Senate To Take Up 'Lifeline' Budget Bill — Just Don't Call It That

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he and his colleagues will take up a partial government spending bill passed by the House earlier this month.

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Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois school districts in the East Saint Louis area are raising student fees and even considering a shorter school year as state education funding continues to be held up by the long-running Illinois budget crisis.

More than 400 Illinois school leaders statewide are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state legislature to pass a budget -- in addition to a lawsuit asking the state to give schools what they were promised.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hosts a statewide school visit Thursday … but maybe not in the way you think.

Gov. Rauner invited school classrooms across Illinois to join him during his visit. This time around, though, his visit will be through a Facebook Live stream.

chicagocitytreasurer.com

Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers says he will not run for Illinois governor, despite seeking the endorsement of Cook County Democratic Party leaders earlier this year.

Instead, he’s endorsing one of the Democrats hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner.

When Summers said Wednesday that he’s not running for governor, he really didn’t explain why. He endorsed billionaire venture capitalist JB Pritzker, saying Pritzker would best serve the African-American community as governor.

WNIJ/Susan Stephens

Anthony Dixon won the race for a seat on the Rockford School Board with a Queen of Clubs.  

Eight write-in candidates battled it out for the sub-district A seat in the April 4 election.

Tuesday, the winner was determined by flipping over two playing cards at the Winnebago County Administration Building in Rockford.

According to letters sent to Dixon and fellow write-in candidate Brandi Brown, a total of 517 ballots cast for the eight write-in candidates in the April 4 election resulted in a tie.

City of Sycamore

Sycamore Police Chief Glenn Theriault is not at work, and city officials aren't saying why. 

The Daily Chronicle reports Sycamore city manager Brian Gregory placed Theriault on administrative leave. Gregory confirmed the move, but would not give any further details. Under Sycamore's council-manager form of government, the city manager is in charge of personnel issues, with employment decisions needing approval from city council.  

Theriault has served as chief of police in Sycamore since January 2015. Before that, he was a police commander in Elgin. 

The minimum wage, abortion rights, and the state budget were among the rallying points for women marching on the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday. The event put liberal issues — and Democratic candidates — front and center.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Ten Northern Illinois University fraternities are in the trenches for a week-long tournament called “Tugs.”

It's been an NIU tradition for more than half a century.

Money raised will go toward a selected charity or non-profit. Devin Joseph, an organizer of the event, says the tradition separates NIU from other campuses.

State of Illinois

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker testified Tuesday in Springfield on how his institution is responding to the lack of a state budget.

He was among a handful of university presidents speaking to the Senate Appropriations Committee this week. He said the additional cuts required by the state’s failure to fund higher education are taking a broad toll.

“Unfortunately, these kinds of cuts hit those with the lowest financial ability the most,” Baker said. “It hurts the most needy students the worst, but it impacts all of them.”

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

A new report by a court-appointed watchdog charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois transportation department details how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even as many had little or no experience.

  

The Chicago Tribune reports the findings released Monday are the result of an inquiry that began in 2014 after a federal judge assigned a lawyer to dig into hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

A Democratic lawmaker pushing legislation to remove prohibitions on publicly funded abortions in Illinois hopes to call it for a vote as thousands of women converge on the capital to lobby for a "progressive agenda."

Chicago Rep. Sara Feigenholtz's measure would lift restrictions on abortions funded by Medicaid or state employee health insurance.

She says the legislation also is important because it ensures abortion remains on the books in Illinois if the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion is overturned.

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News From NPR

With just two days left to stop a partial shutdown of the federal government, the Trump administration on Wednesday removed another major sticking point in the spending bill negotiations.

The White House told lawmakers it will not cut off federal subsidies that help low-income Americans pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, at least for now, an administration official and congressional sources confirm to NPR.

Democrats sought to have the federal payment — known as a cost-sharing reduction, or CSR — included in the spending package.

It has been just under a month since dissatisfaction with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro erupted into massive protests — but if Wednesday's street skirmishes in Caracas are any indication, the unrest is unlikely to end soon.

Nearly 30 people have been killed in the demonstration since the end of March, when the pro-Maduro Supreme Court tried to nullify an opposition-dominated legislature — but then quickly backpedaled.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is one of a handful of dystopian novels that have seen a boost in sales since the 2016 election. The book tells the story of what happens when a theocratic dictatorship takes over the government and gets rid of women's rights.

President Trump has been tweeting about a federal court ruling that temporarily blocked his plan to suspend funding for "sanctuary cities."

These are cities — among them New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco — that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. For example, they may refuse to detain people who are in the U.S. illegally on behalf of the federal agents.

Now, the Trump tweets:

Back in the 1960s, a woman doctor in Japan created a powerful drug to help mothers who hemorrhage after childbirth.

The medicine is inexpensive to make. Safe to use. And stops bleeding quickly by helping keep naturally forming blood clots intact.

The drug's inventor, Utako Okamoto, hoped the drug called tranexamic acid would be used to help save moms' lives.

Every year about 100,000 women around the world die of blood loss soon after a baby is born. It's the biggest cause of maternal death worldwide.

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