for all the students of Illinois."

Besides distributing state aid more equitably, the long-sought deal the Legislature approved this week gives districts more flexibility on state mandates, allows residents in well-funded districts to reduce their property taxes and creates a new tax credit for donations to private school scholarships.

Members of the Chicago Teacher's Union take to the streets in during a strike in April 2016.
Charles Edward Miller | Flickr

Updated at 11:35 a.m. Aug. 1 with reaction from the Illinois Federation of Teachers — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner stripped millions of dollars for Chicago Public Schools from the school funding bill Tuesday and sent it back to the General Assembly just weeks before classes begin throughout the state.

Using what's called an amendatory veto, the Republican said in a statement ahead of a news conference that his changes make sure "enough resources flow to children in the poorest and most disadvantaged school districts across the entire state."

The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.
File photo | Seth Perlman | Associated Press

Updated 1 p.m. July 27 with lack of action on second day — Illinois legislators adjourned Thursday, the second day of a special session on school funding, after just a few minutes. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner summoned lawmakers to Springfield with the task of resolving a fight over a new funding calculation. Both chambers have approved a plan, but the Senate has refused to send it to Rauner, who says he'll rewrite it and send it back over objections to money for Chicago Public Schools.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
File photo | WUIS Radio

Illinois broke its long-running budget stalemate Thursday when the House followed in the Senate's footsteps by voting 74-37 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto. Both Democrats and Republicans backed the measure.

Without a budget for two years, Illinois racked up billions in unpaid bills and had to significantly cut funding to social services and education. The $36 billion spending plan for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, retroactive to Saturday, is paired with a $5 billion increase in income taxes. 

The Illinois capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
The Illinois capitol building in Springfield, Ill. / Jeremy Wilburn | Flickr

  A $36.5 billion plan to rebuild Illinois' crumbling finances passed a critical test on Friday, but a powerful legislative leader said no deal would be reached before a midnight deadline — meaning Illinois will enter its third consecutive fiscal year without a budget.

The Illinois Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.
Jeremy Wilburn | Flickr

Updates with details of planned vote Friday — Illinois' Senate minority leader is calling it quits come Saturday. Republican Sen. Christine Radogno's announcement Thursday came as lawmakers are still trying to nail down an elusive budget deal. 

Meanwhile, House Speaker Michael Madigan said he'll call a $36.5 billion spending plan for a vote Friday while Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate tangential issues crucial to a state budget deal with Gov. Bruce Rauner. The Chicago Democrat reiterated Thursday that in order to pay for that plan, there would need to be an income-tax hike, though no legislation for that has been filed.

The Illinois Capitol in Springfield
Flickr | jglazer75

Illinois lawmakers are looking at a Democrat-pushed budget plan that would raise income taxes and make steep spending cuts as a way to end the budget impasse.

Already, the state has been without a spending plan for two years, and the next fiscal year begins Saturday.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
File photo | WUIS Radio

Illinois legislators will come back to Springfield for a special session in order to work out a budget deal, Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday in an attempt to end an impasse that's approaching its third year and running up the state's deficit. 

The Republican governor's announcement, done via a Facebook video and statement, came the same day that the multi-state lottery association overseeing Powerball and Mega Millions games will leave Illinois by the end of this month if there is no budget. 

Commerical planes parked at a St. Louis Lambert International Airport terminal.
St. Louis Lambert International Airport

Updated at 8:10 p.m. with how much it'll cost to switch to a REAL ID license — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill Monday aimed at averting a scenario in which Missouri residents could have been turned away at airports starting in January for lack of valid identification.

The legislation will give residents the option to get driver's licenses or other identification cards that comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Compliance with the tougher proof-of-identity requirements is necessary at airports, some federal facilities and military bases.

Entrance to Harris Stowe State University, April 2013
Paul Sableman (cropped image) | Flickr

A white professor at a predominantly black university in St. Louis was fired "because of the color of her skin," a three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Their decision affirmed a 2015 jury verdict that awarded nearly $5 million to Beverly Wilkins, a former professor at Harris-Stowe State University. 

Pallets full of sandbags that stayed dry during the floods sit in the parking lot of City Hall in Valley Park in January 2016.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated May 1 with new road closure information - Rising rivers in the St. Louis area that are already threatening homes and businesses will also cause major traffic headaches for at least the rest of this week.

More than 70 roads have been closed in the area due to engorged rivers and streams. (See a complete list here.) Officials say more will be added to the list this week. That includes Interstate 44, which will close in both directions at Route 141 Monday night. Missouri Department of Transportation engineer  Tom Blair says it will mark the third spot on the interstate to close since the heavy rains hit the state this past weekend.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

About 1,500 people are being asked to reapply for a Missouri program that shields the addresses of abuse victims after a St. Louis County judge ordered a woman to reveal her home address because of a flaw in the application process.

The Safe at Home program lets victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking keep their addresses confidential by routing mail through a post office box run by the secretary of state's office

Courtesy of U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay's office

Updated at 2:30 p.m. April 18 with judge rejecting reinstallation efforts — A federal judge rejected efforts Tuesday to reinstall in the U.S. Capitol a painting some lawmakers and police groups found offensive.

A media advocacy group and the ACLU are asking Missouri's highest court to settle whether the state's prison officials must publicly reveal the source of the drug used to execute prisoners.

The nonprofit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs wrote in a filing Wednesday with the Missouri Supreme Court that that court can resolve the issue that's produced conflicting rulings.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
File photo | WUIS Radio

With state Sen. Daniel Biss' announcement Monday, four Democrats are now lined up to challenge Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 election, and more may be on the way.

From a march in Ferguson on Aug. 15
Durrie Bouscaren I St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government agreed to a police request to restrict more than 37 square miles of airspace surrounding Ferguson for 12 days in August for safety, but audio recordings show that 

local authorities privately acknowledged the purpose was to keep away news helicopters during violent street protests.

The St. Louis County police released the following statement in response:

(Photo courtesy of the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney)

ST. LOUIS –

Updated at 3:45 with comments from Indian community.

Updated as of 2:15 p.m. after 1:30 p.m. court appearance:

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

ST. LOUIS –

Authorities say 19-year-old William Mack Sapp of south St. Louis County is charged with second-degree assault and leaving the scene of an accident. He is jailed on $500,000 bond following his arrest on Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear if Sapp had an attorney.

The other alleged racer, 19-year-old Trenton Pinckard of Glen Carbon, Ill., was charged earlier this week with leaving the scene of an accident.