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why illinois may be the most messed up state in the u.s.


chicago -- illinois is hours away from entering its third fiscal year without a state budget, territory that could mean some universities won't be able to offer federal financial aid, road construction and powerball ticket sales will halt, and the state's credit rating will be downgraded to "junk."lawmakers are meeting friday to try to end an impasse between republican gov. bruce rauner and democrats who control the legislature that started when the first-term governor took office in 2015 promising change.but a deal appears unlikely before the saturday start of the next fiscal year. comptroller susana mendoza, who controls the state's checkbook, said: "derailment is imminent."rauner has said he'll keep legislators at work in springfield until they can reach an agreement, continuing a speci






what to do with a broken illinois: dissolve the land of lincoln


illinois is like venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper.but before we run out of the essentials, let's finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, illinois has finally run out of other people's money.those "other people" include taxpayers who've abandoned the state. and now illinois faces doomsday.so as the politicians meet in springfield this week for another round of posturing and gesturing and blaming, we need a plan.and here it is:dissolve illinois. decommission the state, tear up the charter, whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo, just end the whole dang thing.we just disappear. with no pain. that's right. you heard me.the best thing to do is to break illinois into






illinois brewery finder: phone download


download download phone application. welcome to the illinois brewery finder application. this is the ultimate illinois brewery finder application for all brewery enthusiast and hobbyist. our application contains data contact information on many illinois breweries in all regions of illinois. at a touch of a finger, you can easily find the address, phone number and website on over 100 breweries, brewpubs, microbreweries and tap rooms throughout the state of illinois. illinois regions include: central -chicago -chicagoland -northern -southern -southwestern -westerndata information includes: brewery name -brewery address (street, city, state and zip code) -brewery phone number -brewery website -brewery region -illinois area mapour application provides a data searching option that allow the use






illinois to provide $1m for migrant student summer programs


illinois is handing out $1 million in federal grants to help educate children of migrant families.the illinois state board of education announced tuesday that the migrant education program funds will help pay for educational services this summer. organizations hoping to receive some of the money must apply by friday.state superintendent of education tony smith says migrant families support illinois' critical agricultural sector. he says: "we have a responsibility to all children to make them feel welcome and supported."some 7,200 seasonal agricultural workers travel to illinois each year, and officials say their children have unique challenges keeping up academically.jose montalvo travels from texas to illinois to process pumpkins. he says his son attends a summer migrant education program






will northwestern and illinois both make the ncaa tournament?


could both illinois and northwestern be ncaa tournament teams this season?bracket experts are clear in their assertion that the wildcats are in. an updated mock bracket by espn.com’s joe lunardi thursday morning predicts the wildcats as a no. 9 seed and cbssports.com’s jerry palm has them as a no. 8 seed.they're split on their analysis of illinois.the illini are not included in lunardi’s bracket or in his “first four out” teams, but he does include them in the “next four out” group. palm still has the illini as a “last four in” team, a no. 11 seed playing in a first four game in dayton, ohio.illinois and northwestern had wild wednesday nights.the wildcats beat michigan on a last-second heave, and illinois held off michigan state for its fourth straight win.both bracketologists have illinoi






illinois beach campers can blame selves for booze ban


turns out mom was right all along. with mother's day this weekend, moms everywhere seem to have innate knowledge about how to travel through life. especially useful are what you think are homey adages that, as you grow older, ring truer.you know the ones. "if so and so jumped off a bridge, would you?" or how about, "you can choose your friends, but not your family." and one appropriate to the current situation at adeline geo-karis illinois beach state park: "one bad apple spoils the bunch."in the case of the sprawling state park near zion, it wasn't only one bad apple, but bushels of them, that led the illinois department of natural resources to ban alcohol use at the park. while we understand how change sometimes upsets people, we agree with the decision to turn illinois beach into an alc






illinois state falls just short of ncaa tournament bid


just 16 teams won more games than illinois state this season.all victories are not created equal, of course, and the ncaa tournament selection committee was none too impressed with how the redbirds accumulated their 27-6 record.march madness took on a different meaning in bloomington-normal on sunday night after illinois state learned it will not be among the 68 teams invited to the big dance.the snub came as little surprise to bracketologists nationwide, most of whom came to the same conclusion that the redbirds lack of quality wins - they were 1-2 against wichita state and didn’t play anybody else with a top-50 rpi - would work against them.the redbirds went 17-1 in missouri valley conference, splitting with wichita state in the regular season before a 71-51 loss to the shockers in the m






no. 21 wichita state beats illinois state to win mvc tourney


st. louis — no. 21 wichita state left no doubt as to whom the top team in the missouri valley conference was.conner frankamp scored a career-high 19 points and markis mcduffie added 16 as no. 21 wichita state beat illinois state 71-51 in the mvc tournament championship game sunday, earning an automatic ncaa tournament berth."i thought we played very well against a very good team," wichita state coach gregg marshall said. "i thought it was a very thorough performance. we defended well. we made our free throws. we got the ball inside. we rebounded well. we shot it well. so that results in a 20-point win and that's hard to do against that team."the teams had split their regular-season series and shared the conference championship, with illinois state earning the top seed over wichita state ba






peoria qb coran taylor commits to illinois, glenbard north db greg newsome to no


illinois and northwestern each received an in-state commitment monday as peoria quarterback coran taylor announced he will play for the illini and glenbard north defensive back greg newsome committed to the wildcats.taylor is illinois' first commitment in the class of 2018. the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder rushed for 1,671 yards and 22 touchdowns for the class 5a state champions last season and threw for 1,542 yards and 17 touchdowns with just three interceptions.a three-star prospect, taylor is the no. 26 recruit in the state, according to the 247sports.com composite rankings. he also had offers from illinois state and miami (ohio)."i'm staying home," he tweeted monday in announcing his decision.the 6-1, 170-pound newsome has a no. 8 composite ranking in illinois, and his commitment gives the wi






state: did we say 16,700 jobs lost? we meant 2,000 gained


what state officials described as a "troubling" loss of 16,700 jobs in december turns out not to have been so bad after all.in fact, illinois gained 2,000 jobs in december, according to revised figures released thursday with the state's january unemployment report. the state added another 1,700 jobs in january."we acknowledge it's a big revision, but the revisions don't change the fact that illinois continues to lag behind many other states and is still playing catch up to jobs numbers from 17 years ago," said bob gough, spokesman for the illinois department of employment security.illinois is about 31,600 jobs short of its peak employment level in september 2000, according to the department.illinois loses 16,700 jobs in december, but finishes 2016 better than it beganalexia elejalde-ruizil






no state holiday in illinois for obama's birthday


springfield, ill. -- barack obama’s name is revered in his home state. but the illinois house has rejected making his birthday a state holiday. legislation to make the 44th president’s aug. 4th birthday a state holiday fell six votes short tuesday. chicago democratic rep. sonya harper says it would honor a man who adopted chicago as his home and served in the illinois state senate. but rep. steven andersson of geneva suggested it be honorary. the republican floor leader says even mr. obama wouldn’t want the cash-strapped state to give state workers another paid day off. he noted that tampico native and 40th president ronald reagan’s feb. 6th birthday isn’t a holiday. the vote was 54-57. harper used a procedure allowing another vote later.






illinois will play depaul in men's basketball for first time since 1957


illinois will host depaul in the 2017 gavitt tipoff games, according to a source.the teams haven't played each other since 1957 with illinois holding a 7-2 all-time series advantage.the gavitt games, a big ten vs. big east competition, have been played annually since 2015.illinois lost its one game in 2015 to providence.depaul is 0-2 with losses to penn state and rutgers.






illinois will play depaul in men's basketball for first time since 1957


illinois will host depaul in the 2017 gavitt tipoff games, according to a source.the teams haven't played each other since 1957 with illinois holding a 7-2 all time series advantage.the gavitt games, a big ten vs. big east competition, have been played annually since 2015.illinois lost its one game in 2015 to providence.depaul is 0-2 with losses to penn state and rutgers.






woman killed while walking on tri-state tollway


a 31-year-old woman was killed sunday night while she was walking on the southbound lanes of the tri-state tollway near suburban hazel crest, illinois state police said. just before 8:10 p.m., a vehicle ran over a woman who had been walking by mile marker 3 1/2 near halsted street on the southbound lanes of interstate 80/294, illinois state police said. it's unknown what kind of vehicle was involved in the crash, because it did not stop, troopers said. the woman was pronounced dead at the scene, illinois state police said. investigators did not know why the woman was walking during the time of the crash. the incident remains under investigation. 






in a trump canadian trade war, illinois is a casualty


president donald trump is teeing up a trade war with canada, and the state of illinois, along with the chicago area, could get bloodied should this cross-border confrontation escalate.this week the administration imposed a tariff on canada's softwood lumber, used primarily for home building. it is also threatening to take action against canadian dairy farmers for what the administration views as unfair business practices.the full impact of these actions is just sinking in, but already trump's harsh rhetoric toward our northern neighbor is rattling illinois businesspeople. to say the least, they don't want trouble, disruptions or hard feelings upsetting a traditionally smooth and profitable relationship.there's a lot at stake. canada is illinois' top export customer and, by proxy, a signifi






bruce rauner, illinois' savior - chicago tribune


one of your readers wrote in voice of the people that our illinois gov. bruce rauner is unfit to serve. the man — who is standing up for what he promised and not caving in to the dominance of the liberals, who have ruined the formerly great state of illinois and made it the laughingstock of the nation — is more of a savior than a failure. if he fails, the state is doomed for sure. there is no hope in the proven, present, failed leadership of house speaker michael madigan and his cohorts. if madigan & co. win, we all lose.— george e. pesetski, west chicago






obama's home state of illinois rejects a holiday in his honor for now


former president barack obama received a warm reception from his former colleagues in the state legislature when he delivered a speech on the floor of the illinois house last year, but he didn't get the same support there tuesday when lawmakers declined to designate his birthday as a state holiday.under a new proposal, state facilities and schools would close each year on aug. 4, obama's birthday. but opponents said while it might be good to recognize the former president and ex-state lawmaker, people shouldn't get the day off work. the house measure received 54 votes, six votes short of what it needed to be approved and sent to obama's old stomping grounds in the illinois senate. sponsoring rep. sonya harper, d-chicago, used a parliamentary move that will keep the measure alive for anothe






illinois lawmakers: to prepare for disasters, consider zombies


pushing back against republican president donald trump, one democratic state lawmaker is sponsoring legislation aimed at protecting illinois women's access to abortion services.the plan from state rep. sara feigenholtz, d-chicago, would eliminate a so-called trigger provision in state law that... (haley bemiller)






fbi sting nabs two illinois men who wanted to send friend to syria for isis


two illinois men, who had allegedly pledged their allegiance to the islamic state,  were charged wednesday as part of a conspiracy to equifi...       






illinois state fumes over 'idiotic, stupid' ncaa tournament exclusion


only 16 teams in division i won more games than illinois state did this season.all victories are not created equal, of course, and the ncaa tournament selection committee was not impressed with how the redbirds accumulated their 27-6 record.march madness took on a different meaning in bloomington-normal on sunday night after illinois state learned it will not be among the 68 teams invited to the big dance."i'm pretty upset, mad-slash-sad, shocked," said isu point guard paris lee, a proviso east product and the missouri valley player of the year. "everybody in that locker room is human. everybody is hurt."illinois state coach dan muller said: "it is idiotic to me."strength of schedule, or lack thereof, proved to be the redbirds' undoing as the final four at-large bids went to teams from maj






do the democrats in springfield really need a bargain?


for almost two years, we've heard a litany of excuses for why illinois does not have a state budget.rauner is holding the budget hostage for his extreme agenda!bipartisan gridlock!the governor got in the way!just last week, lawmakers feigned outrage after they went home without passing a budget "grand bargain" (more on this monstrosity later). senate president john cullerton said his chamber would resume voting on the plan when "we get word there is republican support."but here's the thing: this whole narrative about needing bipartisan agreement to "end the impasse" and "republicans and democrats working together" … it's all a sham.the great irony of the budget "grand bargain" is that illinois has never needed a bargain to begin with. democrats control the general assembly. if cullerton an






illinois board to consider hastert's state lawmaker pension


springfield, ill. — illinois officials are poised to consider the status of the pension dennis hastert receives for the time the imprisoned former u.s. house speaker served in the state's general assembly.hastert is serving a 15-month prison term in a hush-money case that stemmed from his sexual abuse of students when he taught at an illinois public school more than 35 years ago.the illinois general assembly retirement system's board of trustees is planning to consider hastert's $28,000 annual pension during a meeting wednesday in the state capitol.the daily herald in arlington heights reports that the board's executive secretary is recommending that it approve a reduced lawmakers' pension for hastert of about $9,000 a year.he also receives pension funds for his time as a teacher and tenur






illinois state falls just short of ncaa tournament bid, named no. 1 seed in nit


just 16 teams won more games than illinois state this season.all victories are not created equal, of course, and the ncaa tournament selection committee was none too impressed with how the redbirds accumulated their 27-6 record.march madness took on a different meaning in bloomington-normal on sunday night after illinois state learned it will not be among the 68 teams invited to the big dance.the redbirds were later named a no. 1 seed in the nit and will play uc irvine on wednesday at 8:30 p.m. the game will be broadcast on espnu.the big dance snub came as little surprise to bracketologists nationwide, most of whom came to the same conclusion that the redbirds lack of quality wins - they were 1-2 against wichita state and didn’t play anybody else with a top-50 rpi - would work against them






rauner says employment agency security breach affects 1.4 million residents


the governor's office says about 1.4 million illinoisans are affected after one of the state's employment security agency vendors was hacked.illinois gov. bruce rauner's office said friday afternoon that the illinois department of employment security notified the illinois general assembly about the hack. state officials say the hacker may have accessed the names, social security numbers and birthdates of job seekers in the vendor's database. authorities say the data break may have impacted ten states.the agency says the vendor, america's job link - technical support, learned about the hack on march 14. illinois officials say the hack wasn't a result of deficient state software. a state technical team is working with the agency and vendor on the situation.the agency is preparing notices to






could illinois be the first state to file for bankruptcy?


illinois residents may feel some solidarity with the likes of puerto rico and detroit.a financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. at the moment, it's impossible for a state to file for bankruptcy protection, which is only afforded to counties and municipalities like detroit. chapter 9 bankruptcy protection could be extended to states if congress took up the issue, although stanford law school professor michael mcconnell noted in an article last year that he believed the precedents are iffy for extending the option to states. nevertheless, illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as pot






ranking illinois - chicago tribune


for the third year in a row, illinois leads the nation in a dubious category: it has lost more residents than any other state.why does this matter? because as people exit, so do this state's economic muscle and national political clout. illinois risks losing another one or two seats in the u.s. house after the 2020 census. sun belt states including texas, florida and california feast on illinois' misery: 114,144 illinoisans left for other states from july 2015 to july 2016. they fled, and keep fleeing, for job opportunities, affordable housing or balmier weather. on two of the three reasons, illinois can improve its standing.try this: travel to another state for vacation. mention that you're from illinois. what's the response? envy of an economic juggernaut brimming with opportunity, as on






ranking illinois - chicago tribune


for the third year in a row, illinois leads the nation in a dubious category: it has lost more residents than any other state.why does this matter? because as people exit, so do this state's economic muscle and national political clout. illinois risks losing another one or two seats in the u.s. house after the 2020 census. sun belt states including texas, florida and california feast on illinois' misery: 114,144 illinoisans left for other states from july 2015 to july 2016. they fled, and keep fleeing, for job opportunities, affordable housing or balmier weather. on two of the three reasons, illinois can improve its standing.try this: travel to another state for vacation. mention that you're from illinois. what's the response? envy of an economic juggernaut brimming with opportunity, as on






illinois considers legalizing marijuana for a fiscal boost


springfield, ill. — marijuana advocates are trying to lay the groundwork for illinois to become the first state in the midwest and the ninth nationwide to legalize recreational pot, arguing the move will help solve the state's notorious budget crisis.two illinois state lawmakers introduced legislation last week that would allow residents 21 and older to possess, grow or buy up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and license businesses to sell marijuana products subject to regulation. they say it would help fill illinois' multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 to $700 million in new tax revenue.a national advocacy group, the marijuana policy project, based the estimate on the proposal's $50-per-ounce wholesale tax, illinois' standard sales tax, federal marijuana consumption data and recr






standard & poor's downgrades neiu, siu and university of illinois


for the second time this week, a major credit agency has downgraded the ratings for several illinois public universities, citing the state's 22-month-long budget impasse that has disrupted state support for higher education.standard & poor's announced thursday it was downgrading northeastern illinois university, southern illinois university and university of illinois, and was putting all three schools on "negative" watch. the agency maintained its rating for illinois state university, but also put the school on watch, saying its finances had a negative outlook.s & p bumped both northeastern and southern illinois down three notches, putting the carbondale-based school into "junk" status for that agency. northeastern, on chicago's northwest side, already was rated "junk" prior to this.u. of






kneel before the khan of illinois, or suffer pain


if you pay taxes in this fiscally broken state, if you've tried to find a job but can't because businesses have left, or if you're waiting to join the flood of refugees leaving illinois, you might take an hour to see a new movie:"madigan: power, privilege, politics."it is the documentary on illinois...if you pay taxes in this fiscally broken state, if you've tried to find a job but can't because businesses have left, or if you're waiting to join the flood of refugees leaving illinois, you might take an hour to see a new movie:"madigan: power, privilege, politics."it is the documentary on illinois... (john k )






madigan and rauner in 'naked prey' and modest proposals to save illinois


illinois is like venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper.but before we run out of the essentials, let's finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, illinois has finally...illinois is like venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper.but before we run out of the essentials, let's finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, illinois has finally... (john kass)






illinois' smaller universities toil through state budget standoff


the slumping enrollment comes as the number of high school graduates is declining and there is more competition for them.illinois is projected to graduate nearly 30,000 fewer high schoolers annually by 2032, a loss of almost 19 percent, according to a december study from the western interstate commission for higher education.at the same time, more local students are shunning illinois schools. about 45 percent of high school graduates left illinois to attend college in 2015 — or just over 18,000 students, according to the illinois board of higher education. that compares with 29 percent who left illinois for college in 2002.and the regional universities will now face increasing competition from the flagship university of illinois, which plans to boost student enrollment 15 percent over the






official warns illinois finances in 'massive crisis mode'


chicago — during the two-and-a-half years illinois has gone without a state budget, the previously little-known office of comptroller has had the unenviable job of essentially sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to pay the bills.like any household, there are some items that must be paid first. a mix of state law, court orders and pressure from credit rating agencies requires illinois to make its debt and pension payments, for example, and issue state worker paychecks and some money for schools.now comptroller susana mendoza is warning that new court orders in lawsuits filed by state suppliers that are owed money mean her office is required to pay out more than illinois receives in revenue each month. that means there would be no money left for so-called "discretionary" sp






illinois state fair launches statewide karaoke competition


fair officials are expanding a statewide competition to find a singer who'll be the opening act for the illinois state and du quoin state fairs. starting june 10, there'll be 12 karaoke competitions at local county fairs for soloists in cities including decatur, urbana and morris. last year there were eight such regional contests. to enter, competitors must be 18 years old. they are recommended to register on the illinois state fair website. registration starts on monday at noon. state fair manager kevin says it's a free contest with a big reward. the illinois state fair begins aug. 10 and the du quoin state fair starts aug. 25. a look at chicago's tulip displays through the years.  the british royal family announced that prince philip, 95-year-old husband of britain's queen elizabeth ii,






free throws with 1.3 seconds left lift ucf over illinois state 63-62 in nit


b.j. taylor scored 22 points, including a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left and central florida beat illinois state 63-62 monday night in the second round of the nit.no. 4 seed ucf (23-11) will play the boise state-illinois winner in a quarterfinal. top-seeded illinois state (28-7) had its 22-game home winning streak snapped.taylor scored 17 points in the second half and finished 11 of 11 from the line. matt williams added 15 points and a.j. davis 11 for the knights.deontae hawkins scored 15 points to lead illinois state.ucf trailed by 13 early in the second half, and took its first lead of the game when davis converted a 3-point play for a 61-60 lead with 1:40 left.with the game still 61-60, taylor fouled mikyle mcintosh at the top of the arc with four seconds left. mcintosh made






marijuana advocates push for legalization as illinois budget boost


marijuana advocates are trying to lay the groundwork for illinois to become the first state in the midwest and the ninth nationwide to legalize recreational pot, arguing the move will help solve the state's notorious budget crisis.two illinois state lawmakers introduced legislation last week that would allow residents 21 and older to possess, grow or buy up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and license businesses to sell marijuana products subject to regulation. they say it would help fill illinois' multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 million to $700 million in new tax revenue.a national advocacy group, the marijuana policy project, based the estimate on the proposal's $50-per-ounce wholesale tax, illinois' standard sales tax, federal marijuana consumption data and recreational pot






official warns illinois finances in ‘massive crisis mode’


chicago (ap) — during the two-and-a-half years illinois has gone without a state budget, the previously little-known office of comptroller has had the unenviable job of essentially sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to pay the bills.like any household, there are some items that must be paid first. a mix of state law, court orders and pressure from credit rating agencies requires illinois to make its debt and pension payments, for example, and issue state worker paychecks and some money for schools.now comptroller susana mendoza is warning that new court orders in lawsuits filed by state suppliers that are owed money mean her office is required to pay out more than illinois receives in revenue each month. that means there would be no money left for so-called “discretionar