Illinois

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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Illinois Workers' Compensation
11:09 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Business groups open to Quinn's workers' comp fix call

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

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky added to this report at 5:29 p.m. April 12, 2011.

Gov. Pat Quinn is taking his push for workers' compensation reform to Illinois business leaders.

Participants in Business Lobby Day in Springfield applauded the Democrat when he called for fixing a system critics say costs employers too much and is driving them from the state.

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Illinois Unemployment / Taxes
12:31 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Illinois businesses to see tax increase in 2012

via Flickr/J_D_R

Starting next year, Illinois businesses will see a tax increase and the recently unemployed will lose a week of unemployment benefits.

That's because of a compromise bill passed this month in the Illinois Legislature.

The Rockford Register Star reports the deal is part of a longer-term plan to help contribute to Illinois' depleted unemployment trust fund, which is $3 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury.

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Illinois & Firearms
12:11 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

Ill. legislation would bar release of gun permit info

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

Names of people authorized to own guns would be declared secret under legislation approved by the Illinois House.

The state police would be barred from releasing information on people who have Firearm Owner Identification cards.

The House approved the bill 98-12 Friday. It now heads to the Senate.

The attorney general ruled last month that the list of people with FOID cards must be released under the state Freedom of Information Act.

Illinois Road Improvement Program
1:10 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Quinn touts update to state road program

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn, pictured here at his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 10, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn says the state has to spend money to ensure Illinois has safe roads and bridges.

Quinn on Thursday announced the latest update to the state road program that includes improving more than 3,200 miles of roads and replacing or repairing 611 bridges over the next six years.

He says the timing of the announcement was tied to a law that requires the state to announce its long-term road program.

Construction costs are estimated at $11.5 billion for the extensive list of projects. Money for the road program will come from federal, state and local funds.

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Federal Budget
4:32 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Illinois' U.S. senators: party leaders trying to avoid government shutdown

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

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Illinois
12:22 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Sheriffs want limit on jail wait for mentally ill

(via Flickr/neil conway)

A law enforcement group is supporting legislation to address a backlog of jail inmates waiting to be transferred to crowded state psychiatric facilities.

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Libya
2:31 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Kirk: Provide arms to Libyan rebels

U.S. Sen. for Ill. Mark Kirk.
(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

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

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says Libyan rebels should be given weapons to help them quickly overthrow Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

The Illinois Republican says furnishing weapons will help end the Libyan war and limit costs for the United States and its allies. 

Kirk spoke with reporters Friday. He says the conflict in Libya needs to be finished quickly. 

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Illinois Workers' Compensation
11:22 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Quinn to propose changes to workers' comp in Ill.

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

Gov. Pat Quinn is getting ready to propose changes to the workers' compensation system in Illinois.

The Chicago Democrat on Friday said both the law and the Workers' Compensation Commission must be revamped. He says changes to the law would make the system more affordable for businesses while remaining fair to workers.

Illinois Government
3:05 pm
Thu March 31, 2011

Comptroller-treasurer merger advances in Ill. Senate

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

Updated 3:20 p.m. with Illinois Public Radio story including more detail and comment from Rutherford.

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

Illinois' treasurer invests the state's money. The Comptroller pays the bills. A measure approved by the Senate today would merge the two constitutional offices.

Supporters say it makes "sense" - literally and metaphorically. According to projections, the consolidation would result in a savings of $12 million.

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