Illinois Public Radio

Posts tagged with this author are either entirely or partially reported by the staff at Illinois Public Radio. If possible, the specific staff member who reported each story will be listed within the body of each corresponding post.

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Illinois Legislature
12:56 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Ill. Measure Would Keep Some Teens Out Of Adult Court

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

Illinois lawmakers are considering a change that would keep more teenagers out of adult court. The measure, which so far has had bipartisan support, would send 17-year-olds charged with non-violent felonies into the juvenile court system.

Since 2010, 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors have been sent to juvenile court, while those charged with felonies are sent to adult court.

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Ill. Search Warrants
10:24 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Ill. Plan Would Allow Police To Obtain Warrants Via Video Chat

Credit Flickr/Mid-America Public Safety Police/Fire

Illinois lawmakers are considering a plan that would make it easier for police to get search warrants. A  proposal in the state legislature would allow police and judges to talk over an online video chat.  Currently most warrants have to be obtained in person.

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Ill. Gun Laws
10:24 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Facing June Deadline, Ill. No Closer To Concealed Carry Law

Credit (via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Groups on both sides of the concealed carry debate in Illinois say the state is no closer to crafting a court-ordered law than they were the first day of this legislative session.

Richard Pearson is executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He says lawmakers are sidelining the plan by bypassing the usual committee process:

"We've had committee meetings from one end of the state to the other, and out of this we have gotten nothing," Pearson said.

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Illinois Prisons
9:26 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Quinn Defends Prison Director's Reappointment

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is defending his decision to reappoint the director of the state's prison system to a second two-year term.

Republicans have criticized Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez for prison overcrowding and understaffing. But Governor Quinn, a Democrat, says Godinez has done a good job leading the department.

"They understand the importance of public safety for everyone. For the prison guards, for the public, and for the inmates, and Tony understands that, and he's going forward," Quinn told reporters.

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Illinois Pensions
9:25 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Ill. Senate Passes Pension Overhaul For Some Teachers

Credit (Flickr/ Jason Dunnivant

The Illinois Senate has passed a pension overhaul, but it only affects suburban and downstate teachers. It doesn't touch state employees' and university workers' retirement benefits.

The measure was approved by the Illinois Senate and forces teachers to choose between taking a reduced pension, or retaining access to state-backed health care upon retirement.

It took two tries, passing only after Democratic Senator Dave Koehler of Peoria switched his vote.

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Illinois
10:05 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Members Of Illinois' Largest Public Employees Union Approve New Contract

Credit (via Flickr/jglazer75)

By a margin of 96-to-4, members of Illinois' largest public employees' union voted to ratify a new contract with the state.

AFSCME and Governor Pat Quinn's administration reached a deal in late February, but in order for it to take effect, a majority of the union's 35,000 members had to agree to it.

AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says the negotiations may have been the toughest the union has ever experienced.

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Illinois Economy
9:45 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Ill. Ambulance And Fire Agencies See Budgets Crunched

Credit (National Institutes of Health)

Ambulance and fire agencies in Illinois have seen their budgets crunched. Some clients pay using Medicaid,  the Illinois-backed insurance for the poor. But the state is months behind on those payments.

According to Josh Ross, operations manager for America Ambulance in Springfield, Illinois is nearly six months behind. That's a total of $330,000.

"The Medicaid problem is kind of a double-edged sword," Ross said.  "On one is the fact we're not receiving the payments, but the other is the fact that the actual reimbursement is so much lower."

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Health
9:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Ill. Renews Emphasis On Protecting Women From HIV

Credit (via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

The Illinois Department of Public Health says when it comes to HIV awareness, sexually-active women and young girls are often overlooked.  The Department is putting a renewed emphasis on teaching women to protect themselves and how to get tested.

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Illinois
7:48 am
Mon March 11, 2013

New Hires To Earn Less Under Ill. Deal With Union

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

If Governor Pat Quinn's agreement with AFSCME, Illinois' largest public employee union, goes through, new employees will be treated differently than those already on the payroll. 

Union members get pay boosts the longer they work for the state. Quinn's Chief of Staff Jack Lavin, says it will take longer for new hires to reach those step increases, and he says they'll start off making less too. 

"To achieve the top of that job classification it was previously eight years, now it’ll be 11 years," said Lavin. "So new employees will start at a lower wage.”

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Illinois Budget
5:22 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Quinn Proposes $400M Education Cut, Pension System Payouts In Budget Address

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky.

In his annual budget address today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn laid the blame on the General Assembly for forcing him to cut spending on schools and other key state priorities. Quinn says the cost of pensions is "squeezing" Illinois' finances, to the point that he's calling for a $400 million hit to education.

(Read the full text of the governor's prepared remarks

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