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Illinois has not funded its colleges or universities for the past five months. It's easy to overlook that fact, because professors have continued to teach, athletes have continued to compete, and students have continued to learn. But around the state, college administrators are saying they've burned through their financial reserves.

Il House Republicans

Illinois' newest state legislator has been sworn in.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With Illinois in its sixth month without a budget, the state's top political leaders met Tuesday in Springfield. It was the first time they'd all gotten together in months. We asked Brian Mackey to tell us whether anything was accomplished.

flickr/borman18

Even with Illinois' ongoing budget stalemate, it wasn't until a coalition of good government groups called for a meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and all four legislative leaders that they agreed to get together.

Susan Garrett chairs one of those groups, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

She says she's pleased with the result of Tuesday's summit.

Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell from the Turkish border by Aleppo

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is rebuffing a bid by the White House to assuage concerns over Syrian refugees.

Rauner's one of some 30 governors nationwide who've said no to taking in people fleeing war-ravaged Syria. Rauner, a Republican, cited security concerns following the terror attacks in Paris. "What matters is a coordinated, cooperative, highly communicative effort at a national scale to protect the people of America against terrorists," he said in November.

www.edwardsplace.org

One of the nation's most historical instruments is getting back in working order.

WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner closed the public portion of Tuesday's budget summit with a forceful plea to take on what he says are the root causes of Illinois' financial woes. 

Nelson Chenault / The Clinton Foundation

The fatal shooting last year of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer rocked the celebrated Chicago poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti.

He was so disturbed, he says, that he couldn't sleep and rose at 4:30 a.m. to write. What would become the book Taking Bullets: Black People in the 21st Century America Fighting Terrorism, Fighting Violence and Seeking Healing is now in galley form for final proofing. 

National Egg Quality School

Tim and Bill chat about an old concept coming to Springfield... Starting a small business in an incubator.
 

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

A group of human service providers is calling on lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to not only pass a budget for the current fiscal year, but also approve a plan for next fiscal year. 

uis.edu


Illinois lawmakers are set to reconvene this week, and college presidents are hoping they will make progress toward passing a budget. But even if they do, universities are facing a proposed 30 percent cut. 

http://quigley.house.gov/media-center

Earlier this month, people across the country and state recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was created by activists as a way to honor those who have been murdered in a hate crime. Transgender people say their biological sex does not match the gender they identify with. Studies show they are much more likely to face violence and discrimination than the general population.

St. John's and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine have plans for a new women and children's medical center. The plot of land along 9th street contains the foundations of homes burnt during the 1908 race riot

Matt Turner/flickr

How many are there?  Chuck Pell says maybe 20 or more.

He's the Chairman of the Sangamon County Historic Preservation Commission.  The group has teamed up with the county's Farm Bureau to find out more about the long standing structures.

"I am confident many of these we will learn about are those type of families where they are fairly confident of their history of the last 150 to 200 years," Pell said.  He points out the homes don't need to be a current residence. 

The release of a police video documenting the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white Chicago police officer – more than a year after the incident – has led to murder charges, protests, accusations of a cover-up, and questions about political interference with the original investigation.  Also, Monday marks the candidate petition filing deadline for the March primary elections.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel this week.

Move over turkey. Step aside stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole, an iconic Thanksgiving dish, turns 60 years old this year and it’s as popular as ever.

Rep. Lou Lang
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A federal lawsuit is seeking to overturn Illinois’ ban on campaign contributions from medical marijuana companies.

  The case was brought last week by two Libertarian Party political candidates: Claire Ball of Addison, who says she's running for comptroller, and Scott Schluter of Marion, who says he's running for state representative. They say they favor legalization of drugs, and that companies that agree with them should be able to support their campaigns.

wnij

Illinois could see its already worst-in-the-nation credit rating sink further -- all the way down to "junk" status. Moody's Vice President Ted Hampton says investors have asked the ratings agency if that's even possible.

The Scene Gets Thankful

Nov 25, 2015
photo: Brian Mackey, clip art: RO

Scott and  Rachel are nearing a year of bringing you The Scene on air and in podcast form. Every week we stop to take a look around the scene so we can tell you about some of the fun and fascinating things coming up. 

Alex Wroblewski

Chicago writer Jamie Kalven focuses on patterns of police abuse and impunity in Chicago. He heard about an attempted cover up of the details in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old wielding a  knife.

flickr/D.L.

After the Mississippi River flooded four years ago, state and federal authorities offered buyouts to affected homeowners. Now the state budget impasse has left some of those deals in limbo.


Midwest Travel: Bishop Hill For The Holidays

Nov 25, 2015
Bishop Hill Heritage Association

When Swedish religious-freedom seekers spent their first winter huddled in shelters dug into a ravine in what is now Bishop Hill, few probably guessed that, 169 years later, their settlement would host heart-warming winter holiday celebrations.

You've likely noticed something different on-air, recently.  Or seen it here at WUIS.ORG.  A new way of referring to WUIS... NPR Illinois.  That's the shorthand for NPR | Illinois Public Radio | 91.9 UIS.

Lilong Dolrani

When the state finally has a budget, who will be left out?

Mike Berners-Lee may not be an expert on the American Thanksgiving. A native of the UK, he’s never actually had the pleasure of experiencing one. But as one of the world’s leading researchers on the carbon footprint of—well—everything (he even wrote a book subtitled “The Carbon Footprint of Everything”), he’s plenty familiar with the impacts of the foods that star in the traditional Thanksgiving Day spread.

illinois.gov

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration will find a new director for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum instead of hiring an outside search firm. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois is in uncharted territory. It'll soon hit its sixth month without a budget. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who dominate the legislature continue to spar about what Illinois' future should look like. Rauner wants to rein in unions; Democrats say that's akin to bolstering business tycoons at the expense of the middle class.

How long can it go on?

ILGA.gov

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary. State Sen.Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, has confirmed he will not run.

You could say the Democratic primary race for comptroller is over before it ever began; only today can candidates begin filing paperwork to run.

Christmas lights are up at the Illinois capitol, despite a brief period where it had appeared the state budget impasse would keep the dome dark. That interlude led to another outcome, appropriate during the season for giving.

The lights are on, thanks to a trio of unions that have offered to pay the state's Christmas lights electric bill.

But before that'd been finalized, Kristina Rasmussen had tried another method.

Housing Action Illinois

Estimates of the homeless populations in the state and the nation were released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pointing to an 11 percent drop nationally and a slight decline in Illinois.

I talked with Bob Palmer, policy director at Illinois Housing Action, to find out more about those numbers.

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