Category Archives: State News

Labor shortage in the mental health profession

Labor shortage in the mental health profession

By Dave Dahl SPRINGFIELD – Behavioral health. Addiction treatment. Professionals in these fields are harder to find. “Historically, when we have lost staff, we have lost staff to our partners in the law enforcement realm,” Joel Johnson, CEO of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), told a Senate committee. “Typically, we lose staff to better-paying…MORE

Your natural gas bill might be going up by 35 percent this winter

Your natural gas bill might be going up by 35 percent this winter

By Dave Dahl SPRINGFIELD – As the mercury goes down, the costs go up. Citizens Utility Board executive director David Kolata told a Facebook Live audience Thursday, “Our natural gas heating system is increasingly unaffordable. It really isn’t sustainable on environmental grounds, but it isn’t sustainable on economic grounds, either. It is driving large parts…MORE

Senate Republican lawmakers call for series of public safety bills

Senate Republican lawmakers call for series of public safety bills

By Dave Dahl SPRINGFIELD – Senators Wednesday used the police memorial on the Capitol grounds as the backdrop – and a Champaign police widow as the testimony – for a plea for controlling Democrats to consider anti-crime legislation. “Trust me,” said Amber Oberheim, “my husband’s killer did not stop to ask him if he was…MORE

Illinois Senate Republicans don’t want to repeal PNA

Illinois Senate Republicans don’t want to repeal PNA

By Dave Dahl SPRINGFIELD – Illinois could be on the verge of enhancing its reputation as a haven for women who want to end their pregnancies. It’s possible lawmakers will try to repeal the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion act. State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says that makes no sense. “To think that parents’ consent…MORE

Congressional redistricting proposal for Illinois

Congressional redistricting proposal for Illinois

By Dave Dahl SPRINGFIELD – If you like to see strange shapes on a map, the new congressional redistricting proposal for Illinois is right up your alley. Calling it “one of the most incredible cartographic feats I’ve ever seen in the history of mapmaking,” State Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) pointed out a district that runs…MORE

Blogs

Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…