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

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill
(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Reporting from WBEZ's Kate Dries used in this report.

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk says the U.S. doesn't need to give any more aid to Libya.

Speaking to reporters Thursday from Libya, Kirk says the country has enough money to support itself - at least $100 billion seized from former leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"I had my worries that those funds were not being released on time," Kirk said. "But I was reassured by key figures -- the chairman, the prime minister, and the finance minister -- that they have adequate resources for their capacity right now.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford and WBEZ's Sam Hudzik was used in this story.

Gov. Pat Quinn says he will need to lay off 1,900 state employees and close seven state facilities to live within a budget sent to him by the General Assembly.

"Decisions made by members of the General Assembly I may or may not agree with, but once they have adopted their budget, it is now the law of our state," Quinn told reporters in Chicago today. "We have to implement this in a responsible manner."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated with comments from Quinn, unions and lawmakers.

Reporting from WBEZ's Sam Hudzik and Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford was used in this report.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says job reductions will be necessary to help Illinois deal with a record budget deficit.

Sources told the Chicago Tribune that thousands of state workers could receive layoff notices.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold used in this report.

Federal prosecutors are making their case for why Rod Blagojevich should not be allowed a third trial.

In a lengthy filing, prosecutors say Blagojevich's convictions were just.

And, just as importantly, the trial was done in a fair way.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold and Ammad Omar used in this report.

Republicans are criticizing President Barack Obama for visiting his home state Wednesday.

The Democratic president is scheduled to visit Western Illinois as part of a Midwestern tour.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady says Mr. Obama's policies have not helped the state's economy.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Reporting by WBEZ’s Robert Wildeboer used in this report.

Within the next few weeks, attorneys for ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will be asking Judge James Zagel for a mistrial. That’s unlikely to succeed, which means they’ll move on to a higher court. Still, Blagojevich’s testimony could cause problems for an appeal.

(UPI)

Updated 2:24 p.m. with verdict information:

A jury has convicted Rod Blagojevich of nearly all the corruption charges against him, including trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

(See full list of charges and verdicts below with details)

Jurors delivered their verdicts Monday after deliberating nine days.

Blagojevich had faced 20 charges, including the Senate seat allegation and that he schemed to shake down executives for campaign donations. He was convicted on all charges regarding the Senate seat.

He testified for seven days, denying wrongdoing. Prosecutors said he lied and the proof was on FBI wiretaps. Those included a widely parodied clip in which Blagojevich calls the Senate opportunity "f------ golden."

Jurors in his first trial deadlocked on all but one charge, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI.

Blagojevich already faces up to five years for the lying conviction.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold used in this report.

Illinois' two U.S. senators are saying party leaders are trying to avoid a government shut down. Lawmakers are facing a Friday deadline to finalize the federal budget.

Illinois' senior U.S. senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, said budget negotiations with House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner are close to wrapping up.

Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold used in this story.

Illinois legislators are preparing to debate a plan that would combine two elected offices into one.

The proposal would change the state Constitution, combining the Treasurer's office and the Comptroller's office. Both deal with the finances of Illinois, the treasurer with investments and the comptroller is in charge of dispersing the state's money.

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