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Bruce Rauner
Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

On Income Tax, Rauner's Budget Plan Doesn't Match Campaign Rhetoric

When out campaigning, Governor Bruce Rauner has been making big claims about lowering taxes. But there was little follow-through in Wednesday's budget proposal.

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Screenshot of ad from Citizens For Rauner, Inc.

Old Idea Could Change School Funding Dollars

Trending Stories

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Even Without A Budget, Illinois Spends And Spends

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to unveil his fourth budget proposal Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly. Illinois lawmakers have only enacted a budget for one of the three years he’s been in office. That led to service cuts and some layoffs, but the state didn’t collapse. For most people, life went on as normal. So we asked Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey: Does it really matter if Illinois has a budget?

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Smith talking with young student
Illinois State Board of Education / Facebook

More Dollars Add Up To Less Trust

Statehouse

Bruce Rauner
Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

When out campaigning, Governor Bruce Rauner has been making big claims about lowering taxes. But there was little follow-through in Wednesday's budget proposal.

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Education Desk

When Dustin Gordon's high school invited juniors and seniors to meet with recruiters from colleges and universities, a handful of students showed up.

A few were serious about the prospect of continuing their educations, he said, "But I think some of them went just to get out of class."

In his sparsely settled community in the agricultural countryside of southern Iowa, "there's just no motivation for people to go" to college, says Gordon, who's now a senior at the University of Iowa.

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Health+Harvest Desk

A Call For Immunization

Feb 8, 2018
Mary Cullen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

With more cases of vaccine-preventable disease in Illinois, doctors say shots should not be skipped.

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Arts & Life

Mary Frances Fagan at the statehouse bureau
NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

For 8 years, Mary Frances Fagan was the voice of state government coverage on public radio throughout Illinois.  Fagan died this week after battling cancer.  She was 63.

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Equity

Terry Farmer

For decades, women have been battling to break through the “glass ceilings” in their chosen fields. To the Front is an NPR Illinois series where we talk with female and nonbinary people about the way their identity intersects with their art and work. 

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Illinois Economy

Check cashing signage
Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A group of Illinois state legislators want to lower check cashing rates at currency exchanges — while the industry is pushing to raise those rates.

 

Last summer, the industry told Illinois’ financial regulator it hadn’t been allowed to increase service fees since 2007, and the time had come for a raise. 

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A concealed firearm.
Mark Holloway via Flickr

An Illinois Senate committee has approved legislation that would pave the way for concealed-carry of firearms in Illinois. But gun-rights advocates say it's too restrictive, and the measure faces an uphill climb.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, was trying to negotiate a compromise with gun-rights supporters. But ultimately he went his own way. His proposal would not allow guns in schools, day cares, casinos, and stadiums.

Peter Gray

The State of Illinois caps the number of high needs learners who share the attention of a single special education teacher.

For the past decade, there has also been a limit on how many children with disabilities can be placed in what are known as “general education” public school classrooms.

But those rules could soon be repealed.

The mother of a young man with autism has joined advocates for the disabled who say the proposed change has to do more with cost-savings than with properly educating kids.

FARNSWORTH: “My name is George Farnsworth.”

Flickr.com/thebuffafamily

Just over two weeks remain before the Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the summer, on May 31st. They still have a lot to deal with in that time — like pensions, concealed carry, same-sex marriage, and next year's budget. But an incident Wednesday in the Illinois House shows tempers are already starting to flare.

Amanda Vinicky

After several stumbles, an agreement  has been reached on how to regulate "fracking" in Illinois.  A House committee could vote on the package Thursday morning.  

  The oil and natural gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing has been a boon for job creation in places like  North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

State legislators want the same in Illinois.

As do oil and gas drillers looking to make a handsome profit.

John Michael Presney is a Rochester native who’s spent the last couple years touring the country as part of a musical production that he played rockabilly star Carl Perkins in. But 25 year old Presney has crafted a music-style all his own. And he has a new EP called ‘The Nighttime and the Dawn’ to prove it.

  The third Springfield PrideFest is this Saturday. The all-day event celebrating gay pride includes food, drinks, and performances. The festival will be on Capitol Avenue between 4th and 6th streets downtown. WUIS’ Rachel Otwell recently spoke with Jonna Cooley about it, she’s the executive director of The Pheonix Center which puts on the event:

CLICK HERE for more info about the event on Saturday in downtown Springfield from noon to 9pm.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

A local elementary school is teaching students about growing their own food with a hands-on project. Rachel Otwell recently visited the community garden across from McClernand Elementary School and spoke with instructors and students as they planted and tended to plots. She brings us this story:

Thinkprogress.org

Could Illinois be getting closer to legalizing the medical use of marijuana?  Dan Riffle is with the Marijuana Policy Project, which has lobbied state lawmakers to approve the law.  He was a guest on WUIS’ Illinois Edition with Sean Crawford. 

road construction
Gary Brown via Flickr (gsbrown99)

Less than half of the money in Illinois' Road Fund actually pays for highway construction and maintenance. That's the finding in a new audit (pdf) that also says the Road Fund overpaid for employee health insurance.

Calvin Christian

Members of the Springfield City Council are looking for a way to prevent further incidents like the one in April in which police records were apparently shredded or deleted after they were requested by a local reporter through the Freedom of Information Act.

Tuesday night aldermen passed out of committee an ordinance that would require all changes to union contracts be approved by the Council and signed by the Mayor.  Such contractual changes are known as memorandums of understanding, or MOUs. 

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Illinois Issues

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Peace Rooms and Mindfulness: New School Discipline Philosophy One Year Later

School districts had a year to implement a state law that banned zero-tolerance policies and emphasized restorative justice practices. We check back in with five districts we visited in the summer of 2016 to see how school discipline has changed.

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Mary Cullen / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

The Radium Girls: An Illinois Tragedy

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Radium Girls: Cleaning Up Contamination

Featured

Who's Missing From America's Colleges? Rural High School Graduates

When Dustin Gordon's high school invited juniors and seniors to meet with recruiters from colleges and universities, a handful of students showed up. A few were serious about the prospect of continuing their educations, he said, "But I think some of them went just to get out of class." In his sparsely settled community in the agricultural countryside of southern Iowa, "there's just no motivation for people to go" to college, says Gordon, who's now a senior at the University of Iowa. "When...

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Low-Wage Workers Say #MeToo Movement Is A Chance For Change

The campaign to speak out against workplace sexual harassment began with women in Hollywood and in the media — those in positions of relative power and privilege. Now, women in retail, agriculture and domestic work — where harassment rates run very high — say they, too, are starting to feel the impact of the #MeToo movement. "It's had an incredibly dramatic impact in our industry," says Saru Jayaraman, president of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a group that advocates for better...

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Continued Interest

amazon.com

Confessions Of A Former White Supremacist

A former white supremacist is coming to Springfield to talk about his shift from racial hate to "rational love." Joseph Pearce is Tolkien & Lewis Chair in Literary Studies at Holy Apostles College & Seminary and Senior Editor at the Augustine Institute.

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Politics

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The X | 91.9-3 HD

Announcing The 2018 Tiny Desk Contest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2Pf41N5Rqo It's time to crank up the amps, warm up the drum machines, dust off the sax (or whatever your instrument of choice is) and enter the Tiny Desk Contest . When we started the contest in 2014, we did it for one simple reason: We love discovering new music. And since then, this contest has been an amazing way to do just that. I've been thrilled to discover new artists from around the country and hear some unforgettable music through your videos. I've...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

Classical Music's Greatest Love Stories, On And Offstage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NAu1mS2QsQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNa378n3QwI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZwDv3md3uY Classical music has plenty of infamous fictional couples: Dido and Aeneas, Mimì and Rodolfo, and of course, Romeo and Juliet. "The thing about fictional love stories in music is that, especially in opera, most of them end very badly, you know, with the lovers singing heartrending arias just before they die," says Miles Hoffman, The American Chamber Players...

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