Illinois News Roundup for Wednesday, July 11
Published on July 11 2012 6:19 am
Last Updated on July 11 2012 6:19 am
Written by Greg Sapp
>>Quinn To End Legislative Scholarship Program
(Chicago, IL) -- College-bound students in Illinois will no longer receive scholarships from their lawmakers. Governor Quinn will sign a bill today that ends the General Assembly Scholarship program. It allowed legislators to hand out scholarships to students in their districts but it’s been marred by corruption. Some lawmakers have been accused of giving the financial assistance to their own family members or children of their campaign contributors.
>>Illinois Ranks Middle Of The Pack For Business
(Undated) -- Illinois is in the middle of the pack when it comes to doing business. A CNBC Special report ranks the state at number 26. The study considered things like the economy, the cost of doing business, access to capital, and innovation and technology. Even with the state’s billions of dollars worth of debt, the report puts Illinois at number 11 when it comes to access to capital. Illinois also comes in at number four when it comes to technology and innovation. Texas is considered the best state to do business.
>>Inmates Receive Unemployment Benefits
(Springfield, IL) -- More than 400 people receiving unemployment benefits in Illinois are behind bars. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesman Greg Rivara says that’s a problem because one of the main requirements of receiving benefits is an individual must be able to look for work. Officials say they discovered the prisoners were on the roll during a review of the benefits system. Now they’ll determine whether the inmates were only behind bars briefly during the review or if they really aren’t eligible for the benefits.
>>Group Pushes For More Gaming
(Springfield, IL) -- The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance is calling on Governor Quinn to sign the bill to increase gaming. IRJA Chairman Bill Black penned a letter to the governor claiming the package would put 20-thousand people to work and add more than 200-million dollars to the state’s bank account. He says the IRJA is willing to help craft a bill that will increase transparency and include ethical standards that Quinn is calling for. Quinn has said he will not sign a bill that lacks integrity and allows the gaming industry to make campaign contributions to lawmakers.
>>Lawmakers Push To Keep Prisons Open
(Springfield, IL) -- Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are teaming up with the AFSCME labor union in a call to restore funding for prisons. Governor Quinn slashed the money from the budget and plans to close Tamms and Dwight by the end of the year. Lawmakers say that poses a serious threat to public safety for prison workers and other inmates. Workers have already discovered more than a dozen shanks and other weapons in inmate cells recently. They say adding the toughest inmates to general population will make things more dangerous.
>>Quinn Signs Package To Improve Roads
(Bellwood, IL) -- Don’t be alarmed if you see more construction projects across the state. Governor Quinn has just given the Illinois Department of Transportation the go-ahead to do one-point-six-billion dollars worth of road, rail, and transit projects. It’s the second phase of the Illinois Jobs Now! program, which passed in 2009. This phase will include the issuance of bonds to pay for more than 800-million dollars in new highway projects and 100 million to improve local roads. Quinn says the Illinois Jobs Now! Program has helped strengthen the economy by ensuring more than 140-thousand people have work.