Flickr user sixstring
July 06, 2016

Treasurer Mike Frerichs; Islamic Charitable Giving; Peoria’s Chief Innovation Officer

On The 21st: We talked with Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs about the state budget situation and the role of the treasurer in state government. We also discussed Zakat-al-Mal, an obligatory charity paid by those in the Muslim community. Plus, we looked into how Peoria is tackling issues of mitigating the effects of stormwater runoff with Anthony Corso, the city's first Chief Innovation Officer.

Graphic from Monday's meeting on the Chicago campus looks at possible changes to UI employee health insurance premiums.
Screenshot/University of Illinois Human Resources
June 27, 2016

U Of I Employees Learn Of Possible Health Benefit Changes

The first of three meetings regarding University of Illinois health insurance premiums raised the prospect that some premiums could double. Katie Ross, Senior Director of Human Resources Administration at the university, says there's "generally a lot of uncertainty" at this point.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters in his office at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
June 21, 2016

Madigan Cancels Session, Urges ‘Working Groups’ On Budget

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Rauner says he won't call lawmakers into special session, even though the fiscal year ends in 10 days. Rauner he'll "evaluate options" in the coming days to avoid the shutdown of ongoing projects and delays to the opening of public schools. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has cancelled Wednesday's House session, saying working groups are making progress.

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.

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