Illinois

Morning round-up
8:53 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Morning headlines - Thursday, May 3, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. General Assembly sends probation and parole reforms to Gov. Nixon

The Missouri General Assembly has sent Gov. Jay Nixon a measure that could reduce the amount of time some non-violent felons in the state spend on probation and parole.

The state Senate approved the measure yesterday 24-3, shortly after the state House did the same thing without opposition.

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Ill. facility closures
11:55 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Ill. legislative commission rejects Quinn closures

An Illinois legislative commission has rejected three state facility closures proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn as part of his FY2013 budget.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 6:15 am Wednesday. Reporting from Amanda Vinicky in Springfield and Jacob McCleland in Cape Girardeau was used in this report.

An Illinois legislative commission has signaled its opposition to Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to close two prisons and a state center for people with developmental disabilities.

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Illinois State Government
3:50 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Illinois backlog of bills tops $5.5 billion

A huge backlog of unpaid bills continues to plague Illinois state government.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka reported Monday that her office ended March with more than $5.5 billion in bills the state couldn't afford to pay. State agencies had their own stacks of bills, so Topinka believes the total backlog was more than $9 billion.

She says Illinois is basically treading water financially. The state is taking in more money from a recent income tax increase, but that is offset by less federal aid and increased pension costs.

Illinois/Medicaid
2:29 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Cigarette tax increase on the table in Ill. in search for $2.7B in Medicaid cuts

The interior of the dome at the Illinois State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers say a cigarette tax increase is on the table as a bipartisan committee strains to find $2.7 billion in cuts to the Illinois Medicaid program.

Two Republicans and two Democrats are charged with finding a deal. But they're confronting fundamental differences, including disagreement on the cigarette tax.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says Gov. Pat Quinn's administration floated a proposal that included $1.3 billion in cuts to Medicaid program spending, a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax and rate cuts to health care providers.

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Mega Millions / Illinois
4:08 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Ill. schools get over $30M from record lottery sales

(via Flickr/Rob Lee)

Last week's record Mega Millions drawing made a winner of Illinois schools, too.

WBBM Radio reports that record Illinois lottery sales in the past nine weeks pumped $31.5 million into the fund devoted to public schools.

Lottery officials say that's mostly because of the multistate Mega Millions game that reached an all-time high $656 million before producing three main winners in a drawing Friday.

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Record Heat
2:54 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

March was warmest on record in St. Louis - Illinois, too.

(via Flickr/Jack W. Reid)

March’s average temperature in St. Louis this year is almost 15 degrees above normal. If the forecast holds true tomorrow, St. Louis’s unusually high temperatures will make this the warmest March on record.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Britt says the average temperature this month will be almost 61 degrees.

“The previous record of 1910 was only about 57.5 so that’s a considerable breaking of the record,” he said.  

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Ill. eavesdropping
1:55 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Ill. court strikes down eavesdropping rule

(via Flickr/kev_hickey_uk)

Updated at 1:55 to correct spelling of judge's name.

A second judge in Illinois has struck down a state law that requires all parties to consent before a conversation can be recorded.

The law in question makes it a felony to record without everyone's permission. Even recording public officials in public places can be illegal.

Cook County Judge Stanley Sacks ruled today that the law was unconstitutional because it could criminalize "wholly innocent conduct."

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Illinois Medicaid
3:12 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Glasses, wheelchairs on Illinois Medicaid cut list

(via Flickr/bgottsab)

An adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers would have to choose everything on a list of possible Medicaid cuts to get to the $2.7 billion proposed by the governor.

Among the options on a list prepared by Quinn's administration is a 9 percent reduction in payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmacies.

The list includes changing eligibility rules for nursing homes and at-home help so that some incontinent elderly people who can't prepare their own meals would be denied state-financed care.

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Ill. ag director
1:08 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Former state representative named Ill. agriculture director

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn has named former Democratic state representative Bob Flider to be Ilinois' next Director of Agriculture.
(photo via Facebook/State Rep. Bob Flider)

Reporting from Jim Meadows was used in this story.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has named a former Democratic state representative from central Illinois to be the state's new Director of Agriculture.

If he's confirmed by the state Senate, Bob Flider will take over at a department that hasn't had a permanent director since October.

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Illinois / Pat Quinn
11:50 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Quinn: State of State will focus on jobs

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(via Flickr/ChrisEaves.com)

Gov. Pat Quinn says his State of the State address will include a proposal for tax relief for Illinois families.

The Democrat gives his speech Wednesday in Springfield. He says he'll focus on talking about jobs and economic growth. Quinn says those are the issues foremost on people's minds.

During an appearance in Chicago on Tuesday, Quinn declined to give details of any of his proposals until Wednesday.

A spokeswoman says Quinn is expected to lay out an agenda that'll include several proposals.

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