Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

http://bit.ly/2UVKbv4

In his first budget address, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to pitch an “austere” spending blueprint with no increase in the state income tax rate, a bump in education funding and revenue from business licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times he will also push for taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping, and for the legalization of sports betting to help bring in more immediate revenue. As for his plan to legalize recreational marijuana — which will take time to negotiate and pass in the Illinois General Assembly — the governor’s office said the budget is “banking some revenues,” from legalizing marijuana, “but just from the selling of the licenses.”

The governor will deliver his first budget address in Springfield on Wednesday. And Pritzker told the Sun-Times he’ll focus on moving past the “damage” incurred by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“There’s a focus here on trying to not only rebuild from the damage that was done over the last four years but also to set us up for growing the economy, which happens in part because of our investments in education,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s first budget plan will recommend pumping $375 million more into the school funding formula, which is a $25 million increase over what the state is required to fund. His budget also proposes $21 million in funding in special education grants; $5 million more for career and technical education programs for high school students and $2 million for assistance to help low-income students pay for Advanced Placement testing.

The plan also includes a $100 million increase in the Early Childhood Block grant, an increase of $7 million for early intervention programs and $3.8 million more for a pre-school to age five grant. And it will include $55.2 million in additional funding for public universities; $13.9 million for community colleges and $50 million for MAP grants.

Educational advocates have long said that the state must work its way closer to funding public schools at the 50 percent mark. The state is nowhere near that — last year state funding was at just 24.4 percent — with most funds coming from local sources, including property taxes.

“As you know the evidence-based formula suggests that the state put $350 million more into the formula. We’ve done that and more. I’d like to do more, but of course, we’re in a significant budgetary challenge, in which we need to do the best we can to meet the needs within our revenue,” Pritzker said. “And so we’re pleased with what we were able to do even with this relatively conservative, or austere, budget, particularly in education, where it’ll have the biggest impact on our economy and helping kids succeed.”

And echoing what he said he’d do on the campaign trail, Pritzker said he plans to cut back on a private school scholarship program championed by his Republican predecessor.

“I want to make sure that we are fully funding our public schools before we turn to funding private schools and providing tax credits for wealthy people in the state,” Pritzker said. “So we are cutting back on that program — making sure that we’re providing the tax credit funding for the kids who are already taking advantage of it, but scaling it back so that we’re taking those dollars and applying them to public schools.”

The selling of the James R. Thompson Center will not be in the budget proposal; it had been counted as proposed savings in Rauner’s past budgets. But Pritzker said he wants to sell the building to use it as “an asset to offset liabilities, possibly liabilities in the pension system,” he said. His administration’s plans to deal with an astounding $130 billion in pension debt were detailed by Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes on Thursday in a speech to the City Club of Chicago. It includes borrowing money, deferring scheduled payments, transferring assets and using money from a not-yet-approved graduated income tax.

Pritzker spent his Thursday evening on the Illinois House floor celebrating the passage of a minimum wage hike, which he said will give 1.4 million people in the state a raise. He says the “near-term cost” of the hike — which was decried by Republican lawmakers and most business groups – will be included in his budget. And he plans to sign it prior to his address.

“We have a balanced budget that we are proposing that you’ll see on Wednesday, and that [the hike] is included in the budget. So it’s all paid for within the context of that budget,” Pritzker said. “And we also included tax credits, not just for small businesses but for every organization that has a payroll that will be increasing their payroll because of the raise in the minimum wage. So they are able to take that tax credit.”

Although several groups, including the Civic Federation and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago have recommended a bump in the income tax rate, Pritzker said the rate won’t be hiked in his budget plan.

“There’s a common recognition and understanding that there is a need for revenue along with bringing efficiency to state government, and I believe that they all advocate an income tax hike,” Pritzker said. “I am advocating a graduated income tax so that it does not hit the middle class or people who are striving to get there but rather leans on people who are post able to pay. And that’s why it’s not in our budget today but I will be asking the Legislature to pass a graduated income tax, and as you know, that could not go into effect until the November 2020 elections.”

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February 16, 2019 at 08:11AM

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Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

http://bit.ly/2UVKbv4

In his first budget address, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to pitch an “austere” spending blueprint with no increase in the state income tax rate, a bump in education funding and revenue from business licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times he will also push for taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping, and for the legalization of sports betting to help bring in more immediate revenue. As for his plan to legalize recreational marijuana — which will take time to negotiate and pass in the Illinois General Assembly — the governor’s office said the budget is “banking some revenues,” from legalizing marijuana, “but just from the selling of the licenses.”

The governor will deliver his first budget address in Springfield on Wednesday. And Pritzker told the Sun-Times he’ll focus on moving past the “damage” incurred by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“There’s a focus here on trying to not only rebuild from the damage that was done over the last four years but also to set us up for growing the economy, which happens in part because of our investments in education,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s first budget plan will recommend pumping $375 million more into the school funding formula, which is a $25 million increase over what the state is required to fund. His budget also proposes $21 million in funding in special education grants; $5 million more for career and technical education programs for high school students and $2 million for assistance to help low-income students pay for Advanced Placement testing.

The plan also includes a $100 million increase in the Early Childhood Block grant, an increase of $7 million for early intervention programs and $3.8 million more for a pre-school to age five grant. And it will include $55.2 million in additional funding for public universities; $13.9 million for community colleges and $50 million for MAP grants.

Educational advocates have long said that the state must work its way closer to funding public schools at the 50 percent mark. The state is nowhere near that — last year state funding was at just 24.4 percent — with most funds coming from local sources, including property taxes.

“As you know the evidence-based formula suggests that the state put $350 million more into the formula. We’ve done that and more. I’d like to do more, but of course, we’re in a significant budgetary challenge, in which we need to do the best we can to meet the needs within our revenue,” Pritzker said. “And so we’re pleased with what we were able to do even with this relatively conservative, or austere, budget, particularly in education, where it’ll have the biggest impact on our economy and helping kids succeed.”

And echoing what he said he’d do on the campaign trail, Pritzker said he plans to cut back on a private school scholarship program championed by his Republican predecessor.

“I want to make sure that we are fully funding our public schools before we turn to funding private schools and providing tax credits for wealthy people in the state,” Pritzker said. “So we are cutting back on that program — making sure that we’re providing the tax credit funding for the kids who are already taking advantage of it, but scaling it back so that we’re taking those dollars and applying them to public schools.”

The selling of the James R. Thompson Center will not be in the budget proposal; it had been counted as proposed savings in Rauner’s past budgets. But Pritzker said he wants to sell the building to use it as “an asset to offset liabilities, possibly liabilities in the pension system,” he said. His administration’s plans to deal with an astounding $130 billion in pension debt were detailed by Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes on Thursday in a speech to the City Club of Chicago. It includes borrowing money, deferring scheduled payments, transferring assets and using money from a not-yet-approved graduated income tax.

Pritzker spent his Thursday evening on the Illinois House floor celebrating the passage of a minimum wage hike, which he said will give 1.4 million people in the state a raise. He says the “near-term cost” of the hike — which was decried by Republican lawmakers and most business groups – will be included in his budget. And he plans to sign it prior to his address.

“We have a balanced budget that we are proposing that you’ll see on Wednesday, and that [the hike] is included in the budget. So it’s all paid for within the context of that budget,” Pritzker said. “And we also included tax credits, not just for small businesses but for every organization that has a payroll that will be increasing their payroll because of the raise in the minimum wage. So they are able to take that tax credit.”

Although several groups, including the Civic Federation and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago have recommended a bump in the income tax rate, Pritzker said the rate won’t be hiked in his budget plan.

“There’s a common recognition and understanding that there is a need for revenue along with bringing efficiency to state government, and I believe that they all advocate an income tax hike,” Pritzker said. “I am advocating a graduated income tax so that it does not hit the middle class or people who are striving to get there but rather leans on people who are post able to pay. And that’s why it’s not in our budget today but I will be asking the Legislature to pass a graduated income tax, and as you know, that could not go into effect until the November 2020 elections.”

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February 16, 2019 at 08:11AM

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

http://bit.ly/2UVKbv4

In his first budget address, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to pitch an “austere” spending blueprint with no increase in the state income tax rate, a bump in education funding and revenue from business licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times he will also push for taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping, and for the legalization of sports betting to help bring in more immediate revenue. As for his plan to legalize recreational marijuana — which will take time to negotiate and pass in the Illinois General Assembly — the governor’s office said the budget is “banking some revenues,” from legalizing marijuana, “but just from the selling of the licenses.”

The governor will deliver his first budget address in Springfield on Wednesday. And Pritzker told the Sun-Times he’ll focus on moving past the “damage” incurred by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“There’s a focus here on trying to not only rebuild from the damage that was done over the last four years but also to set us up for growing the economy, which happens in part because of our investments in education,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s first budget plan will recommend pumping $375 million more into the school funding formula, which is a $25 million increase over what the state is required to fund. His budget also proposes $21 million in funding in special education grants; $5 million more for career and technical education programs for high school students and $2 million for assistance to help low-income students pay for Advanced Placement testing.

The plan also includes a $100 million increase in the Early Childhood Block grant, an increase of $7 million for early intervention programs and $3.8 million more for a pre-school to age five grant. And it will include $55.2 million in additional funding for public universities; $13.9 million for community colleges and $50 million for MAP grants.

Educational advocates have long said that the state must work its way closer to funding public schools at the 50 percent mark. The state is nowhere near that — last year state funding was at just 24.4 percent — with most funds coming from local sources, including property taxes.

“As you know the evidence-based formula suggests that the state put $350 million more into the formula. We’ve done that and more. I’d like to do more, but of course, we’re in a significant budgetary challenge, in which we need to do the best we can to meet the needs within our revenue,” Pritzker said. “And so we’re pleased with what we were able to do even with this relatively conservative, or austere, budget, particularly in education, where it’ll have the biggest impact on our economy and helping kids succeed.”

And echoing what he said he’d do on the campaign trail, Pritzker said he plans to cut back on a private school scholarship program championed by his Republican predecessor.

“I want to make sure that we are fully funding our public schools before we turn to funding private schools and providing tax credits for wealthy people in the state,” Pritzker said. “So we are cutting back on that program — making sure that we’re providing the tax credit funding for the kids who are already taking advantage of it, but scaling it back so that we’re taking those dollars and applying them to public schools.”

The selling of the James R. Thompson Center will not be in the budget proposal; it had been counted as proposed savings in Rauner’s past budgets. But Pritzker said he wants to sell the building to use it as “an asset to offset liabilities, possibly liabilities in the pension system,” he said. His administration’s plans to deal with an astounding $130 billion in pension debt were detailed by Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes on Thursday in a speech to the City Club of Chicago. It includes borrowing money, deferring scheduled payments, transferring assets and using money from a not-yet-approved graduated income tax.

Pritzker spent his Thursday evening on the Illinois House floor celebrating the passage of a minimum wage hike, which he said will give 1.4 million people in the state a raise. He says the “near-term cost” of the hike — which was decried by Republican lawmakers and most business groups – will be included in his budget. And he plans to sign it prior to his address.

“We have a balanced budget that we are proposing that you’ll see on Wednesday, and that [the hike] is included in the budget. So it’s all paid for within the context of that budget,” Pritzker said. “And we also included tax credits, not just for small businesses but for every organization that has a payroll that will be increasing their payroll because of the raise in the minimum wage. So they are able to take that tax credit.”

Although several groups, including the Civic Federation and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago have recommended a bump in the income tax rate, Pritzker said the rate won’t be hiked in his budget plan.

“There’s a common recognition and understanding that there is a need for revenue along with bringing efficiency to state government, and I believe that they all advocate an income tax hike,” Pritzker said. “I am advocating a graduated income tax so that it does not hit the middle class or people who are striving to get there but rather leans on people who are post able to pay. And that’s why it’s not in our budget today but I will be asking the Legislature to pass a graduated income tax, and as you know, that could not go into effect until the November 2020 elections.”

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February 16, 2019 at 08:11AM

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

http://bit.ly/2UVKbv4

In his first budget address, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to pitch an “austere” spending blueprint with no increase in the state income tax rate, a bump in education funding and revenue from business licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times he will also push for taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping, and for the legalization of sports betting to help bring in more immediate revenue. As for his plan to legalize recreational marijuana — which will take time to negotiate and pass in the Illinois General Assembly — the governor’s office said the budget is “banking some revenues,” from legalizing marijuana, “but just from the selling of the licenses.”

The governor will deliver his first budget address in Springfield on Wednesday. And Pritzker told the Sun-Times he’ll focus on moving past the “damage” incurred by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“There’s a focus here on trying to not only rebuild from the damage that was done over the last four years but also to set us up for growing the economy, which happens in part because of our investments in education,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s first budget plan will recommend pumping $375 million more into the school funding formula, which is a $25 million increase over what the state is required to fund. His budget also proposes $21 million in funding in special education grants; $5 million more for career and technical education programs for high school students and $2 million for assistance to help low-income students pay for Advanced Placement testing.

The plan also includes a $100 million increase in the Early Childhood Block grant, an increase of $7 million for early intervention programs and $3.8 million more for a pre-school to age five grant. And it will include $55.2 million in additional funding for public universities; $13.9 million for community colleges and $50 million for MAP grants.

Educational advocates have long said that the state must work its way closer to funding public schools at the 50 percent mark. The state is nowhere near that — last year state funding was at just 24.4 percent — with most funds coming from local sources, including property taxes.

“As you know the evidence-based formula suggests that the state put $350 million more into the formula. We’ve done that and more. I’d like to do more, but of course, we’re in a significant budgetary challenge, in which we need to do the best we can to meet the needs within our revenue,” Pritzker said. “And so we’re pleased with what we were able to do even with this relatively conservative, or austere, budget, particularly in education, where it’ll have the biggest impact on our economy and helping kids succeed.”

And echoing what he said he’d do on the campaign trail, Pritzker said he plans to cut back on a private school scholarship program championed by his Republican predecessor.

“I want to make sure that we are fully funding our public schools before we turn to funding private schools and providing tax credits for wealthy people in the state,” Pritzker said. “So we are cutting back on that program — making sure that we’re providing the tax credit funding for the kids who are already taking advantage of it, but scaling it back so that we’re taking those dollars and applying them to public schools.”

The selling of the James R. Thompson Center will not be in the budget proposal; it had been counted as proposed savings in Rauner’s past budgets. But Pritzker said he wants to sell the building to use it as “an asset to offset liabilities, possibly liabilities in the pension system,” he said. His administration’s plans to deal with an astounding $130 billion in pension debt were detailed by Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes on Thursday in a speech to the City Club of Chicago. It includes borrowing money, deferring scheduled payments, transferring assets and using money from a not-yet-approved graduated income tax.

Pritzker spent his Thursday evening on the Illinois House floor celebrating the passage of a minimum wage hike, which he said will give 1.4 million people in the state a raise. He says the “near-term cost” of the hike — which was decried by Republican lawmakers and most business groups – will be included in his budget. And he plans to sign it prior to his address.

“We have a balanced budget that we are proposing that you’ll see on Wednesday, and that [the hike] is included in the budget. So it’s all paid for within the context of that budget,” Pritzker said. “And we also included tax credits, not just for small businesses but for every organization that has a payroll that will be increasing their payroll because of the raise in the minimum wage. So they are able to take that tax credit.”

Although several groups, including the Civic Federation and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago have recommended a bump in the income tax rate, Pritzker said the rate won’t be hiked in his budget plan.

“There’s a common recognition and understanding that there is a need for revenue along with bringing efficiency to state government, and I believe that they all advocate an income tax hike,” Pritzker said. “I am advocating a graduated income tax so that it does not hit the middle class or people who are striving to get there but rather leans on people who are post able to pay. And that’s why it’s not in our budget today but I will be asking the Legislature to pass a graduated income tax, and as you know, that could not go into effect until the November 2020 elections.”

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February 16, 2019 at 08:11AM

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

http://bit.ly/2UVKbv4

In his first budget address, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to pitch an “austere” spending blueprint with no increase in the state income tax rate, a bump in education funding and revenue from business licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times he will also push for taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping, and for the legalization of sports betting to help bring in more immediate revenue. As for his plan to legalize recreational marijuana — which will take time to negotiate and pass in the Illinois General Assembly — the governor’s office said the budget is “banking some revenues,” from legalizing marijuana, “but just from the selling of the licenses.”

The governor will deliver his first budget address in Springfield on Wednesday. And Pritzker told the Sun-Times he’ll focus on moving past the “damage” incurred by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“There’s a focus here on trying to not only rebuild from the damage that was done over the last four years but also to set us up for growing the economy, which happens in part because of our investments in education,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s first budget plan will recommend pumping $375 million more into the school funding formula, which is a $25 million increase over what the state is required to fund. His budget also proposes $21 million in funding in special education grants; $5 million more for career and technical education programs for high school students and $2 million for assistance to help low-income students pay for Advanced Placement testing.

The plan also includes a $100 million increase in the Early Childhood Block grant, an increase of $7 million for early intervention programs and $3.8 million more for a pre-school to age five grant. And it will include $55.2 million in additional funding for public universities; $13.9 million for community colleges and $50 million for MAP grants.

Educational advocates have long said that the state must work its way closer to funding public schools at the 50 percent mark. The state is nowhere near that — last year state funding was at just 24.4 percent — with most funds coming from local sources, including property taxes.

“As you know the evidence-based formula suggests that the state put $350 million more into the formula. We’ve done that and more. I’d like to do more, but of course, we’re in a significant budgetary challenge, in which we need to do the best we can to meet the needs within our revenue,” Pritzker said. “And so we’re pleased with what we were able to do even with this relatively conservative, or austere, budget, particularly in education, where it’ll have the biggest impact on our economy and helping kids succeed.”

And echoing what he said he’d do on the campaign trail, Pritzker said he plans to cut back on a private school scholarship program championed by his Republican predecessor.

“I want to make sure that we are fully funding our public schools before we turn to funding private schools and providing tax credits for wealthy people in the state,” Pritzker said. “So we are cutting back on that program — making sure that we’re providing the tax credit funding for the kids who are already taking advantage of it, but scaling it back so that we’re taking those dollars and applying them to public schools.”

The selling of the James R. Thompson Center will not be in the budget proposal; it had been counted as proposed savings in Rauner’s past budgets. But Pritzker said he wants to sell the building to use it as “an asset to offset liabilities, possibly liabilities in the pension system,” he said. His administration’s plans to deal with an astounding $130 billion in pension debt were detailed by Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes on Thursday in a speech to the City Club of Chicago. It includes borrowing money, deferring scheduled payments, transferring assets and using money from a not-yet-approved graduated income tax.

Pritzker spent his Thursday evening on the Illinois House floor celebrating the passage of a minimum wage hike, which he said will give 1.4 million people in the state a raise. He says the “near-term cost” of the hike — which was decried by Republican lawmakers and most business groups – will be included in his budget. And he plans to sign it prior to his address.

“We have a balanced budget that we are proposing that you’ll see on Wednesday, and that [the hike] is included in the budget. So it’s all paid for within the context of that budget,” Pritzker said. “And we also included tax credits, not just for small businesses but for every organization that has a payroll that will be increasing their payroll because of the raise in the minimum wage. So they are able to take that tax credit.”

Although several groups, including the Civic Federation and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago have recommended a bump in the income tax rate, Pritzker said the rate won’t be hiked in his budget plan.

“There’s a common recognition and understanding that there is a need for revenue along with bringing efficiency to state government, and I believe that they all advocate an income tax hike,” Pritzker said. “I am advocating a graduated income tax so that it does not hit the middle class or people who are striving to get there but rather leans on people who are post able to pay. And that’s why it’s not in our budget today but I will be asking the Legislature to pass a graduated income tax, and as you know, that could not go into effect until the November 2020 elections.”

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February 16, 2019 at 08:11AM

Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

Illinois State Senator Steve McClure

http://bit.ly/2N6b2BS

Illinois State Senator Steve McClure

Posted on by joeym

Joey McLaughlin talks with Illinois State Senator Steve McClure about the minimum wage and the Senate Higher Education Committee.

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February 15, 2019 at 09:10AM

Illinois State Senator Steve McClure

Statewide: A Plan To Get More Illinois Students Into Public Universities

http://bit.ly/2RZxoWN

Illinois’ public school system is considered among the most inequitable in the country.  So, should top students at the poorest schools be penalized when it comes to college admissions?  A state lawmaker weighs in with his plan.

Also, infant mortality rates are much higher for black women.  We look at some of the reasons why.  That and more this week on Statewide.

* Niala Boodhoo of The 21st interviews Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth in Washington D.C.  

* Sean Crawford talks with Niala about her week broadcasting in the nation’s capitol and what she heard from members of the state’s congressional delegation.  

* Dusty Rhodes reports on an effort to give high school students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class AND achieve certain standardized test scores guaranteed admission at Illinois public universities.

* JB or J.B.? Brian Mackey tries to solve the mystery over spelling of the governor’s first name.

* St. Louis Public Radio’s Eli Chen heads out with a group of cave explorers in Missouri.

* Maureen McKinney has our Illinois Issues report examing the high infant mortality rates among black mothers in the state.

* Steph Whiteside of the Illinois Newsroom tells us about efforts to recruit more black men in the field of medicine.  

* Sean Crawford discusses the push for a statewide capital construction program with Mary Hansen.

The latest episode of Statewide

Statewide, which brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois, is a production of NPR Illinois with help from other Illinois public radio stations.  Find all our episodes online at Statewideshow.com 

Listen to Statewide across Illinois: 

  • Bloomington/Normal – WGLT 89.1 (Fridays 11 a.m. – Noon)
  • Carbondale – WSIU 91.9 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Mount Vernon – WVSI 88.9 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Onley – WUSI 90.3 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Rockford/DeKalb – WNIJ 89.5 (Saturdays 6-7 a.m., Sundays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Springfield/Decatur – WUIS 91.9 (Fridays 11 a.m. – Noon, 11 p.m. – Midnight, Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Peoria – WCBU 89.9 (Fridays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Pittsfield – WIPA 89.3 (Fridays 11 a.m. – Noon, 11 p.m. – Midnight, Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Urbana/Champaign – WILL 580 (Fridays 11 a.m. – Noon, 7-8 p.m.)

 

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via Sean Crawford http://bit.ly/2PUBY7u

February 14, 2019 at 05:15PM

Statewide: A Plan To Get More Illinois Students Into Public Universities