State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, joined by State Rep. Carol Ammons, AARP Associate Director Andre Jordan, and Senator Scott Bennett at the Illinois Terminal in Champaign.
June 20, 2016

Frerichs Urges Rauner To Sign Insurer Death Benefit Bill

Democratic Treasurer Mike Frerichs says some insurers are withholding death benefits funds to boost their own profit margins, rather than seek out beneficiaries.  He's urging Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a measure that unanimously passed both chambers - it would require these companies to use the federal Death Master File to determine if benefits have been paid.


Urbana Ward 7 Alderwoman Diane Marlin, who's announced her candidacy for mayor.
Della Perrone Photography
June 17, 2016

Urbana Alderwoman Marlin Plans Mayoral Run

Ward 7 Alderwoman Diane Marlin says she wants to be become 'the city's biggest cheeleader,' and adopt a positive tone in launching her campaign for mayor.  She admits the fight over property tax exemptions at the city's two hospitals are hurting finances, but also says it's taking up too much of the focus on the city. 


Foellinger Auditorium at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus
Wikimedia Commons
June 11, 2016

State Universities Earn Credit Rating ‘Review’

In week in which two rating agencies lowered Illinois' bond rating during a state budget impasse, Moody's Investors Services says it will review the credit worthiness of seven state schools, including the University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois University, and Illinois State University.


Cronus Chemicals CEO Erzin Atac discusses its new fertilizer plan in Tuscola in October 2014.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
June 10, 2016

Construction Delayed For Douglas County Fertilizer Plant

Plans for building the Cronus Chemicals fertlizer plant in Tuscola have been put off until 2017.  A spokesperson says the company is trying to finalize deals with contractors, and cost for setting up the facility on land once considered for the FutureGen project is now listed at $1.9 billion.


Entrance to Champaign Central High School.
Landmarks Illinois
June 10, 2016

Unit 4 Committee Wants Central HS Renovated

Thursday marked the last meeting of the Champaign Unit 4 Tier 2 Facilities Committee, which unanimously agreed that Central High School should remain on site and expand, rather than be torn down and rebuilt. The panel didn't endorse a specific financial package for a fall bond issue that would also include additions at Centennial High School, and work on as many as four other school district buildings. 


In this Tuesday, May 31, 2016 photo, Illinois lawmakers press ahead on the last day of the spring legislative session inside the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Assocated Press
June 09, 2016

Moody’s Lowers Illinois’ Credit Rating Over Budget Impasse

Moody's Investors Services has lowered the state's credit rating another level, to Baa2, two levels above "junk" status, citing the "political gridlock" that's blocked Illinois from having a budget for more than a year. Gov. Bruce Rauner says this news "underscores the need for real structural changes to repair the years of unbalanced budgets and deficit spending by the majority party on Illinois’ finances."


Illinois Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Champaign, argues legislation while on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
June 07, 2016

Rep. Ammons Discusses End Of Legislative Session, Hope For Budget Compromise

Democratic State Rep. Carol Ammons of Urbana says Republican Governor Bruce Rauner continues to stick to reforms detailed in his 'Turnaround Agenda', as legislators debated budget measures in the last hours of their spring session May 31.  Ammons also refutes the comments of Republican counterparts that members of the majority party were fighting when debating a K-12 education funding plan that night.


The Livingston C. Lord Administration Building at Eastern Illinois University.
Wikimedia Commons
June 06, 2016

Without Budget, Eastern Illinois May Need Short-Term Layoffs

EIU President David Glassman sent out a mass e-mail Monday to students and staff, saying there were no longer any plans at the school for additional large-scale layoffs, but said those lasting up to 29 days may be needed.  Glassman said more cost-cutting measures may be needed to bridge the school in Charleston through the summer.


Gov. Bruce Rauner is joined by Republican Senators Chapin Rose and Jason Barickman at a stop at Middletown Prairie Elementary School in Mahomet Wednesday
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
June 01, 2016

Rauner: Dems Should Break Ranks With Madigan, Cullerton

Governor Bruce Rauner says he was 'stunned' at Democrats' inability to agree on budget measures as the legislative session ended Tuesday, but says he's also starting see more Democrats break ranks with the House Speaker and Senate President. The Republican governor is hitting a number of cities on a 2-day road trip, drumming up support for a stopgap funding measure with some GOP lawmakers.


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