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Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

Lawmakers have been working on a new school funding model for the past few years, but some school districts have gotten impatient and decided to take the issue to court. So far, 16 school boards have voted to join the lawsuit, which will be filed by Chicago labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan.

SJ-R.com

High school basketball in Illinois has always been a popular spectator sport.  But you might not know that from the recent state tournaments.  

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Grand Bargain is a package of interlocking legislation designed to break the budget impasse. How important is school funding to that deal? Important enough that leaders titled it Senate Bill One. Under the plan filed by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the state would freeze funding at current levels. Any additional dollars would be distributed based on each district’s demographics and unique needs, channeling the bulk of the money toward low-income districts.

investigatinginnocence.org

Curtis and Cory Lovelace were two Quincy natives who met in high school and went on to marry and have four children. Referred to as pillars of the community,  Cory's death sent shock waves throughout the small town over a decade ago.

NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) made a stop at the Springfield Boys & Girls Club, saying it’s funding is under threat by President Trump’s budget proposal.

State Week: Budget Battles Continue In Courts

Mar 24, 2017
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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It seems there more budget action in Illinois courts than in the Statehouse. After getting just one paycheck since last summer, state legislators are finally getting paid.

Credit Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Dozens of times a day, in meeting rooms all over the state capitol, this is what you hear. Lawmakers take turns sitting in front of a committee and pitching their bills. Their colleagues ask questions, and then take a vote. Committee votes are not that big a deal. If the bill doesn’t get enough yes votes, the sponsor can bring it back later. If it passes, that just means it’s cleared to move on to the full House or Senate. Very rarely does a simple committee vote end with sustained applause and cheers.

Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday decided not to answer a question about whether non-profit hospitals must pay property taxes. The case began with Carle Hospital in Urbana, but has implications across Illinois.

Courtesy of Mini Kiss

This week Rachel and Scott talk to Louie Fatale of Minikiss. The tribute band is comprised of little people, Fatale plays the role of "Mini Gene."

Judge Neil Gorsuch has been grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 18 hours of questioning over two separate days, and the proceedings are not finished yet. On Thursday, the committee hears testimony from witnesses about Gorsuch's qualifications to be a justice of the US Supreme Court.

Kendall Coyne

A bill in Springfield seeks to ease the gender pay gap.

Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne, an Olympic silver-medalist in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and a member of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, has joined her fellow skaters in a fight off the ice.

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The nursing home industry is fighting legislation that would require them to have higher staffing levels — and greater penalties if they don’t meet them.

Illinois’ long-term care ombudsman tracks complaints and looks out for residents of nursing homes.

But the ombudsman has her own complaint. She says state agencies that regulate nursing homes are ignoring her.

When we become parents, we bring all the experiences of our prior lives into our work with our children.  These stories quietly influence our decisions and patterns of behavior as we raise our kids.

Some memories are of joyous occasions, but a few are of times of heartache or disappointment.  Dr. Selma Fraiberg, a 20th century psychologist, recognized those painful memories as “Ghosts in the Nursery,” and wrote about their power to negatively impact a parent’s experience of raising children.

Steven Spearie of the SJ-R talked with local public media managers about the potential impact of the Trump administration budget proposal.

Grand Bargain GOP
senators via ILGA.gov / Rauner by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Percy, The Trucker Cat: Lost And Found

Mar 22, 2017

  The story of Percy begins, as all great stories do, at a rest stop in Ohio.

USFWS-Mountain Prairie

The decline of the monarch butterfly population has led researchers to look for reasons why. 

A popular theory is the loss of milkweed, the only plant on which monarch larvae feed.  But a study from the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois indicates that's not the sole culprit.  

SJ-R.com

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

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Robert Moore has spent over 40 years in law enforcement. The Mississippi native and veteran moved to Illinois where he began his career as a State Trooper in Rockford. He went to be appointed as a U.S. Marshal. There are fewer than 100 who serve at a time, and each one is appointed by the president.

headshots of Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. Rodney Davis, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Darin LaHood, Rep. John Shimkus
U.S. House, U.S. Senate

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people.

 

It would no longer require that Americans buy health insurance, for instance, and it would eliminate current subsidies, replacing them with a fixed refundable tax credit.

To help Americans understand where Congress stands on the debate over this legislation, NPR, NPR Illinois and other member stations around the country have compiled a database of Congressional members’ positions on the bill.

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

CREDIT PBS NEWSHOUR

The NPR Two-Way blog will provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The live blog will include streaming video of the proceedings, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

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In Rural Trump Country, Trade Policy Divides

Mar 20, 2017
CREDIT GRANT GERLOCK / Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

Lia Lauck / Oswego High School

The Illinois State Board of Education approved a massive new school accountability plan last week. Our education desk reporter takes a closer look at the portion of the plan dealing with the fine arts.

The Iguanas Live on Mountain Stage
Brian Blauser / NPR Music

Purchase Tickets
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7:30 PM
Bar None, 245 S 5th St, Springfield IL

The Iguanas are a New Orleans conflux of indigenous North American music. The band's roots rock backbone is defined by a fusion of conjunto, blues, jazz, and R&B. Over the past 25 years the group has withstood the test of time with each of it's original members intact. This alone is a testament to the passion they have for recording and performing alongside one another.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Republican senators working with Gov. Bruce Rauner began breaking off pieces of the "grand bargain," which Democrats say undermines efforts to move toward a compromise budget. Meanwhile, what had been a bipartisan selection process for Illinois' U.S. attorneys is changing, with senior Republican Congressman John Shimkus saying he's waiting for the Trump administration to advise him on how to proceed.

KevinHoule/flickr

Today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration has changed over the last one hundred sixty years, but a few things remain the same. The Irish still wear green, parade, and finish with a big party. Our local history segment is sponsored by the Sangamon County Historical Society.

Alex Proimos / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

The Republican health plan currently in Congress would remove $40 billion from the Illinois’ current Medicaid program over the next 10 years, according to numbers from the Congressional Budget Office. The Illinois Hospital Association says they expect over 400,000 Medicaid recipients to lose coverage.

The largest factor for the state comes from dismantling the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which Illinois chose to accept. In its first three years of operation, 650,000 new people in the state got coverage under Medicaid.

The Scene With Poet Ian Winterbauer

Mar 16, 2017
A Jabber Publication / Pat Yaegle & Illinois Times

Ian Winterbauer says his poems deal largely with the Midwest - it's rural, poor towns and the eccentric characters therein. He says he's anti-academic, that "anyone could write poetry." Well, he certainly can.

NPR Illinois

As Illinois remains mired in gridlock and nearing two years without a full budget, voters are pinning the blame on state leaders.

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