A sign at Lincoln's Challenge Academy in Rantoul
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
December 06, 2015

Budget Stalemate Hurting Recruitment At Lincoln's Challenge

The National Guard-run program for at-risk youth in Rantoul was able to continue as scheduled in summer 2015, delayed only slightly to determine if staff could be paid during Illinois' budget impasse.  But that same lack of a budget is giving off an impression that Lincoln's Challenge is not taking new cadets, just weeks from when the next class is scheduled to start.

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Governor Bruce Rauner as part of the launch of Uber in Champaign-Urbana at EnterpriseWorks in Champaign Sunday.
(Jeff Bossert/WILL)
February 15, 2015

Rauner Visits C-U For Uber Launch

Uber was launched in Champaign-Urbana Sunday, along with four other cities outside Chicago.  Gov. Rauner says he'll do all he can to bring high-tech companies like Uber to Champaign-Urbana. 

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the Illinois capitol dome as seen from inside the capitol looking up
Hannah Meisel/WILL
December 30, 2014

Illinois Politics Year In Review/Look Ahead

It's been quite a year in Illinois politics. After a lively and contentious race for the governor's mansion, Gov. Pat Quinn was ousted by Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. When Rauner is sworn in as governor in two weeks, it'll be the first time a Republican has held the office in 12 years.

(Audio is marked with specific subject matter; just click on WILL icon within SoundCloud track)

We asked Illinois Public Radio's statehouse bureau chief Amanda Vinicky to give us the rundown of what happened in 2014, and how a new Republican administration could shift the dynamics in Springfield in 2015.

Though Rauner ran on the promise to "shake up Springfield," Vinicky notes that the party change in the governor's mansion was one of the only adjustments; Democrats in the General Assembly held onto their veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate in November, and down-ballot Republicans did not do as well as Rauner -- as in the case of the race for state treasurer. Weeks after Election Day, state Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) was finally declared the winner of that contest against former Republican House minority leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego). 

Much was made of Democratic plans to extend the 2011 income tax hike, but the New Year will see that tax rate roll back, something Rauner will have to contend with as the state faces a gaping hole in its budget. 

And what of Gov. Quinn? He's been around state government for four decades, in roles actually in government, or as an antagonistic gadfly, calling for good-government reform. Where will Quinn go after holding the state's highest office?


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