Gov. Pritzker Signs Historic Bipartisan $45 Billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. By Fixing Crumbling Roads and Bridges, Plan Will Support and Create an Estimated 540,000 Jobs in Every Corner of the State.

Surrounded by lawmakers of both parties and representatives from the business community and labor movement, Governor JB Pritzker signed Rebuild Illinois into law, the most robust capital plan in Illinois history and the first in nearly a decade.
Photo from the National WWII Museum
Earlier this month America and the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the morning that thousands of Allied soldiers splashed ashore in Normandy to liberate occupied Western Europe from Nazi Germany. Countless tales of heroism, ingenuity, sacrifice and bravery have been told from the events around June 6, 1944. But one story that has not gotten as much attention involves the development of an item that would save innumerable lives on D-Day and virtually every day after.

And it hinges on a Peoria market’s moldy cantaloupe.
Through highly targeted student assistance programs, Illinois is helping college graduates minimize student debt while at the same time addressing the critical shortage of teachers, nurses and public defenders. Designed to meet specific needs in our state, these programs invest in college graduates who promise to work in Illinois in these areas of need.

College students who plan to enter one of the targeted fields or graduates who are working in one of these fields should take a look at these specialized repayments programs designed to keep them working and thriving in Illinois.

Learn more about the programs below:
Iroquois Theater, 1903
In the days before television and the many opportunities Americans have for entertainment in the modern age, an afternoon or an evening at the theater was a prime diversion for many. Whether it was a lecture by a famed orator, an orchestra concert or a theatrical presentation, an audience could find a few hours amusement at the theater.

But over the centuries, theaters also were the scene of their share of problems. From the middle ages on, theaters were a prime source of disease outbreaks, and were often among the first facilities closed during the frequent epidemics of the Elizabethan age and onward. More recently; especially as theaters became larger and more complex; they were the scenes of terrible disasters caused by fires and large, panicked crowds rushing for the exits. Nowhere was this combination of factors more deadly than near the corner of Dearborn and Randolph in Chicago just a few days after Christmas in 1903.

This is the time of year when students are receiving college financial aid award letters. And the hard decision of which college to choose begins.

With the rising cost of college tuition; and the increased student debt load that can ultimately follow; it is more important than ever to make the right decision. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) provides a valuable free tool to help you compare financial aid awards and the total cost for up to three colleges.

Need additional assistance? Contact a local ISACorps Member to help you through the college planning process.
Excerpt from Beth Kobliner's story on the PBS News Hour.

Here are four tips to help you and your kid sort through the 7,000 or so U.S. colleges and universities and get the biggest bang for your higher ed buck.

1. Money is a Factor: Level with your kid about how much you can spend and warn her against taking on too much debt.  
  • Make sure any loans are low-interest federal ones (not private). Federal student loans are at a low 5.05 percent interest rate and cap out at $31,000 for five years of college—plus, your kid can choose from a variety of repayment plans after she graduates. 
  • Avoid borrowing on your child’s behalf. The number of parents taking out pricier Parent PLUS loans for their children’s college costs is soaring. Some are even borrowing against their retirement plans. Don’t. 
Governor Pritzker approves massive abortion expansion law. Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday that will massively expand abortion access in Illinois.

Senate Bill 25, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” makes many sweeping changes to Illinois’ abortion laws, establishing abortion as a fundamental right in Illinois. It further provides that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law. It repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act, and the Abortion Performance Refusal Act, which specifies that a medical professional who declines to recommend or perform an abortion procedure cannot be held liable for damages. The new law contains intentionally vague definitions that will provide for a significant expansion of post viability abortions. Establishing abortion as a fundamental right means Illinois will not be able to enforce its parental notification law that requires parents of minor children to be notified if their daughter seeks and obtains an abortion.
Lieutenant Governor John W. Chapman signs a document
at Secretary of State Charles F. Carpentier's desk, 1953.
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
They have names like Zadoc Casey, Stinson Anderson and Gustavus Koerner. Another was named John Smith. In all, the club has 48 members. Some aspired to join, some attained membership through fate. For some, it was the pinnacle of a career in public service, for others it was a stepping stone. The club got its first female member in 1999, and four of the five most recent to join have been women. It got its first African-American member just this year.

Some club members have been very active, some not. One even resigned from boredom. Eight of them ended up moving into the highest office in the state. These are the Lieutenant Governors of Illinois. Important figures in their time, some of them have been forgotten by history.

Ruth Hanna McCormick and fellow women’s suffragist 
Anna Howard Shaw, 1914.
State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) was a proud Chief Co-Sponsor this year of HR 96 which recognizes Illinois as a leader in the story of women’s suffrage in the United States, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification in Illinois on June 10, 2019.

“The 19th amendment forbids the states or the federal government from denying a person the right to vote on the basis of sex. This momentous act opened the door for women to vote for all offices,” stated Wehrli in a news release. “HR 96 commemorates granting women the right to vote with special attention to Illinois’ proud place in the effort. Illinois is home to storied women’s right advocates and suffragists like Jane Addams, Frances Willard, and Ruth Hanna McCormick.” Read the rest of the story in Positively Naperville.
Bipartisan, balanced budget passed after inclusion of House Republican-backed business reforms. As the General Assembly’s May 31 scheduled adjournment approached, intense negotiations took place in a bipartisan, bicameral effort to reach a deal on a balanced budget and capital infrastructure plan.

Under the leadership of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Deputy Leader Tom Demmer, House Republicans insisted that key business reforms be included in the budget and capital plan. These reforms will make Illinois a better place to create jobs and grow capital investment and were strongly backed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and other business groups.
Governor Green (back, left), Col. McCormick (back, right), and U.S. Senator
Brooks (front, left) leave the State House on Republican Day at the Illinois
State Fair. Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.
Illinois’ most famous criminal carried out a reign of violence and terror that gripped Chicago for years during Prohibition. Al Capone’s legend grew with each headline-grabbing murder, and his exploits remain well known today thanks to a series of movies and TV shows. While prosecutors could never definitively pin most of the murders or the bootlegging on him, they did finally trip him up over unpaid taxes on his ill-gotten gains.

It was an IRS attorney named Dwight H. Green who got the tax evasion indictment and eventual conviction that sent Al Capone to prison. Green became famous as a crime fighter, and less than a decade later was taking the oath of office as the 30th Governor of Illinois. But halfway through his second term in Springfield, a deadly scandal within his own administration would come to light and cut short his career at the moment it seemed destined for new heights.