Illinois

Concealed Gun Legislation
4:47 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Ill. committee passes gun bill despite veto threat from Quinn

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

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Governor Pat Quinn sent a message Tuesday asking lawmakers to reject a plan that would allow concealed carrying of firearms.  But an Illinois House committee ignored Quinn and advanced the measure.   It could be called for a floor vote this week.

Quinn says he doesn't want residents carrying loaded guns.

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Illinois Government
2:01 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Senate rejects plan to streamline Ill. government

Illinois senators have rejected a plan to streamline government across the state.

The plan would have established a commission to recommend which units of government to eliminate. Then lawmakers would have voted to accept or reject the recommendation.

Only 14 senators supported the idea Tuesday. Thirty voted "no."

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Spring Flooding
12:09 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

25 SE Missouri farmers sue over levee breach

Updated 1:23 p.m. May 3 with information about lawsuit:

Via the Associated Press:

A group of 25 southeast Missouri farmers is suing the federal government over its decision to blow a hole in a levee, causing their farmland and houses to flood.

Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder filed the lawsuit Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated explosives on the Birds Point levee to ease pressure from the swelling Mississippi River.

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Illinois
11:46 am
Fri April 29, 2011

Quinn: Approve borrowing or lose local tax revenue

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wants to suspend about $1 billion in state income tax payments to cities and counties unless he gets legislative approval to borrow billions of dollars to pay overdue bills.

Quinn floated the plan in draft legislation he showed lawmakers earlier this week. It was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

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Spring Flooding
12:50 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Flooding closes hundreds of roads in Missouri, Illinois

A Missouri National Guard member stages vehicles at the Cape Girardeau armory in preparation for possible use in state emergency duty. More than 200 Missouri Guard members were activated in anticipation of possible flooding in the southern portion of Mo.
(via Flickr/The National Guard/M. Queiser/Missouri National Guard)

The floods affecting southern and southeastern Missouri and towns along the Mississippi River have resulted in hundreds of closed roads in the state, along with neighboring areas in Illinois.

Updated 1:32 p.m. April 26:

The City of Fenton has announced that The River Road in Fenton, Mo. at the intersection of Yarnell Road and Larkin-Williams Road is now closed.

In Missouri:

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Cycling Accident Statistics
5:22 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Ill. to begin documenting "dooring" statistics from bicycle accidents

A bicycle tire.
(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

The Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't keep statistics on accidents unless a moving car is involved.  That's why Ed Barsotti with the League of Illinois Bicyclists says "dooring" was invisible in state record books.

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Illinois Government
4:17 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

IL Gov. Quinn grants 85 clemency petitions

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn granted 85 clemency petitions and denied 189 others in the latest round of action to clear a backlog of cases left by his predecessor, ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Quinn granted pardons and expunged convictions in most of the cases Friday that included offenses from burglary and drug charges to armed robbery and reckless discharge of a firearm.

This latest action brings the number of clemency petitions Quinn has granted to 467. He has denied 728 other petitions.

Illinois Unemployment Data
1:34 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

March jobless rate drops in Illinois metro areas

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

State officials say the March unemployment rate dropped in every Illinois metropolitan area for a record seventh consecutive month.

A report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that the Rockford metropolitan area with the state's highest unemployment rate, at 13.3 percent. That's almost 4 percentage points lower than the same time last year.

The Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area March rate was second-highest, at 12.7 percent.

Other metro areas with jobless rates over 10 percent were:

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Illinois State Budget
1:38 pm
Fri April 15, 2011

Ill. lawmakers OK big piece of state budget

The Illinois Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers have set aside billions of dollars to pay state obligations as part of what Democrats call a more responsible approach to the budget.

The state Senate sent the governor legislation that devotes nearly $8 billion to paying off debt and making pension payments.

Senate President John Cullerton said Friday the goal is to make sure the state doesn't duck these obligations or pay them with borrowed money.

Blago trial
3:21 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Trial of ex-governor Blagojevich to start as scheduled

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)

The federal judge for Rod Blagojevich's second corruption trial almost immediately refused a request from the former governor's lawyers this morning to delay by several weeks the opening of the proceedings

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