Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Heartland Community College now knows what the state will give to operate in the current fiscal year, but questions remain about the cost-shifting of employee pensions.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County Board members disagreed Tuesday on how to fund a job supporting behavioral health services.

Elizabeth Guzaldo

The last municipal election in Bloomington-Normal was notable for the diversity of candidates. They included several women, African-Americans, a Muslim American, and an Illinois State University student. Among those elected were two openly gay women, married with children.

G-Jun Yam / The Associated Press

A new school funding plan designed to provide more state funds for low-income districts has cleared both chambers of the Illinois legislature, but Democrats haven't sent it to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

WGLT

The owners of the Hyatt hotel in Uptown Normal have withdrawn their request for a tax break that the Normal Town Council was expected to vote on Monday night.

Courtesy

A Democrat from Saybrook has announced plans to challenge McLean County Board vice chairman Jim Soeldner in next year's election.

Democrat David Siebert said in a Facebook post Tuesday that he plans to run for the McLean County Board District 2 seat currently held by Soeldner, a Republican from Ellsworth.

Lisa Madigan at podium
M. Spencer Green / The Associated Press

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently released guidelines on how law enforcement should reform their policies on sexual assault cases.

It follows enactment of the state Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act, which is meant to improve law enforcement's response to these incidents through required specialized training and policies. Agencies must have written policies consistent with the guidelines in effect by Jan. 1.

Key requirements for law enforcement entities in Madigan's guidelines include:

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Bloomington residents are providing scores of ideas to improve the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts programs. 

Howard Daughenbaugh of Bloomington said during a public input session Thursday that the city needs to invest in multicultural organizations. He said meetings like Thursday's should appeal to diverse residents. 

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register/Pool

The shakeup in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office could signal a tougher stance on school funding.

The state spending plan requires adoption of a new funding formula, but Rauner has promised to veto the plan that got legislative approval.

Green Top Grocery owners look at their new store
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Last week when lawmakers finally passed a state budget, their counterparts in local government cheered.

A day or two later, mayors and city managers across the state got the bad news—that the hard-fought budget package included a sales tax surprise that will further strain municipalities.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Central Illinois lawmakers are viewing the newly passed budget as a temporary solution to the state's long-term issues.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

UPDATED 10 a.m. | Bloomington City Manager David Hales is one of five finalists for a similar position in Topeka, Kansas.

Hales and the other four finalists will be in Topeka for interviews on July 21-22, according to a statement issued by Topeka on Friday.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Unit Five grade school enrollment will go down in Bloomington-Normal and high school enrollment will rise for the next few years.

That's according to a new demographic study presented to Unit Five school board members Wednesday night.

S&P Removes Illinois From Credit Watch With Budget In Place

Jul 12, 2017
Bruce Rauner speaks at event
G-Jun Yam / The Associated Press

A credit ratings agency has removed Illinois from a credit watch since legislators approved a budget and ended a more than two-year impasse.

S&P Global Ratings said Wednesday the outlook on debt ratings is stable.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Bloomington residents say they want a walking trail at O'Neil Park on the west side, concessions at the baseball field, and an extended swimming season.

Will Davis speaks
Seth Perlman / The Associated Press

In a maneuver some state lawmakers call a "booby trap," the spending plan approved last week says Illinois can't appropriate money for schools unless a new funding formula also wins approval.

Hockey player on skates
Courtesy / Bloomington Thunder

The city-owned arena in downtown Bloomington has new managers and a new name. Does it deserve a new chance to win over its critics?

Obama waves
Achmad Ibrahim / The Associated Press

The Illinois General Assembly is honoring former President Barack Obama by naming part of a major highway after him.

Children smiling in a classroom
Courtesy / YWCA of McLean County

For the first time in a long time, Bloomington-Normal’s social service agencies have a reason to applaud state lawmakers. 

It's Over: Illinois Has First Budget Since 2015

Jul 6, 2017
Mike Madigan walks
Seth Perlman / The Associated Press

The Illinois House voted Thursday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget package. The action gives Illinois its first annual spending plan since 2015.

Vote Delayed Amid Report of Hazardous Material

Jul 6, 2017
Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

A critical override vote on a package of budget bills was delayed Thursday as authorities investigate a report of hazardous material in the Illinois Capitol.

Bruce Rauner speaks at event
G-Jun Yam / The Associated Press

The speaker of the Illinois House has scheduled a vote for Thursday to override the governor's veto of the budget package.

John Cullerton
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

The Illinois Senate is expected to vote on a full budget Tuesday after the House passed a spending plan and a tax increase over the weekend to try and end the two-year long impasse.

In the House, 15 Republicans went against Gov. Bruce Rauner and voted "yes" on Sunday. But it’s not a given that the Senate has the votes to pass it.

Senate Democrats already passed a budget. It included more spending than the plan they’re set to consider Tuesday.

Senate Republicans opposed that budget, and the question now is whether they’ll oppose this one too.

Colleen Reynolds

The Bloomington City Council is considering establishing a citizen-led police oversight board to receive complaints about police and offer citizens an a review process.  

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council may vote on a civilian review board at their July 10 meeting, but action could also be delayed, according to a Bloomington Alderman.

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

The Town of Normal Council is expected to sign off on an option for pedestrians and people on bikes to traverse railroad tracks bisecting Uptown.

Staff / WGLT

The Illinois Attorney General has ruled the City of Bloomington violated the Open Meetings Act. Mayor Tari Renner said the city is likely to appeal the ruling.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

There's continuing forward momentum  in Bloomington-Normal toward creating a multi-sports complex. The idea could make good economic sense according to Town of Normal City Manager Mark Peterson. However, Peterson said he wouldn't use the term "public-private partnership" to describe the effort.

Judith Valente / GLT News

As part of their Social Work in Action class, a group of Illinois Wesleyan University students began interviewing people who have been arrested in McLean County.  

Ralph Weisheit

Editors note: This is the first of a series of interviews with newly elected council members in Bloomington and Normal. 

There are a "ton of details to work out," but a Bloomington Alderman is standing by campaign statements about a shared sales tax agreement between Bloomington and Normal. 

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