Lynn Rohrscheib inspects her soybean fields.
Courtesy of Lynn Rohrscheib
March 21, 2016

The 21st: Trade With Cuba, & STEM Education

Before the embargo - U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba were worth about $600 million a year - in today’s prices.  Others estimate Cuba is a $1.2 billion market for agricultural exports if the embargo and other trade barriers are lifted. Today on The 21st we explored what an open Cuba would mean for Illinois. Also, how a team of Illinois State University researchers and a turtle are changing STEM education. 

Bernie Sanders in front of  nearly 4,000 supporters at the U of I's Activities and Recreation Center
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
March 13, 2016

Democrat Bernie Sanders Draws Crowd Of Thousands At U Of I

The Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate cited his improving poll numbers, and believes a large voter turnout in Tuesday's Illinois primary will secure him a win.  About 3,600 filled the U of I's Activities and Recreation Center to hear Sanders, who reiterated a number of campaign pledges, including free tuition for college students and raising the minimum wage to $15.

Eastern Illinois University logo
Eastern Illinois University
March 11, 2016

Struggling Illinois Universities Testify Before Lawmakers

A number of university presidents testified for an Illinois Senate committee Thursday on what Illinois' budget impasse has done to their institutions.  They say nearly a year without state support has led to layoffs, students struggling to pay tuition without grants and high school students considering going elsewhere for a degree.

U of I Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Edward Feser at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Wednesday.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
March 09, 2016

UI Provost Discusses Budgeting Strategy During Impasse, Years Ahead

In the first of three open budgeting meetings, U of I Urbana campus Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Edward Feser laid out a series of proposals in the event state funding continues to fall short for the next eight to ten years.  "The amount of labor going into the planning and budgeting process has dramatically increased," he says.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speaks during a campaign rally at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Friday, March 4, 2016, in Edwardsville, Ill.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
March 05, 2016

Sanders Brings Brand Of Economic Populism To Southern Illinois

The Democratic presidential candidate spoke Friday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where the primarily student audience packed a 4,000-seat campus basketball arena.  Sanders touched on familiar campaign themes, calling for campaign finance reform, marijuana decriminalization and increased corporate taxes.

n this Feb. 24, 2016 photo, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner visits with students hoping to attend college during a visit to Southeast High School in Springfield, where he discussed his education agenda.
Seth Perlman/Assocated Press
March 02, 2016

Senate Overrides Rauner’s MAP Funding Veto, House Falls Two Votes Short

The Illinois Senate Wednesday voted 37-17 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a measure funding the Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants. But the Illinois House failed to override by two votes.  The legislation involved $397 million for the income-based Monetary Award Program and $324 million for community colleges.

Logo for the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs
March 02, 2016

Flash Index Moves Up In February

The Flash Index to the Illinois economy moved up slightly in February, reaching 105.6 after two months of declines.

A sign in front of a home on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana protests Carle Hospital's tax-exempt status.
Travis Stansel/Illinois Public Media.
February 29, 2016

Appellate Court Won’t Delay Impact Of Ruling On Hospital Taxes

The 4th District Appellate Court Monday denied requests for a stay of the ruling that threw out a state law that denied property tax exemptions to Illinois hospitals based on their charity care.  Those requests were sought by the Carle health system and Illinois Department of Revenue.  Carle and Presence Hospitals may file a lawsuit as a result.

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