The Illinois State Board of Education has released the state's first set of math courses under the new common core standards.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon and the board announced the curriculum for 6th through 12th grade classes on Thursday. The package of coursework is aimed at reducing remedial math needs for college-bound students and better preparing students for the workforce.
State officials say the new courses will be available this fall and teachers can adapt the units as needed.
Missouri education officials have also signed on to the common core standards, Republican state lawmakers want to rescind that decision.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate has approved a measure that would create a state-governed "insurance exchange" so individuals and small businesses can shop for health care coverage as required by President Obama's health law.
Lawmakers voted Thursday 37-19 to send the House a bill establishing the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.
The exchange will guide people through the purchase of health and dental plans. It will also help qualified businesses enroll employees in health insurance plans.
The Affordable Care Act requires that nearly all Americans have health insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a penalty. New marketplaces are scheduled to be operating by October.
Illinois will begin an exchange this year through a federal partnership. Gov. Pat Quinn hopes to establish a state-run marketplace for 2015.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois legislation allowing public possession of concealed guns has passed the House Judiciary Committee. It was a compromise backed by Speaker Michael Madigan.
The measure was endorsed Thursday 13-3 and goes to the full House Friday. It comes two weeks before a June 9 deadline set by a federal appeals court for Illinois to abandon its prohibition on the public possession of weapons.
The legislation would require the Illinois State Police to issue concealed carry permits to qualified gun owners. It's patterned on a bill introduced by gun-rights advocate Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat.
But Madigan's version significantly adds places that would be off limits to guns. Those include mass transit - a must for violence-weary Chicago Democrats.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Legislation increasing the speed limit on interstate highways in Illinois to 70 mph is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn.
The House approved the bill 85-30 Wednesday. The current maximum speed limit is 65 mph.
Sponsoring Rep. Jerry Costello II says the bill is good for business. The Smithton Democrat says it will allow companies to move their wares more quickly.
Gov. Pat Quinn's Transportation Department opposes the increase. But spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says Quinn will review the bill.
House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says studies show increased speeds result in more crashes and deaths.
But a Jacksonville Republican Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer says motorists heading south avoid Illinois, meaning fewer stops for fuel and food.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- AP —Police in Belleville say they’re investigating reports that female students at a Catholic high school secretly were videotaped by one of the school’s sports teams.
Police Chief William Clay Jr. isn’t discussing publicly details of the case involving the several Althoff Catholic High School females who may have been videotaped.
He says the investigation involves a possible violation of state law barring unauthorized video recording in a restroom or locker room.
Clay says the school’s staff did their own investigation of the matter before notifying police May 3.
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly says a special prosecutor has been assigned to the case at his request because of a conflict in his office.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The longtime promoter of expanding Illinois gambling has taken his name from a bill over "perceived conflict of interest" with his law firm.
In a statement released Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says there've been no violations, but not only is his name off the gambling bill, he may not vote when it comes to the House floor.
Lang is counsel for Odelson and Sterk, an Evergreen Park firm hired by Rockford. The city is one of five that would get a casino if lawmakers approve pending legislation. Rockford officials have said there's no connection.
Lang says his actions have been respectful of laws and ethical rules. He declined to comment Tuesday beyond the statement.
Democrat Rep. Robert Rita is now the gambling bill's sponsor.
Springfield, IL - AP - Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois has a chance to make history before the end of the legislative session this month on the issues of pension reform and same-sex marriage.
The Chicago Democrat says he wants lawmakers to approve an overhaul of the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis by the end of the month and send it to his desk. Lawmakers also have a proposal on the table that would make Illinois the 13th state to legalize gay marriage.
UPDATE: Five people are dead following a single-vehicle accident on I-70 near Vandalia, IL.
The Vandalia Leader-Union reports the fatalities. Police say a van drove off the highway and flipped over. There were at least 14 passengers on board. Some of the people sustained serious injuries and are on their way to St. Louis hospitals.
Emergency crews have closed eastbound 70 near the accident.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Medical marijuana use in Illinois is now in Gov. Pat Quinn's hands after the state Senate approved legislation.
Lawmakers voted 35-21 Friday to send the measure to Quinn for final approval. Quinn hasn't signaled whether he will sign it into law.
The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions. Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the 33 illnesses listed in the bill.
The measure gives a framework for a four-year pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks.
Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the detrimental side effects of other prescription drugs. Opponents say the program could encourage the recreational use of marijuana especially among teenagers.
Several schools just north of Alton, Illinois were placed on lockdown today.
Officials with the Southwestern Community School District #9 sent a letter to parents last night telling them that they discovered a possible threat to students. There was an increased police presence at several schools and backpacks, large bags, and coats were not allowed on the campuses today.
Schools that saw heightened security included Southwestern Middle School, Southwestern High School, Brighton North Elementary, Brighton West Elementary, Medora Elementary and Shipman Elementary.