Supporters of the Affordable Care Act, who are also opponents of Colorado's GOP-led plan to undo Colorado's state-run insurance exchange, gather for a rally on the state Capitol steps in Denver, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
Brennan Linsley/Associated Press
February 09, 2017

The Future Of The Nation’s Health Care Law

Republican leaders in Congress have started the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act. But an advocate in Champaign says she is glad to see they're slowing down the process of repeal and replace. GOP Congressman John Shimkus of Collinsville expects finding that replacement, made up of a "multitude of bills", will take most of 2017.


Students rally at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday.
WUIS
February 08, 2017

College Students Rally At The Statehouse

College students rallied in the state Capitol rotunda Wednesday. They’re urging lawmakers to restore state funding to universities and community colleges. State schools have already cut faculty, classes, and services. But thousands of public and private Illinois college students may have to drop out if lawmakers don’t revive low-income MAP grants for next semester.


Illinois Senate President John Cullerton speaks to reporters
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
February 07, 2017

Illinois Senate Discusses Budget Privately, Takes No Vote

The Illinois Senate passed another day in Springfield without a vote on its much-anticipated budget compromise. Democrats and Republicans discussed the plan separately in private meetings lasting hours
Tuesday. But there were no votes on the plan. Leaders have been discussing for weeks ways to break a nearly two-year budget stalemate.


Republican Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois' 15th District during a 2013 interview with WILL
(Jeff Bossert/WILL)
February 06, 2017

Shimkus On The Future of Trade In the Trump Administration

The 15th District Republican Congressman from Collinsville admits this is one area where he differs from President Donald Trump. Shimkus says he's always been for open markets and more trade, but cites the president's rejection of the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.  He says those in organized labor, like steelworkers, look forward to better deals, but things are unclear at the moment. "Where there is uncertainty, there is risk," he said.


This Aug. 17, 2016, file photo shows, then Republican Illinois state Comptroller Leslie Munger in Springfield, Ill. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has hired former state Comptroller Munger to serve as a deputy governor.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
February 03, 2017

Rauner Hires Munger As A Deputy Governor

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has hired former state Comptroller Leslie Munger to serve as a deputy governor. In a statement released first to The Associated Press on Friday, Rauner says Munger will focus on long-term budgeting and work with human services organizations hit hard by the state budget impasse.


Illinois Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, left, speaks to reporters, while Illinois Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, right, looks on, during a news conference at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
February 02, 2017

Lawmakers Draft Plans To Keep Illinois Paychecks Flowing

Illinois lawmakers are preparing legislation to ensure state employees continue receiving paychecks if a judge agrees with the attorney general's argument to halt paychecks during the budget impasse. Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) introduced similar measures on Wednesday to keep paychecks flowing in response to a motion filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan last week.


Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois Senator Andy Manar
NPR Illinois
February 02, 2017

Education Desk: School Funding Inequity Needs $3.5 Billion Cure

A group of lawmakers has agreed on a framework for making the way Illinois funds its schools more equitable. But whether it will lead to a long-elusive legislative fix remains to be seen. That bipartisan commission produced a “framework” Wednesday, but no actual legislation. It would create funding targets for each district based on student population needs. It's estimated to cost an additional $3.5 billion to $6 billion.


Rev. Evelyn Burnett Underwood, Alderwoman Diane Marlin, and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing in Monday's debate at the Urbana City Building.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
January 31, 2017

Urbana Mayoral Candidates Debate Crime, Economy

In the first debate for Urbana mayor, the three Democrats - all women - focused on two main themes - crime and policing, as well as business development and taxes. About 60 people filled the Urbana City Building to watch Monday's event organized by the League of Women Voters of Champaign County. The three-way Democratic primary pits incumbent Mayor Laurel Prussing against Alderwoman Diane Marlin and Rev. Evelyn Burnett Underwood.


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