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  • Wednesday, October 17, 2018
    Kelly and Auxier go head to head in Bost's absence at first 12th District debate
    Candidates--Federal (13) Bost, Mike--State House, 115

    BELLEVILLE — The two challengers in Illinois’ 12th District contest had the conversation all to themselves Tuesday during the first of two public debates — incumbent Mike Bost had other plans.

    Democratic challenger Brendan Kelly and Green Party candidate Randy Auxier took questions from a panel of four questionnaires from local media outlets including The Southe...   read more >

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  • Monday, October 15, 2018
    Citizens count on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act but keep getting shut out
    Attorney General (6) , Freedom of Info. Act (FOIA) (6a)

    The office of the public access counselor was supposed to enforce open government laws. Nearly a decade later, it's backlogged and frequently ignored.

    When Larry Young started requesting records from police, he just wanted to find out what had happened to his daughter, Molly. 

    More than six yea...   read more >

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  • Monday, October 15, 2018
    Progressive tax part of the race for Illinois House in Metro East
    Taxes, Graduated/Progressive , Taxes, income (86) Stuart, Katie--State House, 112
    The 112th House District is a jagged rectangle that runs through the Metro East.

    It includes Collinsville, Edwardsville and parts of Granite City. It's less than 20 minutes, with traffic, from St. Louis.

    So how, and how much, the state of Illinois will tax people is a big part of the race in the district.

    Former Republican state Rep. Dwight Kay is running against...   read more >

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  • Sunday, October 14, 2018
    Solar farm planned for Highland as Chicago-based company leases land
    Energy, Alternative Energy (93) , Metro East (65)
    In the last year, nine different companies approached Dr. William Drake about his land a half a mile west of Highland Road and Hemlock Street in hopes of leasing the land for a solar farm.

    The increased interest is part of an ongoing push for solar in Illinois, stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs ...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 12, 2018
    Union pay dispute heats up ahead of election
    Governor (44) , Unions, labor (55)
    The largest state employee’s union is demanding state employees get paid raises from the past three years despite questions about the union's contract.

    American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch stood with various union members and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza on Thursday at a news conference. Mendoza ...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 12, 2018
    Investors just want an Illinois governor who will avoid a junk rating
    Bonds, Bonding, Borrowing, Debt, Credit Rating , Candidates--Statewide (12) , Governor (44)
    Illinois investors are endorsing fiscal stability this election.

    No matter who wins the gubernatorial race next month, bondholders want the next chief executive to avoid a repeat of the longest budget impasse in U.S. history, one that put Illinois on the brink of becoming the first junk-rated state. That gridlock — the result of a two-year standoff between Republican Gov. Bruce Raun...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
    British priest may not have to leave U.S. But he can’t be a citizen after voting error
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)
    An Illinois priest facing removal to his native England is changing his earlier plans to leave voluntarily for having mistakenly voted once in a U.S. election.

    At a preliminary hearing in Kansas City immigrati...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
    Janus v. AFSCME and the truth about pensions in one graphic
    Pensions (70) , Unions, labor (55)
    One graphic perfectly captures the absurdity of Illinois pensions over the past three decades.

    It’s what Justice Samuel Alito described as Illinois’ “generous public-employee retirement packages” when writing for the majority in the Janus v. AFSCME decision. “Illinois’ pension funds are underfunded by $129 billion as a result of gener...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
    Retired Episcopal priest from England who served in Alton could be allowed to stay in U.S.
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)

    The read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    Business group says 'none of the above' in race for Illinois governor
    Business (10) , Candidates--Statewide (12) , Governor (44)
    As the November election looms, interest groups and newspaper endorsements are rolling in, but not all of them are pleased with the choices on the ballot.

    In the race for Illinois governor, there have been some surprise endorsement choices, including a business group deciding neither incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner nor Democrat J.B. Pritzker were worthy of endorsement. But, just how muc...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    LinkedIn: Workers from Illinois go to Chicago, then leave the state
    Demographics, Census, Statistics , Economy (34)
    The nation’s largest online professional network tracks where in the country workers are moving to and from.

    Illinois’ largest cities are seeing movement to Chicago, then out of Illinois.

    LinkedIn’s monthly employment report tracks skill and location...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    Manufacturers oppose possible gas tax hike by large margins
    Business (10) , Gasoline prices (88) , Taxes, sales (88)
    A new survey of Illinois manufacturers shows overwhelming opposition to a possible gas tax hike.

    Eighty percent of respondents to a survey from the Technology and Manufacturing Association rejected the idea, even if the revenue were earmarked for infrastructure improvement. Steve Rauschenberger, president of the TMA, said members are frustrated by broken promises.

    “In conver...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    Pot legalization advocates seek foothold in Midwest states
    Drugs (32) , Medical Marijuana
    LANSING, Mich. • Backers of broad marijuana legalization are looking to break through a geographic barrier in November and get their first foothold in the Midwest after a string of election victories in Northeastern and Western states.

    Michigan and North Dakota, where voters previously authorized medical marijuana, will decide now if the drug should be legal fo...   read more >

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  • Monday, October 8, 2018
    Rauner: Yes to medical marijuana, still no to recreational
    Governor (44) , Medical Marijuana
    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to walk the line on marijuana in the state. 

    The same week that the Illinois Department of Public Health said 44,000 people in the state have asked for a medical marijuana card, Rauner once again said he's OK with medical marijuana. 

    The governor proudly stood by a new law that he signed to allow people to swap an opioid prescription ...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    15th District race preview: After running unopposed in 2016, Shimkus faces challenger
    Candidates--Federal (13)

    CARBONDALE — In 2016, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, won his 11th term in the U.S. Congress to represent Illinois' 15th District, in an uncontested race. This November, he won’t have that luxury.

    His challenger, Kevin Gaither, is an HIV/AIDS health care activist and former Americorps public school educator, who currently runs his own tutoring business for grade sc...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Illinois among the easiest states to cast a ballot
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)
    Illinois is among the easiest states in the country in which to cast a ballot, according to a new study.

    The report, titled “Cost of Voting In American States,” created a “Cost of Voting Index” after examining 33 different factors, focusing on laws regarding registering to vote and actually casting a ballot. Differences in registration deadlines carried the most we...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Illinois high court rules for hospital tax exemptions, but some say fight isn’t over
    Hospitals, Health Facilities Planning Board (48)
    Plaintiffs in a Central Illinois lawsuit to get nonprofit hospitals to pay property taxes say they’ll move forward with their case in light of a similar Supreme Court ruling.

    The Illinois Supreme Court upheld that a nonprofit hospital is still exempt from property taxes if the value of the free services it provides is greater than its annual bill from all the units of government tha...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Illinois lawmakers eye audit of Lincoln foundation over hat controversy
    Historic Preservation, historic sites (50) , Libraries/literacy (80c)

    A member of the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission is looking to get the state’s Auditor General to review the operations of the private foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

    State lawmakers also are considering whether other such entities need similar examination.

    The ALPLM Foundation has come under scrutiny...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Real estate experts say Prizker’s toilet troubles could be criminal
    Candidates--Statewide (12) , Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Taxes, property (87)
    Real estate experts say J.B. Pritzker, Democrat candidate for Illinois governor, may have some serious legal problems stemming from a leaked report outlining how he allegedly manipulated Cook County’s tax system to lower his property tax bill.

    The read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Illinois governor candidate Pritzker to repay tax breaks after report calls them fraud
    Candidates--Statewide (12) , Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Governor (44) , Taxes, property (87)
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. •  Illinois Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday he will repay more than $330,000 in property tax breaks he received on a Chicago mansion after a county investigator accused him of a "scheme to defraud" taxpayers by taking toilets out to lower its value.

    Campaign officials for the billionaire said he will pay the count...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Missouri, Illinois to receive millions in Justice Department anti-opioid grants
    Drugs (32)

    WASHINGTON • The Justice Department announced Monday that it was awarding nearly $320 million to combat opioid abuse, including millions of dollars to Missouri and Illinois.

    The money will go to "prevention, treatment and enforcement," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018
    Some cells in Illinois prison are so small it's 'inhumane' to house 2 inmates in them, judge says
    Corrections (74) , Prisons (74)

    EAST ST. LOUIS • A federal judge has called shared cells in one wing of an Illinois maximum-security prison “inhumane” and banned prison officials from placing a convicted sex offender there with a roommate.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams called cells in the North 1 unit at the read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018
    Liberty Justice Center to appeal local right-to-work case to U.S. Supreme Court
    Labor (55) , Right to work , Unions, labor (55)
    A nonprofit law firm that represented Mark Janus in his fight to overturn forced union fees said it intends to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court conflicting appellate court rulings regarding the ability of municipalities to create their own right-to-work zones.

    Liberty Justice Center represents the village of Lincolnshire, located in the north suburbs of Chicago. In 2015, the village passe...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018
    Report: Pritzker 'schemed to defraud' taxman in tax-saving toilet removal
    Candidates--Statewide (12) , Governor (44)
    Democratic candidate for Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker “schemed to defraud” taxing authorities when he and his wife had the toilets removed from a Gold Coast mansion just days before an inspection in a move that saved them more than $330,000 in property taxes, a leaked report found.

    According to an investigator, the billionaire received hundreds of thousands of dollars in ta...   read more >

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  • Monday, October 1, 2018
    After years of dire warnings, Illinoisans are numb to the pension crisis
    Pensions (70)

    This story was produced by the Better Government Association, a nonprofit news organization based in Chicago.

    The long-running soap opera of Illinois’ perilous finances has featured a governor touting a Squeezy the...   read more >

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