Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford and WBEZ's Sam Hudzik was used in this story.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he will need to lay off 1,900 state employees and close seven state facilities to live within a budget sent to him by the General Assembly.
"Decisions made by members of the General Assembly I may or may not agree with, but once they have adopted their budget, it is now the law of our state," Quinn told reporters in Chicago today. "We have to implement this in a responsible manner."
Mo. Senate to consider new measure repealing teacher social media restrictions
A Mo. Senate committee has endorsed a measure to repeal a contentious new law restricting teachers' interaction with students over websites such as Facebook. The Senate Education Committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to repeal the law.
The action comes after a Mo. judge issued an order in September blocking the new law from taking effect, citing concerns that it could violate free speech rights.
Gov. Pat Quinn has granted 74 clemencies and denied 99 petitions, chipping away at a backlog of more than 2,500 cases in Illinois.
Quinn's office says that the 173 cases he addressed on Friday come from dockets ranging from 2004 to 2007. More than 2,500 clemency cases built up under Quinn's predecessor, ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Quinn has acted on 1,529 clemency petitions since taking office. He has granted 591 and denied 938.
Illinois Republicans say the state budget and national economy are key to their political fortunes next year.
They hope to chip away at the Democratic majority in the state legislature and protect the congressional seats they picked up in 2010.
As they gathered at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday, Republican leaders accused Democrats of mismanaging the Illinois budget. They criticized the recent income tax increase and Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to borrow money to pay overdue bills that are piling up.
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.
Forgotten bank accounts could be put to work for taxpayers much more quickly under a new Illinois law.
The measure says the state can take control of abandoned funds after just one year instead of five years. The rightful owners can claim the money if they ever show up, but Illinois will get to collect interest on the funds.