SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Officials say Gov. Pat Quinn's constituent office in Springfield was evacuated after an envelope with a "suspicious substance" was found.
The Governor's Office of Constituent Affairs is located near the state Capitol where lawmakers and others were gathered ahead of an expected pension vote.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the envelope was received Tuesday, the office was evacuated and necessary precautions were taken.
The Springfield Fire Department, Secretary of State Police and Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.
The agencies did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has asked President Barack Obama to declare 15 counties in Illinois major disaster areas after tornadoes and strong storms hit the state last week.
Quinn also said Monday that state and federal assessment teams found the storms damaged more than 2,400 homes in Illinois. That includes nearly 800 homes that were destroyed.
State agencies continue to help Illinois communities recover from the Nov. 17 storms. Illinois Department of Transportation equipment and Illinois Department of Corrections inmate crews are working to remove debris. The state will have resource centers in the hard-hit areas of Washington and Brookport through Tuesday.
The governor's office says state and federal emergency officials will meet with local governments early next month to document storm expenses.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn added six counties to the state's list of disaster areas following violent storms and tornadoes on Sunday.
The declaration increases the number of counties needing state and federal funds to 13. The National Weather Service has issued a preliminary finding that 11 tornadoes ripped through the state, with at least two designated as EF-4's.
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms.
Volunteer efforts are also well underway to assist the victims. Those who wish to volunteer should NOT go to the disaster scene, but rather, visit Ready.illinois.gov for information on specific sites that can utilize volunteers.
WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's received a phone call from President Barack Obama after fatal storms hit Obama's home state.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that Quinn received the call on his cellphone while touring damage in the central Illinois community of Washington. The community was among the hardest hit. The White House confirmed the call, saying Obama relayed concern and expressed gratitude for the responders.
Quinn gave Obama an update on the damage, relief efforts and emergency response. Quinn was with Washington Mayor Gary Manier, who also spoke to Obama.
Authorities say six people died in Sunday's storms when tornadoes flattened homes and caused severe damage. So far seven counties have been declared state disaster areas.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's administration wants lawmakers to approve $221 million in extra funds to spend this fiscal year. The request comes on top of the $35 billion budget the Legislature approved in May.
The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises reports that a draft of the request includes $112 million to pay back wages owed to 25,000 state workers.
Another $40.5 million was requested for the Illinois Department of Corrections and $31 million for the Department of Human Services and state police to help implement the state's new concealed carry law. The state's Emergency Management Agency wants $6 million to help cover April flooding.
Lawmakers heard some spending requests during the fall session that began last week but have yet to vote on them.
WHEELING, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's not discouraged that lawmakers came away from two days of their fall veto session without tackling any of the major issues on their agenda.
The Chicago Democrat says the days were valuable for discussion to "lay a foundation" on the state's pension crisis and same-sex marriage.
However, neither issue came up for a vote before lawmakers left town.
They'll be back next month. Quinn says that'll be the time to take votes.
A bipartisan panel has been tasked with coming up with a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension problem, but the panel has been stalled on a plan that would save an estimated $138 billion.
Meanwhile, advocates and opponents of legalizing same-sex marriage both held rallies this week in Springfield.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Thousands of disappointed Illinois residents are expected at the state Capitol to rally for same-sex marriage.
Organizers say several thousand people are expected to take part in the "March on Springfield" -a grassroots effort to urge the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in Illinois.
The Illinois Senate approved the measure last February, but the measure has stalled in the House. Speaker Michael Madigan has said about a dozen votes are still needed.
The event will begin with a noon concert followed by a rally at 1 p.m. and a 2:30 p.m. March. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn are participating in the event. The governor says he will sign legislation if passed by the General Assembly.
Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's pleased the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal of a ruling that found his veto of lawmakers' pay unconstitutional.
The court issued its one-page order Wednesday. A hearing date has not been set.
Quinn halted lawmakers' salaries in July. He said they shouldn't get paid until they addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton then sued, arguing Quinn didn't have the authority to halt lawmaker paychecks.
A Cook County judge in September ordered that legislators be paid immediately.
Quinn appealed directly to the state's high court, saying his move was allowed through the state constitution.
Quinn's spokeswoman says the governor will continue to not accept his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.
Veterans in Illinois will some be able to use their experience as military medics to become licensed practical nurses or emergency medical technicians. That's because the state was one of six chosen by the National Governors Association to participate in the "Veterans Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy."
Governor Pat Quinn on Monday announced Illinois' participation in the program that eases licensing requirements for medics and helps ex-military police officers transition to civilian police forces.
The other state chosen to participate include Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada and Virginia.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn slashed lawmakers' salaries because he wasn't happy with their inaction on Illinois' pension crisis. But these days the only elected official working without pay is Quinn himself.
A judge told the Chicago Democrat it's unconstitutional to hold back legislators' salaries. But Quinn also gave up his own paycheck and still vows not to collect it until the pension crisis is solved. So three checks totaling about $44,000 await Quinn at the state comptroller's office.
Some Republicans challenging Quinn's 2014 re-election bid call it a populist stunt. But his supporters say he's as frugal as he's always boasted and is probably faring just fine.
But things could get tight for him if the committee charged with proposing a solution to the pension crisis doesn't come through soon.