State Roundup: June 3 headlines from around Illinois

Here’s a handful of top headlines from around the state today.

Quad-City Times: Exelon begins steps to close nuclear plant in Cordova; 800 to lose jobs

Exelon Corporation announced today it will move forward to shut down the Clinton, Ill., and Quad-Cities nuclear plants, given the lack of progress on Illinois energy legislation.

The Clinton Power Station in Clinton, Ill., will close on June 1, 2017, and the Quad-Cities Generating Station in Cordova, Ill., will close on June 1, 2018. The plants have lost a combined $800 million in the past seven years, despite being two of Exelon’s best-performing plants.

While the Illinois legislative session has not ended, the path forward for consideration of the Next Generation Energy Plan legislation is not clear. As a result, Exelon has begun taking necessary steps to shut down the two nuclear plants.

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The Southern: Lawmaker asks Illinois’ top auditor to step aside amid probe

A Democratic state lawmaker wants Democratic Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to take a leave of absence after learning federal officials questioned him about campaign expenses.

In a letter sent Wednesday, state Sen. Laura Murphy of Des Plaines asks Mautino to step aside until the investigation is complete. Murphy says a leave is in the best interest of state government and taxpayers.

Mautino is a former legislator. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports he’s been scrutinized recently for campaign expenses, including more than $200,000 spent over about a dozen years at a service station in his former legislative district.

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WGN: Most Illinois schools won’t open without a budget deal, CPS head warns

Here’s how dire the situation is for the Chicago Public Schools: after the district makes its pension payment on June 30, it will have just $24 million dollars on hand. That’s enough money to operate the schools for just two days.

While the schools are in danger of not opening this fall, two of the biggest stakeholders are playing the blame game; the district administration is pointing at Springfield, while the teachers are blasting the district.

And today, in a one-on-one interview, the Chicago Public Schools CEO issued a dire warning: “Without a state education budget, I would say that most of the schools in the state won’t open,” Forrest Claypool said.

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Woodstock Independent: Musicians resurrect Midwest Mozart Festival

When the musicians who perform in the annual Woodstock Mozart Festival received letters in January informing them the concert tradition was ending, they decided to do something about it. 

Just after the holidays, the Mozart festival board of directors announced the three-weekend summer concerts would be discontinued permanently due to lack of funding and uncertainty over future financial resources. 

The closely-knit group of musical artists, many who became friends after performing in the festival for most of its 29-year run, weren’t ready to see the event die, especially one year shy of celebrating its 30th season.

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Peoria Journal Star: Welcome to Illinois – good luck with that

How absurd must Illinois seem to newcomers?

Illinois lifers (heaven help us) cluck our tongues over the perpetual Springfield horror show of budget disasters, funding imbalances, poor services, lousy governance and, worst of all, dim future. But what about people who move here? Doesn’t Illinois freak them out?

You’d think that one minute after their moving vans cross the state line, axles busted and tires blown from the lousy roads, they’d throw out a thumb and hitchhike back.

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