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

After Last Year's Defeat, Rauner Trying To Reassert Role In Budget Process

There was a rare meeting Thursday among Gov. Bruce Rauner and the top leaders of the Illinois General Assembly.

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Illinois Prison System's Budget, A 'Five-Alarm Fire'

The Illinois Department of Corrections says a major cash crunch has it struggling to keep its facilities running. The warning came Wednesday at a Senate budget hearing. But some Democratic lawmakers say that was the first time they were hearing the situation was so dire.

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Statehouse

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said he would have preferred President Trump get congressional clearance before attacking Syria’s Assad regime Friday. 

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Education Desk

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is having a no good, miserable day.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Medical marijuana outlet lobby
HCI Alternatives

What's often called synthetic marijuana has led to three deaths in Illinois and sickened dozens in recent days. It has some in the medical cannabis industry concerned. 

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Arts & Life

NPR Illinois will host a letter-writing station throughout the month of April, which will lead to this reception. The public is asked to contribute "survivor love letters" - anonymously written and addressed in support of those who have survived sexual assault. This will result in a community art exhibition of the letters at the gallery in the NPR Illinois station.

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Equity

Rachel Otwell

Those in favor of a measure they say would help get an amendment closer to being added to the U.S. Constitution will head to the statehouse to lobby for it on Tuesday.

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Illinois Economy

russellstreet / Flickr- CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois needs more money to cover its deteriorating transportation systems, but the federal government’s new infrastructure plan doesn’t offer much. 

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Amanda Vinicky

The Illinois House is poised to vote Thursday on an overhaul of the state's pension systems. The plan easily advanced out of a House committee Wednesday morning. But the Senate's working on different method. 

Wednesday began with a widespread feeling that after more than a year of failed attempts to reduce the state's pension debt, House Speaker Michael Madigan's proposal might be it. 

Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan)
Illinois Senate

The Illinois Senate has once again approved an expansion of gambling. But it remains to be seen whether Governor Pat Quinn will go along with the plan.

The Illinois House is poised to vote Thursday on an overhaul of the state's pension systems. It would reduce state workers', teachers', and university employees' future retirement benefits. The plan easily advanced out of a House committee Wednesday morning. 

There's a feeling in the capitol that after countless attempts to reduce the state's pension debt, this may be it. Insiders say it's significant that the plan's sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan — who rarely takes action without having support locked up. 

afscme31.org

Illinois’ new deal with the state’s largest public employees union could be null and void.   The union is going to take a second vote on its contract agreement with Governor Pat Quinn’s administration.  Amanda Vinicky reports from the WUIS Statehouse Bureau.

It took 15 months for AFSCME to reach an agreement.   They finally got a deal in late February.

But AFSCME says because a key condition of the settlement has not been met,  it will ask members if they still want to proceed with the new contract.

The survey of employers find many have positive expectations for their own firms, but have a negative overall outlook for the coming year.  Ashley Kirzinger, Director of the UIS Survey Research Office, spoke with us about the findings:

The survey is sponsored by the University of Illinois Springfield's Chancellor's Office, the Center for State Policy and Research at UIS and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

A plan to have a form of concealed carry in Illinois is in for changes in the state Senate

Beason Slayings Trial To Begin In Peoria

Apr 29, 2013
pjstar.com

The trial for the first of two brothers charged in the killing of a Logan County family more than three years ago is scheduled to begin Monday in Peoria.

Christopher Harris and his brother, Jason Harris, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Rick and Ruth Gee in September 2009 at their home in Beason, ten miles east of Lincoln.

16-year-old Justina Constant, 14-year-old Dillen Constant and 11-year-old Austin Gee were also bludgeoned to death with a tire iron.  Three-year-old Tabitha Gee was the only survivor.

Springfield Park District

Want to play golf at the Springfield Park District courses?  Previously, you had to call to find out tee times.  But a new website will allow you to find and book a tee time online.   Paul Loutzenhiser, the district's head golf professional and Lance Flury, the golf pro at the Pasfield course, talked with WUIS' Sean Crawford about it.  Lance says along with helping golfers get out on the links, it will benefit the park district.

Deathpenaltyinfo.org

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the death at age 81 of former Chief Justice Moses Harrison.  
Harrison died Thursday at a St. Louis hospital. The cause of death wasn't immediately revealed.  
Harrison began his career on the bench in 1973 as a circuit court judge. He was serving on the 5th District Appellate Court when he was elected to the Supreme Court in 1992. He served as chief justice from 2000 to 2002.

WUIS Spring Drive Progress
Randy Eccles

WUIS program funding is $30,000 short at the completion of the spring on-air drive.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Will Illinois Face Another Budget Impasse?

Passing a state budget is arguably the most important thing the Illinois General Assembly does every year — or at least should do every year. After last year's drama — when a two-year standoff ended with a Republican revolt against Governor Bruce Rauner — it's an open question about how things will go this year. So I set out to answer a simple question: Will there be another impasse?

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Featured

Old Animal Specimens May Hold The Key To New Discoveries

You find all kinds of things in drawers when you're getting ready to move. Expired credit cards. Single socks. Concert tickets. Chargers from old phones. Two-foot-long dead squirrels. Well, maybe not the squirrels - unless you're a scientist moving to a new lab. That's what happened in the Biology Department at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Last year, the department moved into a brand new building with state-of-the-art genetics labs, technology in the lecture halls - the works. Biologist...

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PodCamp

Illinois Issues

Illustrator Pat Byrnes​

Illinois Takes On Sexual Harassment

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, state lawmakers have tried to address sexual harassment in a variety of ways. We explore what's been done and what some say may be ahead.

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Politics

The trial of American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson began Monday in Turkey, accused of aiding groups said to have organized a failed coup there in 2016. The case is further straining relations between the United States and Turkey.

The trial is taking place in Aliaga, a town on the Aegean sea north of Izmir. Brunson, 50, is pastor at the Izmir Resurrection Church and has lived in Turkey for more than two decades. He faces up to 35 years in prison.

Last week, John Boehner, the retired congressman from Ohio and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced on Twitter that he was getting into the weed game:

"I'm joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved," Boehner wrote. "I'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities."

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

Turning The Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women (As Chosen By You)

The results are in for the first-ever NPR Turning the Tables readers' poll, and they send a strong message to anyone fancying themselves a cultural justice warrior in 2018. It is this: check your intervention . The original list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women , assembled by a committee of nearly 50 NPR-affiliated women, sought to correct a historic bias against putting women's stories, and their artistry, at the center of popular music history. Your votes and comments, which deeply...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

Vespers Or Vision Quest? Soulful Music For A Violin In Flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN6P8m9w8bA Vespers, the traditional late afternoon prayer service, gets an enigmatic twist in a new video by director James Darrah, premiered here, with music from Missy Mazzoli , performed by the spirited violinist Olivia De Prato. The track is from her new album, Streya . The narrative, shot in slow-motion, opens with dancer Sam Shapiro's character, heavy with sleep, stirring on a sun-drenched morning. It mysteriously unfolds as a kind of barefoot vision...

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