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.


Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar speaks in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner during a campaign rally outside the state Capitol on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
May 31, 2016

Former Gov Edgar Weighs In On Rauner’s Stopgap Budget Plan

Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar says stopgap spending measures like the one proposed Tuesday by Gov. Bruce Rauner is "the worst kind of budget you can have" and takes the pressure off legislative leaders' efforts to come up with a real spending plan.  He appeared on WILL's 'The 21st' Tuesday.


Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, center, listens to House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks to lawmakers at the state Capitol on Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
May 30, 2016

Rauner, Lawmakers Remain Deadlocked On Budget; Time Is Short

Lawmakers were working Memorial Day and legislative leaders were meeting with Rauner in the afternoon, but the chances for an agreement are becoming slimmer by the hour.  On Sunday, Gov. Bruce Rauner vowed to veto the spending plan approved by House Democrats last week.


Sylvia, a Champaign resident, uses a medical cannabis vaporizer pen to treat Multiple Sclerosis.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
May 26, 2016

Where Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Program Stands

The pilot program currently has about 6,000 patients, not close to what advocates were hoping for at this point.  They say there are number of reasons behind that - including the application process, and the state's failure to expand the list of qualifying conditions.  Without legislative action, it will expire in January 2018. 


Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan reaches out to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
May 25, 2016

Illinois House Speaker Writing Own Budget, Defying Governor

An attempt to reach a deal on Governor Bruce Rauner's pro-business, anti-labor demands isn't working out for House Democrats, who are set to go it alone on a new state budget.  House Speaker Michael Madigan says he told the Republican governor during a meeting Wednesday "he's not being real persuasive'' in negotiations that he's established with various groups of lawmakers. The measure passed later Wednesday, as House Republicans howled in protest.


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