Republican Day At State Fair
(Springfield, IL) -- It's the Republicans' turn to take over the state fair. Top Republicans plan to provide a rundown of the state's financial picture today. Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka, Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and legislative leaders Christine Radogno and Tom Cross say they're against borrowing money to keep the state afloat. They'll hold a rally on the Director's Lawn at noon.
Union Members Urge Quinn To Keep his Word
(Springfield, IL) -- Union workers say Governor Quinn needs to keep his word and honor their contract. They came out in full force at the state fair yesterday to protest Quinn's decision to freeze pay raises. They say they're less upset about the money and more upset that Quinn disrespected them by refusing to negotiate. When it boils down to it, Quinn says he's not to blame for the pay freeze. He says his hands are tied because lawmakers didn't provide the money in the budget.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon Heads Back To Third Grade
(Carbondale, IL) -- Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is heading back to third grade today. She's says a trip to Thomas Elementary School in Carbondale is directly linked to her initiative to improve college graduation rates. She's behind a push to see 60-percent of the state's working population with a college degree by 2025. That's the year the third-graders are scheduled to finish college. Simon says education is the key to improving the work force and making Illinoisans more competitive in a global market.
ACT Scores Improve But Most Students Still Not Prepared For College
(Springfield, IL) -- More than 75-percent of 2011 high school graduates aren't ready for college. That's according to the Illinois ACT Profile Report, which shows student's score an average 20-point-nine on the standardized test. That's slightly below the national average of 21-point-one. Mary McClelland with Stand For Children Illinois says the high number of unprepared students highlights a disconnect between students and the education system. She says reversing that trend will take efforts from students, parents, and teachers.
State Employee Health Plan Stays In-Tact For Now
(Springfield, IL) -- State workers with Health Alliance insurance can keep their plans for now. The commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability voted on the matter earlier this week. The move extends a temporary contract with the insurance provider until June 30th of next year. Danville Representative Chad Hays says he thinks lawmakers will work out a long-term plan before that time is up.
House Speaker Skips Out On Democrat Day At State Fair
(Springfield, IL) -- One of the state's most notable Democrats skipped out on Democrat Day at the state fair. House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't show up for the festivities because he's out of town with family.
Senate President Touts Legislative Accomplishments
(Springfield, IL) -- Senate President John Cullerton is one of many leading Democrats who showed up at the state fair yesterday. Speaking to a crowd of supporters, Cullerton took aim at groups challenging the recent redistricting process. He says it was not just fair but it upheld all aspects of the constitution. Cullerton says anyone who thinks Illinois' lawmakers aren't doing their job is sorely mistaken. He says they've passed major legislation in the past two-and-a-half years, including a capital bill and reforms to the pension, Medicaid and workers compensation systems.
Secretary Of State To Run For Re-election
(Springfield, IL) -- He's nearly 80-years-old but Secretary of State Jesse White says he's not retiring any time soon. He says he's committed to the job for at least one more term. White's been on the job since 1999, coming in behind former Governor George Ryan. A fifth term will make him the longest serving Secretary of State Illinois has ever had.