With sequester cuts and furloughs beginning to roll out this week, some are wondering if Illinois is being hit harder than other states. There's the $33.4 million cut to education spending, the $6.4 million hit to clean water initiatives, the 14,000 furloughed defense jobs, and the list goes on. Marilyn Geewax, a senior business at NPR in Washington, joins us to discuss the cuts, and the next big financial crisis on Capital Hill - the dreaded continuing resolution.
The Afternoon Magazine
Is the federal government really going to let $85-billion in budget cuts take hold at the end of this week? Lynn Sweet, the Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief, has been monitoring the sequester debate, and gives us an update.
On Wednesday, governor Pat Quinn gave his annual State of the State address. Critics say that what it lacked in specifics, it made up for in platitudes. Columnist Tom Kacich of the Champaign News-Gazette walks us through what to expect during the next legislative term.
Earlier this year, state senator Heather Steans introduced a bill during the lame duck congressional session that would legalize gay marriage. She didn't have the votes, and then the term expired. Now, with the Democrats firmly in control of the state house and senate, she's putting the bill up for another vote. But its passage is not a sure thing. Steans joined us to discuss her bill, and working with Republicans.
Last week, Illinois' bond rating was reduced again by several credit agencies, making it the lowest rated state in the union. What can be done about the state's pension issue? State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and economics professor Jefferey Brown of the University of Illinois talk us through it.
Tonight, PBS is airing a documentary about the war over textbook content in Texas. Two years ago, radio documentarian Trey Kay made a one hour special on the first major textbook fight, which took place in West Virginia in the 1960s. The fight back then was more than political - books were burned, schools boycotted, and one protestor was shot through the heart. Kay joined us to discuss what many see as the start of the American culture war.
Tom Kacich, Champaign News-Gazette Enterprise Editor
Guest Host: Jeff Bossert
A new poll in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District shows Democrat David Gill with a slim lead over Republican Rodney Davis, 40 to 39-percent, when Gill led by 6-percent just over a month ago. The survey of 400 registered likely voters paid for by the Gill campaign was taken September 26 and 27. Champaign News-Gazette Enterprise Editor Tom Kacich weighs in on what this poll means on November 6th.
Kent Redfield, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Illinois at Springfield
Guest Host: Craig Cohen
In recent weeks, Dr. David Gill, the Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 13th district Congressional race, has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, and by fellow Democrat and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Gill’s GOP opponent, Rodney Davis, recently received the endorsements of Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and ACTIVATOR, the political action committee of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Less than 90 days from the election, it would appear we’ve entered political endorsement season. Do political endorsements matter? Kent Redfield, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield tells Illinois Public Media's Craig Cohen that endorsements matter, but not really all that much.
Candace Clement, Campaign Coordinator, Free Press
The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center this week is hosting the 2012 Grassroots Radio Conference. It’s an opportunity for community radio stations to gather and discuss a variety of issues. WILL is a media partner for the conference. Another key organization in the endeavor is the media reform organization Free Press. Candace Clement manages Free Press’s initiatives on community media, and advises on the group’s efforts to expand support for public media. In her role with Free Press, she has also advocated for greater transparency when it comes to commercial TV stations’ public files. She'll tell us about those efforts.
Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director, the Project for Excellence in Journalism; Journalist and Writer
Next week, the Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on some aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including whether a federal mandate to purchase health insurance is Constitutional. The legal challenge to so-called "Obama Care" has brought the debate over health care back into the national spotlight. According to new research conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, most of the coverage of the health care debate by mainstream media since 2009 has been focused on the politics surrounding the legislation, and not the substance. Craig Cohen talks with Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, about the results of the research.