News

Study to explore Illinois’ energy future

QUINCY — The Illinois Commerce Commission has launched an 18-month study to explore the use of emerging technologies to improve the state’s electric grid.

The “NextGrid: Illinois’ Utility of the Future” study is the collaborative effort of the ICC, Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, the Herald-Whig reported.

Illinois Governor Vetoes Plan to Require Teaching Cursive

Gov. Bruce Rauner has rejected a measure requiring Illinois elementary schools to teach cursive writing.

The measure was among several bills Friday that the Republican took action on. In his veto message, Rauner says the legislation is “yet another unfunded mandate” for schools that doesn’t protect students’ health or safety.

Proponents had said it’s important to teach tech-savvy kids to write in cursive so they can sign documents, write personal notes and read historical texts.

Fed-up Illinois legislators head for the exit in big numbers

Illinois residents aren’t the only ones throwing up their hands at the gridlock and increasingly polarized politics that have defined state government in recent years. More and more, fed-up and frustrated Illinois legislators are heading for the exits.

More than two-dozen legislators — about 15 percent of the General Assembly — have either resigned months into the current session or said they won’t seek re-election.

Gov. Rauner to bestow poetic license — seeking state’s fifth laureate

Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you think this is good poetry, Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn’t want you.

What the governor does want is a real poet to become the state’s fifth poet laureate. Rauner’s office on Wednesday announced Kevin Stein is stepping away on Dec. 1.

Stein, an English professor at Bradley University in Peoria, was appointed in December 2003 by former Gov.

Unfinished business: What’s still pending at Illinois’ Statehouse

With the signing of the school funding reform bill last week, Illinois lawmakers will get a bit of a breather from Springfield.

Their work for the year isn’t done however, with a list of bills vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner awaiting possible override votes, not to mention another 80 bills still pending some action by the governor and another high-profile bill still waiting on a decision about when to send it to the governor.

Illinois House to take up budget, tax bills, aiming to override governor’s vetoes

The fate of a spending plan and tax hike aimed at ending Illinois’ unprecedented two-year budget impasse moved on Tuesday to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which will seek to enact the legislation by overriding the Republican governor’s vetoes.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, gave no time frame on possible House votes, though some House Democrats posted on their social media accounts that voting would take place on Thursday.

How Illinois income tax changes affect farmers

As the old saying goes, “Few things in life are certain with the exception of death and taxes.” And taxes are not always certain either.

The Illinois legislature put in place changes to the Illinois tax code that affect all taxpayers including farmers. These changes are effective July 1.

A few of those items that have an impact on those involved in production agriculture in Illinois are

  • The personal income tax rate for Illinois residents, Form IL-1040, and Illinois non-residents with income in Illinois, Form IL-1040 NR, increase from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent — 4.35 percent blended rate for 2017 calendar year — effective July 1, 2017 with no sunset.

Illinois has state budget, but no school funding plan

Illinois has its belated state budget, but the state Capitol’s next flashpoint in the political struggle over finances is about how to fund public education with just weeks before the first day of school.

The spending plan lawmakers enacted this month over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes ended a two-year state-budget stalemate, the nation’s longest since at least the Great Depression.

Illinois OKs end of landlines, but FCC approval required

An AT&T-backed bill to end traditional landline phone service in Illinois is now the law of the land.

Overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner‘s veto, the General Assembly approved the telecom modernization bill on Saturday, enabling AT&T to disconnect its remaining 1.2 million landline customers statewide, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

But holdouts may have some time before AT&T pulls the plug for good on its legacy telephone service.

Illinois lawmakers override vetoes to enact first budget in two years

(Reuters) – Illinois ended its historic budget drought on Thursday after the House of Representatives enacted the state’s first complete spending plan since 2015 by overriding the governor’s vetoes.

But the $36 billion fiscal 2018 budget and $5 billion tax hike may not save Illinois from becoming the first-ever U.S. state with a junk credit rating.