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  • Moylan, Crespo giving up extra pay Jul 11, 2014 4:14 PM
    Some Illinois lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands after the legislature moved for the first time in years not to take furlough days to save taxpayer dollars. Democratic state Reps. Fred Crespo, Marty Moylan and Republican Rep. Don Moffitt are among those who plan to donate to charity the minimum $3,100 in additional money they’ll see in their paychecks this year.

     
  • Former Marine named Illinois veterans director Jul 11, 2014 4:23 PM
    A U.S. Marine veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan has been named acting director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Rodrigo Garcia has served as assistant director since 2011.

     
  • Rauner, Quinn trade accusations on transparency Jul 11, 2014 5:15 PM
    Allegations of concealing information and impeding transparency bubbled up in the Illinois governor’s race Friday as Republican Bruce Rauner accused Gov. Pat Quinn of hiding while federal officials investigate a 2010 anti-violence program and the Chicago Democrat’s campaign questioned Rauner’s financial dealings.

     
  • Roskam: Federal money could push Kerr-McGee cleanup forward Jul 11, 2014 6:07 PM
    The U.S. House has approved money to push forward on the decades-long pollution cleanup at the site of the former Kerr-McGee factory in West Chicago, but the project could stall if the federal government doesn’t follow through.

     
  • Fall elections loom over governors’ meeting Jul 11, 2014 9:46 AM
    Partisan divisions over immigration, education and health care are intensifying as dozens of the nation’s governors meet just months before elections thick with presidential implications. The three-day gathering of the National Governors Association represents the group’s final meeting before many state leaders face voters in an election season that will decide the balance of power in statehouses from Nevada to New Hampshire and could end some presidential campaigns before they begin.

     
  • Quinn and Rauner both just say no to legalized pot Jul 11, 2014 5:10 AM
    Could Illinois' two candidates for governor be tempted to follow Washington and Colorado and back legalized retail sales of marijuana -- and the tax money that could come with it? Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican opponent Bruce Rauner find some common ground on the issue. Both, as the saying goes, just say no.

     
  • Lawmakers seek lower price for bill on vets’ care Jul 11, 2014 7:30 PM
    More troubling for lawmakers are long-term costs. As currently designed, the legislation would relieve a big backlog of veterans awaiting appointments by letting them seek care outside the VA system, but that the expansion would expire after two years. Fiscal conservatives worried about swelling deficits fear lawmakers will yield to inevitable pressure from veterans to keep it.

     
  • U.S. given heads up about newspaper data destruction Jul 11, 2014 10:02 AM
    The Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper’s hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show. The White House had said it would be nearly unimaginable for the U.S. government to do the same to an American news organization.

     
  • DuPage panel keeps two Democrats on the ballot, removes a third Jul 11, 2014 12:44 AM
    The name of state representative hopeful Marian Tomlinson shouldn’t appear on the November ballot because the DuPage Democratic Party failed to comply with the state election code when it slated her, a county electoral board has ruled. But the panel also concluded on Thursday night that Democratic leaders followed the rules when they appointed Robert Peickert to run for DuPage County Board chairman and Roland “Rolly” Waller to run for a county board seat.

     
  • Faster deportations? A possible border crisis deal Jul 10, 2014 8:48 PM
    Outlines of a possible compromise that would more quickly deport minors arriving from Central America emerged Thursday as part of President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency request to address the immigration crisis on the nation’s southern border. Republicans demanded speedier deportations, which the White House initially had supported but left out of its proposal after complaints from immigrant advocates and some Democrats. On Thursday, the top House and Senate Democrats pointedly left the door open to them.

     
  • Part of U.S. Capitol closed after asbestos incident Jul 10, 2014 8:42 AM
    House Republican leaders said Thursday they are delaying the start of business due to an accident involving asbestos. A hazardous material response team was on site following an incident that began sometime around 2:30 a.m. to 3 a.m., Capitol Police said.

     
  • State lags in hiring to oversee 'fracking' Jul 10, 2014 6:58 AM
    More than a year after a much-lauded compromise paved the way for high-volume oil and gas extraction in Illinois, the agency in charge of overseeing the practice has hired just four of 53 new employees it says it needs as it continues working to complete rules that drillers must follow. The Department of Natural Resources has come under criticism from industry groups, lawmakers and other supporters of hydraulic fracturing who had hoped drilling could begin this summer. That scenario now appears unlikely.

     
  • Democrats offer pushback against Hobby Lobby ruling Jul 10, 2014 1:42 PM
    U.S. Reps. Brad Schneider of Deerfield and Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates are among the Democrats nationally behind legislation that could undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby contraception decision, but the plan might face a tough path forward.

     
  • Illinois manages to send schools’ checks on time Jul 9, 2014 4:56 PM
    Illinois schools have received promised grant payments from the state on time for the first time since 2007 — but in another sign of the state’s precarious financial situation, a top education official has warned schools not to expect the pleasant surprise to become a permanent habit.

     
  • Topinka: Income tax rollback means ‘$2 billion collapse’ Jul 9, 2014 4:42 PM
    State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is warning of “a $2 billion collapse” next year when the state’s temporary income tax increase begins to roll back. Lawmakers approved a temporary income tax hike in 2011. But it’s set to decrease from 5 percent to 3.75 percent in January.

     
  • New law furthers Illinois adoptees’ rights Jul 9, 2014 4:38 PM
    Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at allowing adoptees and birth family members to learn more about their family histories.

     
  • Report: Rauner firm gave contribution after deal Jul 9, 2014 7:48 PM
    A company once partially owned by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s investment firm started making campaign contributions to Illinois Democrats after it won a multimillion-dollar Cook County contract, according to a report published Wednesday in Crain’s Chicago Business.

     
  • 10-year sentence for ex-New Orleans Mayor Nagin Jul 9, 2014 7:01 PM
    Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption that spanned his two terms as mayor — including the chaotic years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

     
  • &A on push to treat young immigrants as refugees Jul 9, 2014 11:27 AM
    Pressure continues to mount on the federal government to treat as refugees the thousands of children traveling alone from Central America and crossing the border into the U.S. Many of the 50,000 young people who have arrived unaccompanied since last fall fled violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Would-be refugees and asylum seekers must navigate a complex system. Here are some answers to key questions about the process.

     
  • Obama presses Congress to consent on border money Jul 9, 2014 8:09 PM
    Top Obama administration officials told senators Wednesday they’re struggling to keep up with the surge of immigrants at the Southern border, acknowledging they’ve been overwhelmed as children show up by the tens of thousands from violence-torn Central America.

     
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