Illinois

The U.S. Census Bureau says since the last official census in 2010, Illinois has only gained about 52-thousand residents. That puts it in the bottom 10 states when it comes to population change during that time period.

No Big Change In Illinois' Population

Jan 2, 2014

The latest U.S. Census figures reveal slow population growth for Illinois.

Converting Civil Unions Into Gay Marriages

Nov 8, 2013
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The soon-to-be same-sex marriage law in Illinois will not affect civil unions. But gay couples in such a union will have an opportunity to convert their certificate.

Medicaid Purge In Illinois On Hold

Sep 18, 2013
state of Illinois

Illinois' attempts to remove ineligible people from the state's Medicaid rolls are being delayed. It comes amid a legal fight between the state and its largest public employees' union over who should actually do the work.

NPR

Illinois’ new medical marijuana law is considered one of the toughest in the nation. But some in the medical field are still lukewarm about having pot dispensaries across the state.

Weather Much Different For Illinois Farmers In 2013

Jul 8, 2013

This year's cooler, wetter weather is much different than what Illinois farmers were dealing with last year. Last year's drought almost appears to be a distant memory for growers.

NIU Police

The wrangling over a final concealed carry bill in Springfield is adding to the uncertainty at the local level. Officials continue to wait and see how a final bill would affect them.

ilga.gov, LinkedIn

Supporters of same-sex marriage in Illinois say Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings bolster their cause. But the court’s action doesn’t appear to be an immediate impact on the state.

Cigarette Tax Hike Revenue Falls Short Of Goal

Jun 20, 2013

Illinois’ dollar-per-pack cigarette tax hike took effect a year ago this month. But the the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability says it's expected to fall $130 million short of initial revenue estimates. 

State Gets Another Concealed-Carry Extension

Jun 18, 2013

Illinois now has until July 22nd to enact a concealed-carry law. That's after the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request by the state Attorney General to push back the deadline.

Concealed-Carry Bill Might Need Changes

Jun 17, 2013

The sponsor of the concealed carry bill says it needs a minor fix amid concerns about transparency. The measure was drafted after a federal court ruled Illinois' concealed carry ban unconstitutional. It's still being reviewed by Governor Pat Quinn.

Is Job Poaching Between States Worth It?

Jun 14, 2013

Attempting to lure a company from one state to another isn’t new. But some governors are attracting plenty of attention for so-called “job-poaching.” Illinois is one of several states that have been targeted by such efforts. But is it an effective strategy? 

Mike Moen

The U.S. Supreme Court says it’s unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile offender to life in prison without parole. It’s been a year since that ruling was handed down. But Illinois has yet to update its law to reflect the ruling.

Illinois.gov

Governor Pat Quinn says he will “review” legislation allowing people to carry guns in public. The measure cleared the General Assembly Friday afternoon.

A bill sitting on the governor’s desk would ban Illinois drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. The measure would still allow motorists to use hands free devices. But some want a law restricting that option as well.

Illinois Sees Boost In Tax Revenue

May 7, 2013
state of Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn says Illinois' income tax revenue for 2013 will top forecasts by $1.3 billion. He says he'll put the money toward the billions the state owes in unpaid bills.

Illinois House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Apr 17, 2013
Caveman 92223 / Flickr

Medical marijuana took a significant step toward becoming law in Illinois Wednesday. For the first time, it won approval in the House of Representatives.

There are three states tied for the highest unemployment rate in the country: Nevada, Mississippi, and California. Doing better by one-tenth of one percent is Illinois.

Illinois Science Standards Face Overhaul

Mar 26, 2013

Illinois educators are in the process of re-writing science standards for public school students. The move would involve a major shift in how the subject is taught.

WBEZ

Illinois lawmakers have until June 9th to come up with a plan to allow the concealed carry of handguns in the state, by order of a federal court. There have been a number of public hearings on the issue, but so far, legislative maneuvers have kept any plan from advancing.

Illinois Schools Brace For More Budget Pain

Mar 8, 2013

Education spending in Illinois would take a hit under the governor’s proposed budget. That would result in more pressure for districts already dealing with years of dwindling state aid.

Attendance Varies At Illinois Gun Hearings

Mar 7, 2013
WBEZ

  Illinois lawmakers are continuing to hold hearings into issues related to guns. On Thursday, they met to discuss guns and mental health issues, but the hearing was sparsely attended.

Quinn Vetoes Gambling Expansion Bill

Mar 4, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn waited until the last minute to act on a plan that would have given Illinois five new casinos – including one in Rockford – and allowed slot machines at horse race tracks.  

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey expressed disappointment at the veto but was optimistic that a Rockford-based casino could be approved in the November veto session.

New Pension Plan Unveiled

Feb 27, 2013
Illinois.gov

Several Illinois lawmakers have introduced another plan to address the state's massive pension problem. This proposal creates a new type of retirement plan for future teachers and university workers.

Concealed Carry Ruling Won't Be Reconsidered

Feb 22, 2013

A federal appeals court is refusing to reconsider a ruling  that says Illinois' concealed carry ban is unconstitutional.

Chris Slaby / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his State of the State address this week. He repeatedly hammered a theme of political courage during his speech to the General Assembly.

Susan Stephens

The state of Illinois owes eight area community colleges more than $15 million.

According to data from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), only about 20 percent of state funding that was promised has actually been distributed to Waubonsee Community College, Sauk Valley Community College, Highland Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, Kishwaukee College, Elgin Community College, McHenry County College and Rock Valley College for this fiscal year.

Illinois' Bond Rating Takes Another Hit

Jan 25, 2013
Illinois.gov

Illinois' bond rating continues to slide. Standard and Poor's has lowered Illinois to an A minus. The impact could mean it will cost Illinois more to borrow money for various projects and needs.

NRDC

Last year, Illinois had a summer that wasn't just hot, but historically hot. July was the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S., and more than 150 heat-related records were set in Illinois alone.

Illinois' Credit Rating Faces More Scrutiny

Jan 12, 2013
State of Illinois

All three major credit rating agencies have labeled Illinois' financial outlook a "negative."  Fitch issued its downgrade Friday. Fitch blames its action on lawmakers' failure to pass a pension overhaul before adjourning Tuesday.

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