News

Community College Students Hurting In Budget Battle

Jan 22, 2016
College of DuPage

Illinois community colleges students are caught up in a political battle between the Republican governor and Democratic legislators.

Talks on fixing the state pension debt resumed, but Governor Bruce Rauner and Senate President John Cullerton can't seem to agree on what they agreed to and Rauner declared contract negotiations with AFSCME at an impasse.  Also this week, the governor announced his support for the state taking over the entire Chicago Public Schools system.  Meanwhile, Illinois higher education continues to go unfunded.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel.

WUIS

A new pension plan introduced Thursday by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner as a bipartisan deal immediately crashed and burned. 

Illinois State Labor Relations Board logo
Illinois State Labor Relations Board

The future of some 36,000 state government employees lies -- in part, anyway -- with the Illinois Labor Relations Board.

The union that represents most state workers -- AFSCME -- and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration had been at the bargaining table for a about a year when, on Jan. 15, Rauner announced he'd had enough.

He says there's no point to further talks. They're at an impasse. But neither side can make that choice unilaterally. So Rauner's filed a charge with the labor board, asking it to decide.

The Scene: Drag Queens & The Symphony

Jan 21, 2016

It's that time, take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

Office of State Rep. Tom Morrison

Legislation sponsored by a Northwest suburban lawmaker would require school boards to tell students they could only use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their sex. Males with males. Females with females.

Republican Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine says he sponsored the legislation to create an “objective standard."

"The vast majority of students are minors, and so it is appropriate that if they’re in school,  we need to make sure that we ensure their privacy within those changing areas.”

alastairwillis.com

A preview of this weekend's Illinois Symphony Orchestra concert -  "Sensational Strings" - featuring music by Mozart, Kernis, and Dvorak.  Yona Stamatis talks with ISO Music Director and conductor Alastair Willis.
 

Sensational Strings - Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra
Friday, January 22, 7:30 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Springfield.
Saturday, January 23, 7:30 PM, Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington.

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

Your 3-year old can name all the states in the country, but you catch him as he prepares to stick a knife into an electrical outlet.

Your 8-year old is a regular piano prodigy, but he borrows his dad’s cell phone and leaves it in the front yard, overnight.  In the rain.

Your 16-year old is inducted into National Honor Society the evening before he posts on social media that his parents are gone for a few days and he has the house to himself.

When their terms are up, sitting judges who want to hold onto their seats usually run for election as nonpartisan candidates. It's called "retention." But this year, three St. Clair County circuit court judges who are running like they're new to the bench. And they're doing it as Democrats.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois colleges and universities have gone seven months with zero state funding – that includes funding of MAP grants that help poor students pay tuition. Now, some business and labor leader have joined students calling for lawmakers to resolve the budget stalemate. 

WBEZ

Gov. Bruce Rauner says that if Illinois takes over Chicago Public Schools, he'll stand up to the teachers' union on contract negotiations. 

Black Lives Matter Champaign-Urbana

It’s one of the largest activist movements since the civil rights era of the 1960s. It’s more than just a hashtag, and it’s about more than police. What's the impact of Black Lives Matter as an organization and a philosophy? And will it be enough to bring about lasting and significant changes in Illinois and across the country? 

UIS

Lynn Pardie will step down from the Provost position in May, according to an announcement sent to the university campus today. 

flickr/401(K) 2012

A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week.

Martin Luby, with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, compared the recent bond sale to one in 2006, when Illinois had a much better credit rating. This week for Past Due, Jamey Dunn talked with Luby about his report. 

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The state budget impasse has largely spared public schools, thanks to Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to fund them for the entire year. But some school districts are still hurting. 

Bernard Sieracki is no stranger to Illinois government.  He's lobbied for decades.  But what he witnessed 7 years ago this month stood out.

flickr/ TaxCredits.net

  A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week. 

afscme31.org

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union leaders say more confusion is on the way because of Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent announcement that he's stalling negotiations. The union's been bargaining on behalf of 36,000 workers.

voting booths
flickr/ Mortimer62

In a tight election, sometimes something as minor as where a name falls on the ballot can make a difference. The order for presidential candidates in Illinois has been determined as long as they all actually remain on the ballot.

Legacypointe.net

On this week's WUIS/State Journal-Register Business Report, we discuss Legacy Pointe development, or lack of it.  

III Tomassos Italian Bistro closed earlier this month and that has people talking again.  Many wondering, where is the outlet mall that was proposed?

In Springfield's downtown, one building will stay and another will go. 

We also talk about then Deer Run Mine in Hillsboro, which has closed following a fire.  Will it reopen?

Office of Rep. Andre Thapedi

Chicago State University won’t have funds to operate by March 1 if  state money is not released, officials there have said.

Killeen: U of I Is "Fiscally Prudent"

Jan 18, 2016
University of Illinois

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen says he agrees with some of the concerns about excessive spending at public universities raised by an aide to Governor Bruce Rauner.

Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

The Illinois Democrat says that with the Iowa Caucuses two weeks away… he believes even most Republicans couldn’t yet answer that question.

Durbin says in his experience… voters need to wait until early March, after a few primaries and caucuses… to get a true sense of who’s leading.

Woodstock Illinois web site

“It’s always Feb. 2nd and there’s nothing I can do about it,” complains Phil Connors, the character Bill Murray plays in the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. Trapped in a time warp, Connors desperately tries to escape his fate day after day until he reexamines his life and discovers what really makes him happy.  

The time is ripe for the sharing economy in farm country.

  Governor Bruce Rauner has been in office one year this week and gave a series of short interviews in Springfield this week.  And with more than 100 people shot in Chicago in the just the first two weeks of 2016, the governor says the solution to the violence is passing his pro-business, anti-union agenda.
Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

afscme31.org

The rift between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated. Friday morning Rauner announced he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse.

A few days ago in an interview with Illinois Public Radio, Rauner -- a Republican -- said his bargaining team is spinning its wheels.

After roughly one year, and after 67 sessions, he claimed "AFSCME has refused to compromise off of their starting position, which was status quo with major increases in compensation, and other issues."

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

This week we are joined by Allison Lacher. She is a local curator and artist and she helped found and now run the DEMO Project gallery on the campus of the Springfield Art Association. She tells us about the efforts of the contemporary art scene in Springfield which she helps spearhead. We also spilled some out for David Bowie (not literally because it would have wrecked the lovely one-of-a-kind carpets at Edwards Place.

Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

A longtime festival in Jacksonville has come to an end.

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

The sun was setting and the snow was falling as we scampered to our car.   Jane’s wide eyes took in the flurry of snowflakes framed by the pink late afternoon sky.  Head back, mouth open—she giggled as she caught flakes on her tongue.  A sense of wonder took my breath away as I tucked away another memory.

There was nothing extraordinary about the event.  It was just another day as we scurried from one place to the next.  But for once, I had my wits about me enough to realize this was a moment I wanted to remember.  

Pages