Wary of encroaching competition from out-of-state universities, the Illinois Board of Higher Education tabled several potential partnerships during its Tuesday meeting at Western Illinois University, and turned its eye toward a potential legislative pushback on the issue for 2018.

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Seeking to avoid the possibility that House Speaker Mike Madigan’s sore thumb, Ken Dunkin, could run for re-election to his old seat, the Illinois Democratic Party has been quietly interviewing candidates for the House’s 5th District seat. Meetings with Democratic ward committeemen began last week, and another round of meetings will be conducted Friday, Sept. 29, say insiders. After the interviews, committeemen will endorse a single candidate, but not officially slate them.

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After a pair of meetings that drew last minute behind-the-scenes negotiations, Tuesday’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) meeting is expected to move smoothly with little controversy. Among the 34 rules to be considered is a significant change affecting marketing for retail electricity suppliers proposed by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

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