In this Jan. 27, 2016 file photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, attends a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
April 11, 2016

Madigan Introduces Education Funding Amendment

The Democratic House Speaker's legislation states that education is a fundamental "right'' - as opposed to "goal'' - and that the state has the "preponderant financial responsibility'' for funding schools.   If approved, the amendment would appear on ballots in November.


Illinois Capitol
Wikipedia
April 11, 2016

Lawmakers Frustrated By State Budget Impasse Meet Privately

Rank-and-file Illinois lawmakers frustrated by the 10-month state budget impasse are meeting on their own in bipartisan groups to discuss potential solutions.  Some met Monday at a forum in Chicago hosted by The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.


Gov. Bruce Rauner meets with other state and local officials when surveying flood damage in Villa Grove January 3.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
April 08, 2016

Rauner Appeals Federal Denial Of Disaster Funds

Gov. Bruce Rauner is appealing the federal government's decision to deny funding to help Illinois residents, businesses and local governments pay for damage caused by December and January floods. Counties impacted by the flooding in December and January include Vermilion and Moultrie.


Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Illinois State Capitol Thursday, March 17, 2016 in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
April 07, 2016

Illinois GOP: Free Up Unspent Money For Social Programs

GOP leaders in the Illinois General Assembly are proposing $1.3 billion in spending for human services. They say most of the money would come from state funds set up for special purposes.


Logo for Ameren Illinois Utilities
Ameren
April 07, 2016

Ameren Files For Electric Delivery Rate Decrease

Utlity company Ameren has filed a request with the Illinois Commerce Commission for an electric delivery rate decrease.  If approved, it's not known how much the change will impact bills, but it wouldn't go into effect until January 2017.  Ameren gas customers are also expected to see a reduction now in their bills due to a drop in the cost of natural gas.


Harvest activity just south of Rantoul, Ill., on Sept. 26, 2014.
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
April 01, 2016

Why Didn’t An Illinois Professor Have To Disclose GMO Funding?

The private fund-raising arms of public universities, called foundations, are coming under scrutiny around the country.  Watchdogs have found questionable spending that’s led to resignations and legal challenges to their privacy.  In the course of reporting on a University of Illinois professor,  Monica Eng of WBEZ discovered a different way foundation privacy practices are raising questions.  


The campus at Chicago State University
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
March 30, 2016

Rauner: ‘Outrage’ Chicago State May Have To Shut Down

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's "very upset'' that Chicago State University may have to close due to financial problems.  Students and employees at the school are being asked to turn in their keys.  Rauner said Wednesday at an unrelated event in Springfield that it's "an outrage."


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. 


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