Voting bill collapses, Democrats unable to change filibuster

WASHINGTON — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights groups argue is vital for protecting democracy has collapsed. The outcome late Wednesday was a set setback for President Joe Biden and his party after a raw, emotional debate. Democrats were unable to change Senate rules change to push past a Republican filibuster. Biden has been […]

University of Illinois workers grapple with maskless guests and COVID-positive students

CHAMPAIGN – Cooks and custodians at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana say the univeristy rejected their proposal this week for stricter safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dena Gary is a head cook at the University of Illinois and the president of the Champaign-Urbana chapter of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73. She and other […]

Supreme Court allows Jan. 6 committee to get Trump documents

WASHINGTON — In a rebuff to former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court is allowing the release of presidential documents sought by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. The justices on Wednesday rejected a bid by Trump to withhold the documents from the committee until the issue is finally resolved by the courts. […]

Biden holds press conference ahead of one-year White House anniversary

Updated January 19, 2022 at 4:17 PM ET President Biden on Wednesday held his first press conference of 2022, a day ahead of his first anniversary in the White House. In opening remarks, the president acknowledged the difficulties the nation has faced as a result of the coronavirus but hailed his administration’s progress in testing […]

Senate Republicans offer ‘voter empowerment’ amendments

SPRINGFIELD – Republicans in the Illinois Senate have again introduced a package of proposed constitutional amendments that they argue would give voters more of a direct say in the legislative process. “We’re reintroducing these constitutional amendments in order to really put the people back in charge again,” Senate GOP Leader Dan McConchie, of Hawthorn Woods, […]

Speaker names new House budget negotiation team

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch announced a new House budget negotiation team Tuesday, led by House Majority Leader and chief budgeteer Greg Harris, D-Chicago. Former Speaker Michael Madigan appointed Harris to be the chief budgeteer during the Rauner administration. Harris, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, announced in November that he would […]

EDUCATOR SHORTAGES: Teacher shortage at crisis level in east central Illinois

Editor’s Note: Taylor Vidmar is a student in the Public Affairs Reporting program at University of Illinois Springfield. She is a reporting intern at the Capitol for Lee Enterprises. SPRINGFIELD – There was once a time when Kristen Holly might see more than 200 applicants for a single elementary teaching position. It was overwhelming just […]

Billions are at stake in how the government defines a place as rural

HOUSTON, Mo. — A town of 1,000 people feels like a rural place to someone from Chicago. To a person living in a town of 200 people, that population of 1,000 feels almost urban. But what the government defines as rural determines tens of billions of dollars a year in spending aimed at propping up […]

217 Today: Definitions of ‘rural’ stop many small towns from getting grant money

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 Today’s headlines: Most school districts in Illinois say they don’t have enough teachers, according to a new survey. A Department of Children and Family Services supervisor said employees need more training on how to deal with difficult situations after a case worker was killed last month during a home visit near Springfield. Environmental […]