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Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It’s been two months since Illinois government finally passed a full budget. Legislators hoped that would accelerate the payment of overdue bills, which total more than $15 billion. But the governor’s office is holding that up.

WSIU

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

courtesy

Here's rule #3 in a new dress code for Glenwood High School in Chatham: "If wearing leggings or yoga pants, tops must cover the entire buttocks."

Broken piggy bank
flickr: https://www.seniorplanning.org/

The Illinois state pension funds are among the worst-funded in the nation.  Yet, a new state law allows less money to be put toward that purpose. 

Illinois schools will soon resume receiving state funding, after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bipartisan compromise that passed the House and Senate earlier in the week.

Donna Lounsberry

Springfield is knocking it out of the park lately with its musical productions and The Wiz is no exception.

Keith Freeman / Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Illinois' child poverty rate is just as high as it was in 2010. Is the state doing enough to bring it down?

Kellia Phillips’ teen-aged daughters Jaleece and Janae run track. They have had to do so in ill-fitting shoes sometimes as old as three years.

Janae, 13, loves to knit and crochet. Her mother, says, “I could only get her yarn like every three months and she was so much into knitting and crocheting. I still can’t do that for her right now because I have no income.’’ 

BRIAN MACKEY / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner took sort of a victory lap visiting a Catholic school, a traditional public school and a charter school to celebrate the Illinois General Assembly's approval of a historic school funding overhaul.

Kimberly Lightford, Will Davis, and Andy Manar
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois legislature on Tuesday approved a major, bipartisan overhaul of the way Illinois funds public education.

Illinois' current school funding formula dates back to 1997. And efforts to replace it with something more logical, more fair, and more equitable? To hear lawmakers tell it, those also date back almost 20 years.

Founding members of the group Laboratorium Piesni aka "Sound Laboratory" will be in Springfield over the weekend.

NPR Illinois

The Illinois Senate has approved a new system for funding schools that will reduce large disparities between wealthy and poor districts.

Springfield's DIY Scene Before Black Sheep

Aug 29, 2017
Eric Rogers

Since a recent announcement that Springfield's all-ages, DIY music venue Black Sheep Cafe has fallen on hard times, there's been an out-pouring of concern. Many people are talking about what it's meant to them over the years. 

NPR Illinois and Tri States Public Radio host the seventh Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse.

Vote tabluation board in Illinois House.
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

It took three different votes, but Illinois may finally be getting the new school funding formula lawmakers have been working on for the past few years. The state House of Representatives yesterday approved a new evidence-based school funding plan. It's a compromise, containing most of the plan Democrats proposed months ago, plus a new $75 million program that would provide tax credits to organizations offering private school scholarships.

Teachers unions criticized that provision.

But Representative Bob Pritchard, a Republican from Hinckley, says this school funding reform measure is one of the best things the Illinois House has done.

Rachel Otwell

First thing - the title of this post is not to suggest A.D. Carson won't ever be in Springfield again, but the bulk of this conversation comes from his latest visit, earlier this summer. 

flickr/VictorBjorkund

Illinois' legislative leaders met at the statehouse Sunday to draft what they hope will be the final touches on a school funding compromise. 

Lincoln Land Community College

Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield is addressing the issue of African American male underrepresentation in the workforce. The college launched the Open Door Mentorship Program a year ago, which has so far helped 25 male students get a head start in gaining professional experience.

B.J. Pearce On Black Sheep Cafe

Aug 27, 2017
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Since Rachel Otwell wrote 'On The Romance & Reality of Black Sheep Cafe', co-owner Brian Galecki responded with some clarification on behalf of the venue. Read it here. The following is an account from another co-owner with a lot of history and love for the space and scene.

NPR Illinois

Senate Bill 1 was supposed to help Illinois cure its chronic case of inequitable school funding. The Democrat-sponsored measure has become a partisan controversy that's now preventing state money from being sent to schools.

Legislative leaders yesterday announced they'd achieved compromise, but reports that the deal includes a $75 million tax-credit program for private school tuition scholarships is drawing criticism.

NPR Illinois

Illinois is getting tougher on those convicted of hate crimes. In the wake of Charlottesville, the legislature passed resolutions taking a stand against hate. But resolutions are not legally binding.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

What we know as of Friday about a tentative compromise among legislative leaders on school funding, along with the continuing controversy over Governor Rauner's response to a political cartoon posted by the Illinois Policy Institute.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold and WTTW's Amanda Vinicky join the panel.

Rachel Otwell

Recently, a fellow public radio journo wrote a piece about the Black Sheep scene for Noisey, a branch of Vice Media. If you are unfamiliar with the venue, and even if you are a regular attendee - it's definitely worth a read (and a look/listen - the pictures & music speak volumes.)

NPR Illinois and WGLT host the sixth Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse. 

Illinois Issues: Flat Vs. Graduated Income Tax

Aug 24, 2017
401ktaxcalculator.org

Commentary:   Should Illinois' current flat-tax system be changed as the state attempts to deal with its ongoing budget struggles? 

Rauner College Prep

Schools across Illinois are still waiting for state money while legislative leaders try to agree on a new funding formula. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed large portions of a Democrat-sponsored plan, saying it was too generous to Chicago Public Schools. The list of educators lobbying for lawmakers to override that veto includes some surprising names.

flickr / user: Benson Kua

LGBTQ rights activists say two pieces of legislation should be signed by the governor. Both passed the General Assembly unanimously.

Illinois State Police (ISP) officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are seeking the public’s assistance for information regarding the kidnapping and murder of Tammy J. Zywicki.  August 23rd marks the 25th anniversary of Tammy’s death, and her case remains active as the FBI and ISP continue exploring new leads, examining 200 items of evidence, and retesting items with modern DNA technology.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
TavisJacobs/flickr

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

Rachel Otwell

Over the weekend nearly 500 Springfield residents awoke to news that the state's top leaders had been ousted. Of course, it's untrue. It's a headline generated from James Pepper Kelly.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a dozen bills late Friday. Among them: House Bill 3211, a measure that would help low-income students qualify for federal SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. Statewide, that amounts to about 40,000 low-income students, says State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford), who sponsored the measure.

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