Illinois

Illinois lawmakers go to Cuba
11:47 am
Mon September 5, 2011

Group of Ill. lawmakers heads to Cuba for "trade mission"

Ill. Rep. Jack Franks.
(Illinois General Assembly website)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.

About a dozen Illinois state lawmakers are headed to Cuba this week for what's being called a trade mission.

Representative Jack Franks says the visit could boost state exports to Cuba.  The Democrat from Woodstock will be leading the week-long trip.  It's been 12 years since former Governor George Ryan traveled to Cuba in a high profile effort to build a new market for Illinois' farm economy.  Franks says trade with Cuba has fallen off since then.

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Illinois Gambling / Horse Racing
4:17 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Language of law keeping money from Ill. horse racing industry

Horses speed around the track at Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Ill.
(Robert Altman)

$2.6 million dollars is waiting to be distributed to Illinois’ horse racing industry but the law’s wording is keeping that from happening.

More than a decade ago Illinois legislators promised horse tracks 15 percent of the tenth casino’s gross revenue receipts.

That license was caught up in the courts for years.

Finally a new owner opened the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines in July, yet the portion slated for horse racing remains in the state’s Gaming Fund.

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Illinois Electric Rates
2:33 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Lawmakers send electric rate bill to Gov. Quinn

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Legislation to raise electric rates to help pay to modernize the state's power grid is on its way to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has repeatedly promised to veto it because of the burden it places on consumers.

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Illinois / Education
10:54 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Judge sides with Ill. governor in regional superintendents' pay dispute

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Updated 5:12 p.m. with statement from Gov. Pat Quinn

Updated 1:20 p.m. with statement from superintendents

A circuit judge has upheld Gov. Pat Quinn's authority to eliminate salaries for regional school superintendents across Illinois.

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Illinois / Education
3:22 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Judge will rule Friday on Ill. superintendents' pay

(via Flickr/frankjuarez)

A Sangamon County judge says he is "aghast" at the hardships created by Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to cancel salaries for the state's regional school superintendents.

But Judge John Schmidt also indicated Thursday that he's reluctant to interfere with the executive branch by ordering Quinn to restore the money.

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Illinois / Education
4:13 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Ill. regional school chiefs sue to get paid by state

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Illinois' 44 regional school superintendents have gone to court to get paid by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools filed a lawsuit in Sangamon County Friday seeking paychecks the Democratic governor cut off in July.

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West Nile virus
10:20 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Ill. reports first human cases of West Nile virus

Two men in Illinois are the first people in the state to test positive for West Nile virus. Missouri has no reported human cases.
(via Flickr/James Jordan)

Two men in Illinois are the first human cases of West Nile virus in the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says a Cook County man in his 80s got sick earlier this month. A 30-year-old from south-central Illinois became ill in July. In 2010, the first human case was reported on Aug. 31 - 61 people eventually tested positive.

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Illinois Unemployment Data
2:11 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Illinois unemployment up for 3rd straight month

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

State officials say unemployment in Illinois inched up to 9.5 percent in July, the third consecutive month it has increased.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says there were 24,900 fewer jobs reported last month.

Unemployment for Illinois was 9.1 percent in June. But the rate one year ago in July was 10.1 percent.

The numbers were released Thursday and are based on data from the state agency and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Environment / Illinois
12:50 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

New Ill. law creates environmental justice commission

An interior look at the dome of the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation creating a commission to ensure minorities and the poor aren't disproportionately affected by environmental pollution.

The Environmental Justice Act was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Chicago Heights and Rep. Will Davis of East Hazel Crest.

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Illinois / Education
4:43 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Quinn wants to work out regional school superintendent pay

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

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to work with regional school superintendents on who should pay their salaries.

Superintendents across Illinois are working for free after Quinn in early July eliminated the funds that pay them and their assistants. That's because there's a budget dispute over where the money to pay them should come from.

Quinn said Monday he thinks "we can work that out" but provided no details.

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