All Politics and Government Content

All Politics and Government Content

Fiscal '07 plan calls for 2 more police officers in Urbana

URBANA – The proposed fiscal 2007 budget for Urbana calls for hiring two additional police officers, a city planner, a reference librarian and a housing inspector.

The spending plan was unveiled Monday morning at a news conference with Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing, Chief Administrative Officer Bruce Walden and Comptroller Ron Eldridge.

Blagojevich signs dorm smoking ban

Smoking is prohibited in all public and private college dorms, under legislation Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed on Monday.

SB 2465 took effect immediately upon the governor's signature.

Deck stacked against beer garden

URBANA – Safety concerns appear likely to kill a proposal to create an open-air beer garden on the second floor of the city's downtown parking deck.

The deck at Main Street and Broadway Avenue is not designed to accommodate a beer-garden use, where hundreds of people could be sitting or walking on the deck floor, without significant structural reinforcement, said engineering firm Desman Associates of Chicago.

Urbana pondering open-air bar, but neighbors appear reluctant

URBANA – Most people who look at the downtown Urbana parking deck see a place to park their vehicles.

Ian Goldberg sees a slice of tropical paradise.

Survey shows deadlock on smoking ban in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A survey of the nine-member Champaign City Council shows that the outcome of a proposed ordinance banning smoking in most public places is still too close to call.

Council members Kathy Ennen, Marci Dodds and Ken Pirok look to be the key swing votes at this point, though each has staked out a tentative position. Two of the three would probably have to vote in favor of a ban for it to pass.

Students blast Blagojevich's aid initiative

URBANA – Gov. Rod Blagojevich was forced to defend a new state financial aid program aimed at the middle class and his support for higher education during a stop at the University of Illinois.

Blagojevich also criticized the NCAA's ruling on Chief Illiniwek and supported his right to use an executive order to grant benefits to same-sex domestic partners of state employees.

Governor extends benefits coverage to same-sex partners of workers

SPRINGFIELD – Same-sex domestic partners of most state employees will soon be eligible for benefits, including health insurance, dental and vision coverage, under an executive order the governor filed on Monday.

"This is about fairness and equality," the governor stated in a written release. "I want the people who work for me to have access to good benefits and good health care, and that's what this accomplishes."

City staff against creation of new public channel

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign city administration doesn't want to see a new public access channel created, but does favor enacting a new 2 percent fee on cable bills to better support the city's government access channel.

Such a tax could generate $225,000 annually for the city.

Rantoul board will consider regulations

RANTOUL – It could soon become more difficult for persons to establish adult-oriented businesses in Rantoul.

Under an ordinance being considered by the Rantoul Village Board, persons would be prohibited from establishing adult businesses within 400 feet of churches, schools, playgrounds, parks, day care centers and homes.

Draft for Champaign downtown plan on agenda

CHAMPAIGN – An update of Champaign's downtown plan calls for the continued remaking of the area.

Specifically, the plan calls for gradually replacing city parking lots with new buildings, construction of parking decks to meet demand, attracting more office, retail and residential uses to downtown and making intersections more pedestrian friendly.