Governor Bruce Rauner and House speaker Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois
December 26, 2017

Illinois Issues: Stories Of The Year

Illinois lawmakers ended the state budget impasse and made big changes to how the state pays for public schools. The state also wrestled with the debate over abortion and a nationwide rise in hate incidents.


Soybean harvest continues just north of Mansfield, ILL on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
December 22, 2017

How Did The Soybean Become Such A Common Crop In The U.S.?

This story was inspired by a question submitted at a Listening Post the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting held in August. Stuart Levy in Urbana, Illinois, asked us what would be needed for row crop farmers to switch from corn and soybeans to “something more sustainable.” We dug into that question, which starts with the unlikely circumstances that turned the soybean into a multi-billion dollar industry, and what this history might reveal about the future of U.S. agriculture. 


Silos
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media
December 21, 2017

Sweeping Changes To U.S. Tax Code A Mixed Bag For Farmers, Rural Hospitals

Many rural businesses and farms will benefit from the tax overhaul passed Wednesday by Congress. But there’s a catch: If the changes fail to spur economic growth as intended, programs that rural areas rely on could be on the chopping block.


President Trump speaks about the passage of tax legislation on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
December 20, 2017

Congress Passes $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Bill, A Legislative Win For Trump

Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently.


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