Are you tired of hearing how broke the state is? Do you have a suggestion for solving the problem? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the state’s deficit and tax policy.
According to the Fiscal Futures Project at the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, Illinois is currently ranked in last place out of all 50 states for its bond ratings. Legislators at the statehouse have made some progress towards passing reform to try and solve Illinois’ massively underfunded state pension system but even if reform is passed, the state has a long way to go to get back in the black. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ralph Martire, Executive Director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability about Illinois fiscal health and what could help improve it.
Think you can balance the budget? Check out this calculator from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Crain’s Business Chicago and the Institute for Work and the Economy.
Martire is speaking at the Champaign Public Library in the Robeson Pavilion room on Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m.
What makes you happy? Can you quantify it? If you could have a voice in writing regulations for something you strongly oppose, would you? Or would you walk away on principle? Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus.
Next week on Focus, we'll talk with one of the pioneers in the reserach of happiness about how he got the pscyhological science community to take him seriously, how computers could soon change the way we talk about prescription side effects and how environmental groups came together to work with energy companies to write state regualtions for hyrdraulic fracturing.
This hour on Focus, we talked with Venezuelan native and Political Science Associate Professor Damarys Canache about Hugo Chavez’s death. Then for the second half of the hour, Theodore Piccone, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution joins the show to talk about what changes in Venezuela mean for Cuba.
Hugo Chavez, who was the President of Venezuela until he died March 5, started his controversial political career as an outsider. During the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Damarys Canache, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Urbana-Champaign who is a Venezuelan native, about Hugo Chavez, his rise to power and what his death means for the country moving forward. Then during the second part of the show, we’ll talk with Theodore Piccone, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, about what Chavez’s death means for Cuba. We’ll also talk with him about Raul Castro’s recent announcement to step down after his current presidential term comes to an end in 2018 and what’s next for the Cuban Communist Party.
The move to overhaul the nation’s immigration system is gaining momentum in Washington, and President Obama has called that “good news.” Today on Focus: the current path to citizenship and the challenges and barriers it presents to immigrants.
The move to overhaul the nation’s immigration system is gaining momentum in Washington, and President Obama has called that “good news.” This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the current path to citizenship and the challenges and barriers it presents to immigrants. Guests include Jeffrey Hays, an immigration attorney at Erwin, Martinkus and Cole in Champaign and Ricardo Diaz of the Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum. We’ll also check in with Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post to get an update about what’s happening in Washington, and we’ll talk with Illinois Public Radio’s Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky about changes to Illinois’ immigrant driver’s license policy.
Do you think undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay? What changes should be made to the US’s immigration policies? Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/focus580 or on Twitter @Focus580.
The Russian government recently instituted a controversial ban on adoptions to the United States. Outcry from both families in the middle of the adoption process with Russia and families who have previously adopted from the country has been harsh.
On today's show, we turn our attention to the history of and issues surrounding Illinois’ pension debt. We’ll talk about how our state found its way into such a massive debt obligation, some of the issues lawmakers are working through right now in Springfield, and what might ultimately be the best way forward to meet that debt and sustain the state’s public pension system.
January 7 is the 14th anniversary of the beginning of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the U-S Senate. He was the first president to be impeached by the House since Andrew Johnson in 1868. It was a major political development dissected, moment by moment, by 24 hour news channels and talk radio. Politicians and pundits alike spoke in ever coarser tones about the issues surrounding the trial. And our political discourse hasn’t exactly improved since then. In fact, we saw moments when the major players in the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, just over the last week or two, struggled to communicate effectively with one another. We’ll consider what it might take to raise the level of discourse in our politics – and whether major issues and ideas can be debated thoughtfully and respectfully by people with wildly divergent views. We’ll also explore what led to the coarsening of our political discourse particularly in the last 20 years, and whether our perception that it was more respectful in the past is really true.
Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre. A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status. Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.
This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am
The sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams fought for George Washington, served with Abraham Lincoln in Congress, witnessed Bunker Hill, and as a staunch opponent of slavery, foresaw that slavery would lead to civil war between the North and South. He is, in fact, the only major figure in American history who knew both the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. He negotiated an end to the War of 1812, engineered the annexation of Florida, and won the Supreme Court decision that freed the African captives of The Amistad. He served his nation as minister to six countries, secretary of state, senator, congressman, and president. His opposition to slavery inspired John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage. Yet he remains one of the least-known presidents in our nation's history. We'll talk with biographer Harlow Giles Unger about John Qunicy Adams.
We'll discuss the outcome and ramifications of the 2012 election, from the President to local races. Our guests are John S. Jackson, Visiting Professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University; and Brian Gaines, professor in the department of Political Science and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.
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