WBEZ | Sean Crawford http://www.wbez.org/tags/sean-crawford Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois lawmakers return to tackle education reform and the budget http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/illinois-lawmakers-return-tackle-education-reform-and-budget-85682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-26/State house Flickr Jimmy Emerson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Heavy rain in Southern Illinois prompted Gov. Quinn to issue a disaster proclamation for the area. On Monday, he described the situation as “very difficult and potentially dangerous.”</p><p>Tuesday, lawmakers return to Springfield to work on other challenges like education and the state budget. To find out what to expect from the state legislature, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to Sean Crawford, <a href="http://wuis.org/" target="_blank">Illinois Public Radio</a>'s news director.</p><p><em>Music Button: Tristeza, "Raise Your Gaze", from the CD Paisajes, (Sanity Muffin)</em></p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/illinois-lawmakers-return-tackle-education-reform-and-budget-85682 A final veto session before Springfield gets a makeover http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/final-veto-session-springfield-gets-makeover <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Illinois gen assmebly.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois lawmakers are off to a busy start this year.&nbsp; The 97th Illinois General Assembly will be sworn in next week but current House and Senate members are already back at work for a short veto session.</p><p>Among the items up for consideration are proposals to bring casino gambling to Chicago, as well as tax increases.&nbsp; Last week Illinois governor Pat Quinn floated an idea for a $15 billion borrowing plan to restructure state finances to cover short term budget needs.&nbsp; Illinois Public Radio reporter Sean Crawford told Eight Forty-Eight host Alison Cuddy on Tuesday that lawmakers are discussing the plan, as well as ways to generate additional revenue for the state.</p><p>Proposals include a gambling package, which could generate up to $1 billion in additional annual revenue for the state.&nbsp; A possible increase in cigarette taxes is also on the table, as is Quinn's push for a 1% income tax increase.&nbsp;</p><p>While the General Assembly has been reluctant to raise taxes, lawmakers aren't ruling it out.&nbsp; &quot;For the first time there may be some movement on this,&quot; says Crawford.&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile the Senate is scheduled to vote on a major proposal to bring a carbon-capture coal plant to Taylorville, Illinois.&nbsp; The House has approved the measure.&nbsp;</p><p>Crawford says although the plant will likely lead to higher electric rates for consumers, he said the House may have the votes to approve it.&nbsp; Advocates for the project claim it will be a big boost to the state's economy, and to clean coal technology.&nbsp;</p><p>The new legislature is scheduled to be sworn in next week at the state capitol in Springfield.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jan 2011 16:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/final-veto-session-springfield-gets-makeover