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Law proposed to increase speed limit on interstates and highways

Law proposed to increase speed limit on interstates and highways

By Don O'Brien | Belleville News-Democrat
February 22
Filed under Chicago, State

Those who would like to drive a little faster on Illinois interstates and highways soon may get their wish. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora) introduced a bill earlier this month that would push the speed limit to 75 mph on many of the state's interstates as well as make 60 the maxium speed...

Rauner open to income tax hike, rejects tax on food, medicine

Rauner open to income tax hike, rejects tax on food, medicine

By Monique Garcia, Kim Geiger and Haley Bemiller | Chicago Tribune
February 15
Filed under State

Gov. Bruce Rauner is open to raising income taxes and expanding the sales tax to strike an elusive deal on a state budget, but he won't sign off on proposals that would put new levies on food, medicine and retirement income. Those are among the guidelines Rauner plans to offer during his third budget...

Rahm Emanuel: Too many Dems care more about being right than winning

Rahm Emanuel: Too many Dems care more about being right than winning

By Kim Janssen | Chicago Tribune
February 14
Filed under State

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has warned Democrats they need to "take a chill pill" and realize that they are not going to take back national power anytime soon. "It ain't gonna happen in 2018," Emanuel said Jan. 6 at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in California. "Take a chill pill, man. You...

Rauner says final budget package must have sufficient ‘structural change’ to gain his support

Rauner says final budget package must have sufficient ‘structural change’ to gain his support

By Rick Pearson, Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia | Chicago Tribune
February 2
Filed under State

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said Wednesday that he will offer state lawmakers this month a budget proposal in the same format that the Democratic-led General Assembly rejected last year — either work with him on crafting a balanced spending plan or give him more power to make cuts on his own. Appearing...

Strike vote by big Illinois worker union starts Monday

Strike vote by big Illinois worker union starts Monday

By Chicago Tribune Staff
January 30
Filed under State

Voting begins Monday in a first-ever strike authorization vote by Illinois' largest state worker union. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 is taking the unprecedented step of asking its nearly 30,000 members who are eligible to strike if they would be willing...

Attorney general’s office: Move to stop state payroll has ‘everyone unhappy’

Attorney general’s office: Move to stop state payroll has ‘everyone unhappy’

By Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia | Chicago Tribune
January 28
Filed under State

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's new attempt to stop state worker paychecks from going out on time came more than 10 months after Illinois' high court overruled what her office called the "sole legal basis" for salaries being paid during the historic budget impasse. The move caught both Republican...

Rauner: A ‘moral obligation to work together’

Rauner: A ‘moral obligation to work together’

By By Rick Pearson and Monique Garcia | Chicago Tribune
January 25
Filed under State

Against the backdrop of a sharply divided and dysfunctional state government, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered a State of the State address Wednesday in which he said politicians have a "moral obligation" to fix Illinois. In a wide-ranging speech that included restating many items on his agenda...

Two freshman southern Illinois senators weigh bipartisan budget proposal

Two freshman southern Illinois senators weigh bipartisan budget proposal

By Marnie Leonard
January 25
Filed under State

Two freshman southern Illinois senators could vote as early as Wednesday on a bipartisan budget proposal aimed at ending the state’s budget impasse. The “grand bargain” budget deal is being advanced jointly by Democratic Senate President John Cullerton and Republican Minority Leader Christine...

Eastern Illinois University could cut five academic majors, university official says

Eastern Illinois University could cut five academic majors, university official says

By Olivia Spiers
January 20
Filed under News Briefs, State

Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman on Tuesday said the public university could eliminate five academic majors this spring as a result of declining enrollment. The Champaign News-Gazette reported the EIU president made the remarks during a faculty senate meeting. Programs in Africana...

Is distracted driving to blame for high crash statistics in Illinois?

Is distracted driving to blame for high crash statistics in Illinois?

By Kaitlyn Schwers
January 14
Filed under State

In less than four months, five people have died in crashes on Illinois 158 between Belleville and Columbia. Jody Graff, a 48-year-old from Columbia, died after her minivan struck the rear of a dump truck on Illinois 158 near Roenicke Road on Oct. 18. Less than two months later, a wreck on Illinois...

Chicago police use excessive force, result of poor training and lack of discipline

Chicago police use excessive force, result of poor training and lack of discipline

By Jason Meisner, Annie Sweeney, Dan Hinkel and Jeremy Gorner | Chicago Tribune
January 14
Filed under State

In perhaps the most damning, sweeping critique ever of the Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded Friday that the city's police officers are poorly trained in the use of force, resort to lethal force far too often and target minorities too frequently. The 164-page report,...

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