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Advisory Board Minutes

Dec 10, 2015

 

NPR Illinois Advisory Board Meeting
December 10, 2015

Attendees:

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

A mother said she’d had it with her kids.  They whined.  They negotiated.  They wanted more and more, despite the fact their toy shelves were already burgeoning with un-used toys.

She resented their self-centeredness, so she decided to try a different strategy.

She called her rascals together, looked them squarely in the eye, and said very clearly that for the days leading up to Christmas, they were going to focus on giving instead of receiving.

Sarah Jane Rhee

In Illinois, thousands of African American men are released from prison each year. But, without support from government and community, many will go back. 

Will Clayton

The Illinois Constitution turns 45 on December 15. As the document reaches its birthday, Charlie Wheeler looks at the ways it modernized government. 

wnij

Years of mismanagement led to the state’s current fiscal crisis. A recent report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) suggests changes to the budgeting process that could help prevent future disasters. 

AFSCME Council 31

The state's largest public employee union remains at odds with Governor Rauner's administration on a new contract.  

Vachel Lindsay Association

Kevin Purcell is a well-known Illinois actor and director who helped co-found Over the Moon Productions. This weekend he will be performing a one-man show at the Hoogland: "A Child's Christmas in Wales." It's his reading of the well-loved story by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

 He spoke with us about his rendition of it for this interview. We also spoke with Tim Schirmer who composed the music for the production:

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

This week we are joined by Kimberly Moore who is the founder of one of Springfield's longest-running poetry events, an open mic night called 'Expressions in the Dark.'

A year ago, Illinois' income tax rate fell by 25-percent. The top Democrat in the Illinois House is suggesting it go back up.

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

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, is denouncing recent anti-Muslim statements from his party's front-runner for president, but he's sticking to his position on Syrian refugees, and he's even taking it a step further.

Rauner described Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. as "an extreme action."

"What he's proposing is just fundamentally counter to American values," Rauner said Tuesday in response to reporters' questions. "I strongly, strongly disagree with candidate Trump."

police cars
flickr.com/appleswitch (Creative Commons)

  So far, it seems no police officers have been disciplined for helping conceal the circumstances under which Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald was killed. Because of that, a group of black lawmakers say Illinois should consider licensing police.

flickr/Chad Elliott

Cash-strapped counties in Illinois are trying to call in old fines for offenses like speeding tickets. Some of their efforts have been criticized because the cases they are trying to collect on are two or three decades old.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

As college students wrap up the fall semester, there is still a lot of uncertainty for the coming months. Those low-income student who rely on the Monetary Award Program to pay for tuition have no guarantee the money will arrive. Most colleges and universities have been fronting the money for their students, but even the University of Illinois has warned MAP recipients they may have to repay their grants if the budget impasse drags on through the spring semester.


loc.gov

On this week's business report, Tim Landis talks with Bill Wheelhouse about some renovated apartments coming on the market in downtown Springfield.

Illinois Lottery

The Illinois Lottery will resume paying out big prizes, thanks to a partial budget just signed into law. But that won't be enough to end a class-action lawsuit.

The jackpot's been out of reach, even for Lottery players lucky enough to win $600 or more. Illinois suspended paying larger prizes; without a budget, it didn't have the legal authority.

When you get your drivers' license renewed, chances are you're going to a building that the state doesn't own; it leases. Due to the budget impasse, Illinois hasn't paid its rent checks, electric or water bills since July.

Dave Druker, with the Secretary of State, says while most have been patient, one landlord was close to kicking the state out, and a utility sent a shutoff notice.

"You know these are folks that are in business. And they've honorably entered into contracts with us -- leases, and we hope that they can be paid as soon as possible," Druker said.

flickr/borman18

Money can now be released to local governments and community organizations that have been waiting for state funding since July. The Senate was in Springfield briefly Monday to approve the funding; within hours the governor had signed the plan into law.

An ideological, political feud between the governor and the Democrats who control Illinois' legislature has left the state without a budget.

But they've reach a minor agreement. Republicans had previously been against piecemeal budgets, but Governor Bruce Rauner says he was concerned about public safety.

Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture, food and natural resource sectors each year for the next five years, according to a report from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Illinois Municipal League

Illinois Senators are poised to approve sending some $2 billion to local governments, money that thus far has been caught in the political fight between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats.

The funding will send 911 fees to the call centers, give municipalities their share of proceeds from video gaming and allow localities to pay for road salt.

WUIS

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says a budget deal could take a while longer. 

Rodger Heaton
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

On episode 16 of the State of the State podcast, a commission working on an overhaul of Illinois’ criminal justice system has approved its first set of recommendations.

ilga.gov

The new Republican state representative for the Springfield area says she won't always agree with the governor.  

The Scene Gets In The Holiday/Punk Spirit

Dec 4, 2015

There are going to be a lot of holiday shows to gab about for the next month. But if you happen to be a Scrooge, don't worry. There are still other events that have nothing to do with Christmas, like the long-standing nationally renowned punk band The Queers coming to town...

Listen up!

After more than six months, Illinois' governor met with the four top legislative leaders to discuss the state's budget impasse. No progress was made, but all agreed to meet again someday soon. Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times joins the panel.

This Sunday is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment banned slavery in America. 

To commemorate the event, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will display a copy of the amendment signed by Lincoln. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' unemployment insurance program will see some changes next year, the result of something that's rare in Springfield these days as a budget stalemate persists: hard-fought negotiations giving way to a compromise.

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

The young mother sat amidst a group of parents and shared the news that her baby had just been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.  It was no surprise that a tear slipped down her cheek as she haltingly spoke these devastating words.

I looked around the group, and saw that almost every person present was tearing up, right alongside her.  The outpouring of concern that followed was natural and powerful. 

Illinois Issues: No Place To Call Home - Pt. 2

Dec 3, 2015
David Wilson

The second installment of a three-part series on homelessness looks at how the problem plagues Illinoisans in the state’s rural reaches, too

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since Tuesday's big summit with legislative leaders.

Courtesy of ILGA.gov

Illinois still has no full budget, but local governments, 911 call centers and the state lottery could soon get money.

Some legislators may have done it begrudgingly, but Democrats and Republicans alike voted for a measure that spends $3 billion.

It'll also pay for road salt, send money to domestic violence shelters, and cover police training. It seems to be a U-turn for Republicans, who've previously opposed such "piecemeal" budgeting.

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