Illinois | St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

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

School officials say Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's decision to slash school transportation spending could hurt instruction, even though he wants to increase the amount the state spends per pupil.

The budget Quinn unveiled in Springfield yesterday cuts $95 million from the state school busing fund.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his annual state budget address today in Springfield.

Join us tonight at 7 p.m.  for a broadcast the full address on 90.7 FM or online here.

You can also follow along and read the full text of the Governor's address here.

So far, here are some reactions to Quinn's budget:

Illinois - 2010 U.S. Census Population Data

 

The U.S. Census Bureau released Illinois population and demographic data today.

Why is this important? Among other reasons, the data can be used to re-draw federal, state and local legislative districts.

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.

(via Jenna Dooley, WUIS)

Winter hats mingled with stovepipe hats at the center of a nationwide effort to honor Abraham Lincoln and set a world record.

Hundreds of people gathered Friday in Springfield to recite the speech Lincoln gave when he left for the White House. At the same time, people across the country read the speech in hope of setting a new mark for the most people to read a document aloud simultaneously.

Lincoln delivered his heartfelt goodbye exactly 150 years ago.

An Illinois lawmaker is pushing to raise the state's minimum wage to more than $10 an hour - higher than anywhere else in the United States.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. with comment from Ameren Missouri.

A new report suggests that power plants in Illinois and Missouri are among the nation’s top emitters of mercury pollution.

Mercury can cause serious health problems for both wildlife and people who eat contaminated fish.

The look of the Illinois license plate has changed substantially over the years - just look at that blast from the past above for proof - but a pending bill in the Illinois Legislature would push the cosmetic transition to a "for-profit" level.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that SB1360 would allow corporate sponsors to put their logos on license plates as a way to create revenue for the state.

via Flickr/alancleaver_2000

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

A plan to collect money from Illinois tax deadbeats produced more than expected.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office said Monday that offering delinquent taxpayers a chance to pay up without punishment brought in $314 million. It was originally expected to produce about $250 million.

Experts believe much of that overdue tax money would have been collected eventually. The amnesty program simply brought it in faster.

Boeing announced today that they're moving into production at their new site in Mascoutah, Ill., the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

The Illinois Republican Party plans a statewide pre-primary straw poll ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

The party made the announcement Sunday night at an event marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan. The Illinois GOP says the straw poll will be Nov. 5 and measure the support of Republican presidential hopefuls.

Springfield Mayor Timothy Davlin's death has been ruled a suicide.

A Sangamon County inquest Thursday determined the 53-year-old Democrat died of a close-contact bullet wound to the heart in a vehicle parked at his home Dec. 14.

Investigators say they found no note from Davlin. They say there were no signs of foul play and no drugs or alcohol in his body.

Davlin apparently called 911 from a cordless landline phone in his car but hung up.

In an expected move after yesterday's press conference on the subject, Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation into law that temporarily increases the Illinois income tax rate by two-thirds.

Quinn said yesterday that the legislation is meant to help close a $15 billion budget deficit that threatens to cripple state government.

But what does the legislation mean for Illinois citizens?

The Illinois General Assembly has passed several major bills in the last few days of its lame-duck session.

Two of the bills, one on an income tax increase and the other on abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, were the focus of a press conference held today by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Here are some highlights of Quinn's comments:

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

UPDATE 3:03 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Associated Press is reporting that the Illinois Senate has voted to abolish the death penalty in that state.

The Chicago Tribune also reports the following:

The ban on executions goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who must sign the legislation for it to become law. During last fall's campaign, Quinn said he supports "capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly," but also backs the 10-year-old moratorium on executions.

The Senate voted 32-25 to approve the ban, with two members voting present.

 

UPDATE 1:13 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Illinois Senate is debating the death penalty bill this afternoon on the floor. You can listen or watch the debate live here.

Earlier Story:

Illinois has moved one step closer to a vote on abolishing the death penalty in the state.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning to advance a bill to repeal the death penalty, setting up a probable full Senate vote later today.

The bill passed in the House last week in a quick re-vote when the first vote failed the bill, 59-58.

The Chicago Tribune also has more information on the history of the death penalty in the state, via legislation and key cases in their story today.

 

Democrat Pat Quinn has been sworn in to a full term as governor of Illinois, two years after he got the job when his predecessor, the much-discussed Rod Blagojevich, was kicked out of office.

Quinn was sworn in Monday in Springfield amid an immense budget crisis.

The website "TopRetirements.com" mentioned 10 states that retirees should avoid based on fiscal health, taxation and climate.  Topping the list? Illinois. 

An Illinois Marine has died from wounds he received while fighting in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports.

The Department of Defense said Monday that 23-year-old Lance Cpl. Kenneth Corzine of Bethalto died on Friday, or Christmas Eve, from wounds he suffered Dec. 5 during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Corzine was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Bethalto is about 25 miles northeast of St. Louis, Mo.

UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. Dec. 21, 2010, with information about reapportionment of Missouri congressional districts.

There’s already speculation that the Republican-dominated Missouri House and Senate will target the St. Louis-area districts held by Democrats Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan.  But GOP House Member John Diehl, who chairs that chamber’s reapportionment committee, downplayed that possibility before reporters at the State Capitol.

New 2010 U.S. Census figures will be released tomorrow.  And that could be bad news for the St. Louis region.

(Flickr Creative Commons User aka Kath)

UPDATED 2:54 p.m. Dec. 15:

According to a news release from the Sangamon county Coroner's Office Davlin died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

UPDATED 4:20 p.m. Dec. 14:

In a press release, the Illinois State Police announced that they have been asked by the Springfield Police Department to conduct an investigation into Davlin's death. The Illinois State Police will also be performing the autopsy on Dec. 15.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois is set to get millions of dollars for high-speed rail projects that were supposed to go to two other states. But that news may not be as good as it sounds.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Daniel Leininger)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data today about the state of unemployment over the past year for the St. Louis Mo.-Ill metropolitan area. We have some of the highlights for you:

  • St. Louis Mo.-Ill. registered an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent in October 2010 (not seasonally adjusted).
  • Nationally, the unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in October 2010, not seasonally adjusted.
  • Employment rose in St. Louis at a rate of 0.1 percent, but not as much as it did nationally, 0.5 percent.

So who was getting hired?

The Associated Press is reporting that the Illinois Senate has approved civil unions for gay couples.  Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign the measure.

Here's more information from the AP (as of 2:10 p.m.):

At the beginning of the month, a report came out from the Pew Hispanic Center reporting that illegal immigration into the country had declined "sharply since mid-decade."

According to the study, which used U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of undocumented immigrants in the country dropped 8 percent, from 12 million in March 2007 to 11.1 million in March 2009. 

As some of you likely encountered, last weekend construction wreaked havoc on Interstate 55/70 between Missouri and Illinois. Though I did my best to listen closely on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning as KMOX gave us repeated fair warning, all I retained was a 90 percent certainty that it was going to be a mess, and it was going to start at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Fielding arrows is stickier than firing them. Just ask Pat Quinn.

His Quinntessential populism, propelled through the decades by his assaults on the antics and motives of public officials, put him in position to become governor; now he defends himself against accusations he fired his inspector general for pouncing on ethical violations.

Tens of thousands of Illinoisans in cities and hamlets throughout the state relish the intellectual stimulation, companionship and shared humanity of book clubs. Why not voter clubs?

Delivering his first speech since claiming the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night, Sen Barack Obama pledged strong support for Israel, calling Iran the greatest threat to peace in the region.

Obama vowed that, if elected, he "will do everything in my power" to prevent the Tehran government from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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