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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.

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Morning round-up
7:53 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, December 30, 2011

Mo. lawmakers will take up school funding formula when they convene January 4.
(via Flickr/alextakesphotos)

Mo. lawmakers to consider changes to school funding formula

Legislative leaders say addressing Missouri's school funding formula is one of their top priorities for the annual session that starts Wednesday.

Because of tight budgets there has not been enough money in recent years to fully fund the education formula. That has prompted concern that the distribution of the money could benefit certain districts at the expense of others.

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Morning round-up
9:29 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Morning headlines: Thursday, December 29, 2011

Illinois' anti-gambling lobby is speaking out against a plan to sell lottery tickets on the Internet. Illinois lottery officials want lotto tickets available online by next spring.
(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

Illinois' anti-gambling lobby speaks out against online lottery plan

Illinois Lottery officials want lotto tickets available online by next spring. Both the state - and gambling critics - agree that'll be a financial boon for Illinois.

"Well, it could be a boon, but at the expense of addicted gamblers," said Anita Bedell, the head of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems. Bedell, who has been fighting gambling expansion for years, says she worries online ticket sales will make it too easy for gambling addicts to get their fix.

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Kim Jong Il / Dick Durbin / Mark Kirk
4:28 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Ill. Sens. Durbin, Kirk respond to death of Kim Jong Il

Illinois' two U.S. Senators, Republican Mark Kirk (l) and Democrat Dick Durbin.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Reporting from WBEZ's Susie An used in this report.

Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says North Korea faces instability after the death of dictator Kim Jong Il.

Kirk, a Republican, says regardless, the U.S. should attend the funeral of Kim Jong Il if invited by North Korea.

"We should sent a delegation because we should always try to build a new relationship with the regime even though it looks pretty bleak at this point," Kirk said.

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Morning round-up
9:32 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Morning headlines: Thursday, December 8, 2011

An attorney for Rod Blagojevich says he will appeal the 14 year prison term handed to the former Gov. on Wednesday.
Flickr/soundfromwayout

Blagojevich plans to keep fighting

Rod Blagojevich has just over two months of freedom before he's scheduled to begin a 14-year prison term. But the ex-governor and his lawyers plan to keep fighting.  

After Judge James Zagel handed down the sentence, and the public was ushered out of the courtroom, more than an hour passed before the ex-governor, his wife and his lawyers appeared in the lobby of the court building.

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Morning round-up
9:23 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rod Blagojevich signs autographs at Illinois State University in 2006. A judge today ruled that his second corruption trial will start next Wednesday as schedulded.
(via Flickr/soundfromwayout)

Two day sentencing hearing for Blagojevich begins today

Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's sentencing hearing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Much of today's hearing will be a repeat of what attorneys have already argued in written motions filed with the court.

The one unknown variable is the governor himself. He'll get a chance to address the court.

Former federal prosecutor Dave Weisman says Blagojevich should read a prepared statement and keep it short.

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Pat Quinn / Gambling Expansion
2:34 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Quinn: "I'm not going to sign what they're peddling" on gambling expansion bill

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

Reporting from WBEZ's Jennifer Brandel used in this report.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he won't sign any gambling expansion bill that doesn't meet his framework.

The gambling expansion bill was narrowly defeated by state legislators a couple weeks ago. Next week, lawmakers are back in session and may try yet again to advance it. Quinn says they shouldn't bother if it still includes slot machines at race tracks .

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Mark Kirk / Libya
5:05 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Kirk: U.S. doesn't need to give Libya more aid

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois).
(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.

Developing: Ill. closures
1:20 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

Quinn to close seven state institutions, lay off 1,900 workers

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn, shown here taking the oath of office, has announced plans to lay off 1,900 workers and close seven state facilities as part of an ongoing budget battle with lawmakers.
(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."

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Illinois budget
5:05 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

State job cuts, facility closures possible in Ill.

Ill. gov. Pat Quinn says job reductions are possible to help the state close a record budget gap. Sources tell the Chicago Tribune that state facilities may also be closed.
(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.

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Rod Blagojevich
2:38 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Prosecutors: Blagojevich retrial was fair, convictions just

Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
(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.

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