Illinois

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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Illinois Gambling / Horse Racing
1:34 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Ill. gambling bill still up in the air while horse racing industry gets influx of cash

Horses race to the finish line at Fairmount Park Racetrack. The Jumbotron shows the action, and its age in the background. About $14 million will go to the racetrack in a recent account release. Some of the money will be used for upgrades and repairs.
(Robert Altman)

A decision by lawmakers to approve a massive expansion of gambling in Illinois has been followed by two months of delay as Gov. Pat Quinn studies the measure and decides where he stands.

Quinn has met with a revolving door of supporters and opponents, but he's given no details on what changes he'd like to see. Skeptical lawmakers continue to use a legislative maneuver to hang onto the bill until Quinn explains what he wants.

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Immigration / Education
3:30 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Quinn to sign Ill. Dream Act for scholarship money

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

A spokesman says Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign a bill to allow the children of immigrants, both legal and illegal, to get private college scholarships and enroll in state college savings programs.

Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says the governor will sign the bill Monday.

Called the Illinois Dream Act, the measure creates a panel to raise private money for college scholarships. Supporters say this will help illegal immigrants who graduate from Illinois high schools go on to college because they may otherwise not be able to afford it.

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Heat-Related Deaths
3:15 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

79-year-old woman, her two dogs suffer heat-related deaths in Madison Co., Ill.

(via Flickr/List)

Another heat-related death has been reported in Madison County, Ill.

Mildred M. Guide, 79, of Collinsville, Ill. is the latest person to fall victim to this season's sweltering weather, the Madison County Coroner announced in a statement.

According to the coroner's statement, Guide's home had a working air conditioner installed, but that it had been turned off. The temperature inside the house was reportedly near a possible 100 degrees.

Two dogs, kept as family pets, were also found dead inside the home, the coroner's statement said.

The first heat-related death reported in Madison County this season was that of 51-year-old Mitsunari Uechi on July 11.

Illinois State Workers
3:43 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Quinn continues to defend budget without raises

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

Gov. Pat Quinn is defending signing a budget that state officials say didn't fully fund 12 of 14 agencies even before the Chicago Democrat canceled raises for thousands of state workers.

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Illinois Unemployment Data
1:15 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Ill. unemployment rises for second straight month

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Unemployment in Illinois increased to 9.2 percent in June, the second straight month the state jobless rate increased.

The state Department of Employment Security on Thursday laid part of the blame on weak consumer confidence they said was hindering the national economy.

The national unemployment rate hit also 9.2 percent in June. That was up from 9.1 percent.

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Illinois / Education
2:55 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Ill. state schools chief says budget cuts hurt reform

(via Flickr/xavi talleda)

Illinois' education chief says the state hasn't provided enough money to institute a new education reform law that's been praised nationwide.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law last month legislation that makes it harder for teachers to strike and easier for districts to fire them, among other things. The bill had support from unions and advocacy groups.

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Illinois / Health Care
11:24 am
Fri July 15, 2011

Ill. budget cuts reduce drug benefits for seniors, people with disabilities

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

About 20 percent of seniors and people with disabilities will lose prescription drug coverage because of cuts in the Illinois state budget.

State officials are sending letters to 43,000 participants saying they won't qualify for "Illinois Cares Rx" as of Sept. 1. Those who are still enrolled will pay more out of pocket for their prescriptions.

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Illinois Foreclosures
2:19 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

Illinois home foreclosures up 4 percent in June, down 25 percent from last year

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 4 percent in June compared to the previous month, but was down 25 percent from one year earlier.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 6,541 homes receiving initial foreclosure filings last month.

Another 1,944 properties were scheduled for auction sale and 2,529 properties were repossessed by banks.

Looking at the first six months of the year, Illinois foreclosure activity fell 29 percent compared to the same period last year.

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