(Springfield--jc) -- As state lawmakers prepare to come back to the capitol to tackle potential tax increases to pay for the most expensive budget in state history, it’s expected to be a mad rush to the May 31st finish line. Illinois’ 101st General Assembly has been on spring break for the past two weeks. There have been a few committees meeting to focus on issues like infrastructure, sports betting, and budget requests from state agencies, but lawmakers have not been in full session to cast votes on legislation.There’s a May 31 deadline to pass legislation with simple majorities. That includes the budget for the coming fiscal year that begins July 1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is eyeing a $39 billion budget paid for with an additional $1.1 billion in new revenue.
(Springfield--jc) -- Raining again, and farmers are not getting much time in the fields. Some planting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. Only about 2 days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, but producers managed to get 3 percent of soybeans planted says State Crop Statistician Mark Scheleusener…
State Crop Statistician Mark Scheleusener.
44 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Topsoil is rated 2 percent short 45 percent adequate and 53 percent surplus.
(Loda-jc) Rain today, but better Spring weather is on its way and one area golf course is offering a buddy pass. Lakeview Golf Course in Loda Manager Doug McCoy says its a great way to plan for a fun year of golf…
Lakeview Golf Course in Loda Manager Doug McCoy.
The Tin Cup Restaurant is also open Tuesdays through Sundays at the golf course.
(Coal City--jc) --A school employee in Illinois filed a federal lawsuit against a local school district and the state's largest public sector union, claiming both refused to stop deducting union dues from her paycheck months after she left the union. Susan Bennett, a janitor at the Moline-Coal Valley School District since 2009, withdrew from her union shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that forced union dues as a condition of employment violated the First Amendment. The high court's decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 struck down forced union fees as unconstitutional. Bennett alleged the school district refused to stop deducting union dues from her paychecks in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Central District of U.S. District Court
(Chicago--jc) --The potentially deadly “kissing bug” has made its way to Illinois. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection is warning residents that the Chagas disease earned the name the “kissing bug” because the bugs that transmit the disease typically bite people’s faces. Health officials say symptoms can include fatigue, fever, rash and swelling, but some can lead to stroke or heart failure.
(Washington--jc) Sarah Tomlinson is with the U-S-D-A Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Her office is looking to advance the use of radio frequency backtags in livestock markets..
U-S-D-A Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Spokesperson Sarah Tomlinson
(Paxton--jc) What will the hours be to swim at the Paxton Pool this year?
The Paxton Park District Board voted to shorten pool hours this Spring and Summer. A group called “Save the Paxton Pool” is looking to raise money to keep the pool open, as in past years. Park District Board leaders have called a special meeting for 6pm Thursday to discuss the issue.
(Washington--ba)-- Winterization of your gas-powered lawn mower means maintenance and repair to get it ready for its workload this Spring and Summer. USDA’s Rod Bain reports.
(Rantoul--jc) Potholes and road repair. That is a topic for all towns and cities this time of year. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says this issue is one the occurs every Spring..
Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith
(Washington--ba)-Honey consumption has increased over the last decade.
Margaret Lombard of the National Honey Board discusses the growth of honey as a food ingredient.
Margaret Lombard of the National Honey Board
(Springfield--jc) --States are moving out of recession revenue holes. Each state is doing it a little differently but most state governments have returned to their pre-recession revenue levels, according to a new analysis of their ledgers.The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed each state’s revenue in the third quarter of 2018 and compared it to their pre-recession levels in Q3 of 2008. Research officer Justin Theal said the study found that only nine states have yet to reach the level of tax revenue that they brought in before the economic downturn.Illinois shot past pre-recession revenues in 2011 but not because of a growing economic recovery, rather a historic income tax increase lawmakers promised would be temporary.
(Springfield--jc) -- As National Donate Life month comes to a close, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is urging people to sign up to be an organ donor. One person’s organs can help up to 25 others, but White says too many paitents die while waiting for one to become available…
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
More information is found on line at Life-Goes-On-Dot-Com
(Chicago--jc) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago, and a report of legionella in the facility’s water system.The investigation was limited to that facility as of this weekend.
(Springfield--ba)-The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMA) and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores are partnering with hundreds of small business owners across Illinois to “Tank the Tax,” a movement to oppose legislation that would nearly double the current tax on gasoline motorists that pay at the pump. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story.