The 2013 farm bill is at least a 900 billion dollar piece of legislation. It’s been stalled in Congress since the 2008 bill expired a year ago. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what the hold-up is and why it matters.
Farmers have been operating for more than a year now without a farm bill. Since the 2008 bill expired, there’s been an ideological debate surrounding the funding of certain programs in the farm bill, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. There are currently two versions of the farm bill stalled in Congress, one passed by the Senate and one passed by the House, and if legislators can’t come to a compromise by January 1, farm policy written in the 1940’s will take effect. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why there’s been such a fight over this year’s farm bill and how that differs from farm bills past.
Jonathan Coppess, a Clinical Professor of Law and Policy in the Department of Agriculture Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and former chief of staff to Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D) who worked on the Senate version of the bill and Mary Kay Thatcher, Senior Director of Congressional Affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation join us.
A bill to fix the state’s massively underfunded pension system is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and former state senator Rick Winkel about what’s in the bill and what happens now.
Tuesday, the Illinois Legislature approved a history plan to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall, considered the worst in the nation. The House voted 62-53 in favor of the plan, and the Senate approved the measure minutes earlier. The bill, however, passed with little support from East Central Illinois lawmakers.
How will it help the state’s budgetary woes and what will it mean for state employees? Does it violate the state’s pension protections spelled out in the Illinois constitution? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Illinois Public Radio’s Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and former Illinois State Senator Rick Winkel about what’s in the bill and what it means.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks politics with Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky and the News-Gazette’s Tom Kacich. Then, we’ll hear from Illinois’ new House Minority Leader, Representative Jim Durkin.
It’s starting to show that Governor Pat Quinn is up for reelection next fall. He’s answering more reporter questions and is making it seem like he's serious about sorting out the state's pension issues. Have lawmakers made any progress? In preview of next week's veto session in the Illinois legislature, host Jim Meadows talks with political reporters Amanda Vinicky of Illinois Public Radio and Tom Kacich of the News-Gazette about Governor Quinn’s focus on the pension problem. We'll also talk with Kacich about the status of the farm bill and how current negotiations regarding the government shutdown and the debt ceiling affect political debate and discussion in Illinois.
Then, Meadows talks with Representative Jim Durkin, new Minority Leader for the Illinois House of Representatives about the Republican agenda for the upcoming legislative session.
Are Illinois lawmakers making progress on pension reform? Why do all the lively races for statewide office next year only involve republicans?
Candidates for state office in next year’s elections have announced their candidacy and are starting to campaign. But looking ahead to the primary elections, all the lively races are between Republicans. What does that say about the state of Illinois and what does that mean looking forward to the election season? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks politics with Amanda Vinicky of Illinois Public Radio, Bernard Schoenburg of the Springfield State Journal Register and David Yepsen, Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Do you agree with President Obama that the US should intervene in the conflict in Syria? How do you want your lawmakers to vote? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the debate and what US action would mean for people in Syria.
Congress continues to debate whether or not the US should get involved in Syria, even though President Obama can order a missile strike without Congress’ approval. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the debate and who really has the power to order military action. Juana Summers, a defense reporter with Politico joins us for the first few minutes of the program with the latest update about the debate in Washington D.C. Then, Ryan Hendrickson, a Professor of Political Science at Eastern Illinois University joins us. We’ll also talk with him about how our local US Representatives and Senators and how their voices play a role in the discussion.
We’ll also talk with Fred Lawson who he teaches international relations and government at Mills College in California about who is actually fighting in Syria and what the consequences of a missile strike would be. Lawson also spent time on a Fullbright Fellowship in Syria and will talk with us about who the people are who are being affected by all the fighting.
How do you want your legislators to vote? Do you think we should be involved in Syria? Do you have questions about the balance of power between Congress and President Obama? Let us know!
The Gang of 8 has announced that in order to be a citizen of the United States, you have to listen to The Capitol Steps 4th of July special, “Politics Takes a Holiday!” Also, statistics show that many people who have not listened to past specials have been audited by the IRS. Coincidence? Probably! This episode is not for the faint of heart….or those considering running for office.
Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday is a holiday special. We apologize that we are not able to provide a podcast for this hour.
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.
Page 1 of 48 pages 1 2 3 > Last ›