News

Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan

The federal government returned the East St. Louis Housing Authority to local control last fall, a sign of confidence in the city's new leadership. But challenges remain, including millions of dollars in repairs and concerns about the conditions at its aging public housing complexes.

geographic chart of private school donations in Illinois
Illinois Department of Revenue

Beginning this week, people and corporations donating up to $1.3 million for private school scholarships can get a 75 percent credit toward their state income tax. This was a controversial but bipartisan concept, adopted last summer to help forge a compromise in a big overhaul of Illinois' school funding plan.

Such programs have taken off in other states, but it’s off to a slower start here.

Taylor Johnson / larsennash.com, CC BY 2.0

  

A new Illinois law breaks down the guidelines an attorney must follow in a so-called “collaborative divorce”. 

KOMU News-Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A new law will give some Illinois truck drivers a break when it comes to safety inspections. It sounds like an idea that could make roads less safe.  But Don Schaefer with the Midwest Truckers Association says that's not the case.  

Record store
Todd Gehman (flickr.com/pugetive)

Happy New Year, Folks!

Many blind parents say they have fallen prey to preconceived biases involving their children and their parenting capabilities. A new law in Illinois aims to address these concerns.

John Cullerton and Christine Radogno
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As we get ready to welcome 2018, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another wild year in Illinois government and politics.

Twenty-seventeen was a wild year in Illinois government and politics: it began without a budget and ended with the Republican governor facing a primary challenge.

Along the way there was a tax hike, a once-in-a-generation overhaul of education funding, hot-button bills relating to abortion and immigration, and accusations of a culture of sexual harassment in the Statehouse.

Peter Breen
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new law allowing public funding of abortion in Illinois will take effect as scheduled on January 1. That’s after a judge on Thursday ruled against anti-abortion groups who’d sued to block it.

New Illinois Laws In 2018

Dec 28, 2017
Meagan Davis / FLICKR

Laws about divorce, pets and traveling elephants will take effect January 1.

With Gov. Bruce Rauner's approval, Illinois legislators designated August 4 as Barack Obama Day in the state. That law along with more than 200 others take effect January 1.

In addition to overhauling the school funding formula and passing a spending plan for the first time in two years, lawmakers approved new consumer protections, rules for electric bikes and animal welfare measures.

National Police Dog Foundation

When a police officer is injured, getting them medical help is expected.  But what about when that officer is a K-9?  A new Illinois law allows E-M-T's to transport the dog to a veterinarian for treatment. 

A former UIS employee was arrested for the campus  burglaries reported on December 18th. 

This year marks the 31st annual First Night celebration of the arts in downtown Springfield. 

New Law Will Force Insurers To Pay Death Benefits

Dec 26, 2017
State Treasurer's Office

Beginning in 2018, insurance companies must become more diligent in notifying beneficiaries of life insurance policies

Mark Goebel-Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

A law taking effect January first is meant to force Illinois government to be more honest about its money problems.

While across the country hate crime rates rose after the presidential election, Illinois has passed some laws addressing the issue. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center and FBI statistics - the last quarter of 2016 saw hate crimes go up more than 25% in the U.S.

Advocates say progress was made this year when it comes to rights of Illinois residents who are LGBTQ+.

Gov. Bruce Rauner requested a sit-down with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, and covered a range of grievances in his hour-long conversation.

He blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for not supporting the governor's agenda, he said House Republicans were not principled enough, and he seemed disappointed that Illinois no longer had a crisis he could leverage to pass his business-friendly, union-weakening agenda.

bhvcpa.com

In Illinois, the number of people getting insurance through the ACA has, for the most part, remained the same since its launch.  About 350,000 people have been receiving coverage and the same goes for 2018 despite the lack of effort by President Trump’s administration to encourage enrollment.

Asia Gentry and Jessica Atterberry midshot
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

If you’ve got a recent college graduate on your gift list, you might be interested in the results of a survey conducted by the finance firm Lend Edu. They asked people with student loans whether they’d rather get a holiday gift or an equal value payment toward that debt. We decided to take that poll for a tiny test drive with two recent college grads, who gave us plenty of food for thought.

Myles Mendoza midshot
Courtesy of Myles Mendoza

Many of us enjoy a party on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, but for a few wealthy Illinois residents, Jan. 2 will be the day to celebrate. Beginning at 8 a.m., on a first-come, first-served basis, they can reserve a hefty tax credit in return for their donation to a private school.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois lawmakers ended the state budget impasse and made big changes to how the state pays for public schools. The state also wrestled with the debate over abortion and a nationwide rise in hate incidents.

idothsr.org

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

ElectJudgeSchmidt website

John Schmidt, who was recently named to the 4th District Appellate Court, died this morning.

You’re going to hear a lot of Christmas songs between now and December 25th. And you may hear one that features a little boy asking Santa to replace his two central incisors, after losing them in a slide down the banister. The vocalist that made that song famous was George Rock, a trumpeter hailing from the central Illinois town of Farmer City.

Thieves Target UIS

Dec 18, 2017
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Thieves targeted the University of Illinois in Springfield early Monday morning. Several computer hard drives and monitors were damaged or stolen from the school’s main library and Public Affairs Center.

Holiday Specials
CREDIT CARTER STALEY / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

With the holidays around the corner, NPR Illinois will broadcast a couple December traditions listeners of the station will find familiar. 

Shutterstock

Illinois lawmakers acted quickly last month in response to sexual harassment allegations at the statehouse.  But several female legislators say this isn't a quick fix.  They say the process was rushed and not enough thought was given to explore alternative options.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, says the new policies were not inclusive of everyone affected by the issue—such as legislative staff and lobbyists. She says she hopes newly formed legislative task forces in the House and Senate will resolve this concern. 

The Post-Prairie period:

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80% of the families served through Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County consist of women and their children. Shayne Squires is the development manager for the organization. She says a new initiative wants to build a home funded entirely by women - and built by them as well.

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