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Five of the six Democrats running for governor met in Springfield for a debate. House Speaker Michael Madigan was once again a hot topic, as the speaker had earlier in the week cut ties with a second aide over allegations of harassment.

Meanwhile, Republicans were distancing themselves from their own problem candidate — one who'd used racial and anti-gay language in a conversation with Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.

Tom Woodward / Flickr- CC BY-SA 2.0

Several Illinois lawmakers want added regulations on car title loans. They say some lenders charge interest rates in the triple digits, putting borrowers at risk of losing their cars. 

This I Believe: The Cathartic Power of Crying

Feb 23, 2018
CARTER STALEY / 91.9 UIS

I am a cry baby and I am unashamed. Despite the stigma that those who cry a lot are weak or emotionally unstable, I am neither of those things. If anything, I feel all the stronger because I completely accept the fact that sometimes my eyeballs are just gonna have to look like leaky faucets.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

An Illinois labor union is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner over an Illinois law. The case — filed Thursday afternoon in federal court — expects bad news for labor in the (potential) landmark Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

courtesy

Since 2016, Marc Nelson has used his artwork to draw attention to the people, often children, affected by the Syrian civil war. He's connected his students with children there through artwork and messages sent via social media, namely Twitter.

This weekend, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra presents "Rock Me Amadeus" - Mozart's First Symphony, written at eight years old, and his brilliant Forty-First and final Symphony, plus Tchaikovsky's Neo-Classical Rococo Variations, reflecting his love of Mozart.  The concert, Friday evening at Springfield's First Presbyterian Church, features the ISO's Principal Cellist Ruth Marshall.  Ruth joined the Illinois Symphony Orchestra's Music Director & Conductor Ken Lam and UIS' (and the ISO's) Yona Stamatis for a preview of the concert.

McConchie in office
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

A panel of state senators today heard budget requests from agencies representing colleges and universities, and lawmakers took the opportunity to ask why neighboring states are able to lure so many Illinois students away.

 

The answer is pretty simple: Other Big 10 schools offer financial considerations that Illinois' flagship campus can't match.

via Creative Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Early voting in this year’s primary election came a little late in some parts of Illinois. But officials say the polls are now officially open statewide.

This I Believe: Where is Home?

Feb 22, 2018
CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS 91.9 UIS

I believe that being “homeless” is a choice. Yes, that is honestly what I believe but let me explain. 

Jason Karsh / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

In 2010, lawmakers changed the rules for how the state picks its second-in-command. No longer would voters separately nominate candidates for lieutenant governor and governor in the primary, and hope for a successful match.

Democratic candidates for governor
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Five of the Democrats running for Illinois governor met at a debate Wednesday night in Springfield. Among the prime topics was House Speaker Michael Madigan’s handing of harassment in his political organization.

WUIS/Illinois Issues

Another state lawmaker is targeting weapons like the AR-15,  a  popular semiautomatic rifle used in the recent Florida school shooting.  Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, filed a bill that would ban "assault weapons." 

www.facebook.com/theIIP/

An Illinois man was found "not guilty” today for an arson case dating back to 1995. Bill Amor already spent 22 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit.

This I Believe: Pens and Paper

Feb 21, 2018
CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS 91.9 UIS

"You've sure changed a lot since freshman year, huh?" This is a question I get asked a fair amount. I usually reply with something along the lines of a polite smile or a laugh. The truth is, I have changed a lot. I've never really told anyone about this except the select few, but I'm almost 18 now, so it's time to come clean and leave this behind me. It's finally time for me to face my fears and embrace who I was ­ no matter how much I didn't like her. Have you ever met a drama queen? You know, that one person who always has to have all the attention on them? A few years ago, I was one of the worst ones out there. And I hated her just as much as everyone else did. 

AR-15
Ray Moore / Flickr.com/rarstudios (cc-by-nc)

An Illinois proposal has been drafted in response to the deadly shooting at a Florida high school last week. The newly filed measure would ban so-called "ghost guns." 

This I Believe: Home is Abstract

Feb 20, 2018
CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS 91.9 UIS

Growing up, I learned that the words “home” and “house” were synonymous. While the words are similar, I believe that “home” has a more personal, positive connotation. As I grew older, I began to experiment with out­-of-­the-­box concepts and realized that home is not just a location, but rather the people I love and hold near and dear to my heart.

Flickr.com/morgnar (CC-BY-NC)

A divided Illinois Supreme Court says it was OK for the government to seize a woman’s Harley-Davidson — even though it was her husband who used it to drive drunk.

An advocacy group says Illinois schools are in need of more diverse history lessons. Equality Illinois is behind a new statehouse proposal that would require the curriculum to include lessons on people who made history and were LGBTQ+.

This I Believe: The Misconception of Carpe Diem

Feb 19, 2018
Shruthi Mekala midshot
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

My family has never been that composed, seemingly perfect clan that always “has it together;” actually, we’re that family sneaking in late to church or sprinting through the airport to narrowly make the flight. 

This week, Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address before the General Assembly and House Speaker Michael Madigan fired a long-time campaign worker due to sexual harassment allegations.

Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

Commentary: The governor's plan would rely on some iffy savings from shifting pensions costs to schools and universities and getting state workers to pay more for their health care.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should at least temporarily step down as head of the Democratic Party, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. 

Screen capture of Prison Legal News newsletter
Prison Legal News

The publisher of a newsletter about the criminal justice system filed a lawsuit this week against the Illinois Department of Corrections alleging that multiple state prisons barred inmates from receiving all or part of several publications.

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, as well as the 2016 election, have sparked renewed passion for electing women to office in Illinois.

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.

screenshot of students in classroom from TV ad
Citizens For Rauner, Inc.

One of the biggest changes Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed in today's budget address is making local school districts bear the costs of teacher pensions.

chicagotribune.com

House Speaker Michael Madigan fired a staffer that a young woman who was working on campaigns says sexually harassed her. That's led to some debate over whether or not her claims were adequately addressed in the first place. 

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

2018 Budget Address

After several weeks of investigation, Tom Ashbrook has been dismissed as host of On Point.

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

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been campaigning relentlessly against last year’s income tax increase.

But in his annual budget address Wednesday, he'll call for spending the extra money that rate hike has generated.

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