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Illinois Lawmakers TV Series Tackles Budget Cuts, Pension Reform

For Immediate Release
Saturday, May 7, 2011

Contact: Jak Tichenor, WSIU-TV Producer, Office: (618) 453-6187, Cell: (618) 201-6887,

Carbondale, Ill. --  Illinois Lawmakers, the state's longest-running public affairs television series devoted to the Illinois legislative process, will round out its 25th year with in-depth coverage of the Spring 2011 Session of the Illinois General Assembly.

Shot on location at the State Capitol in Springfield and anchored by WSIU-TV producer and veteran Statehouse reporter Jak Tichenor, the series will present a special two-part report on public television stations statewide this May, including WSIU Public Television, a public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). Each broadcast is one hour in length.

Part one of the Spring Session report will air on WSIU-TV 8.1 and WUSI-TV 16.1, WSIU-TV's primary HD channels, on Wednesday, May 11 at 11pm, with repeats on May 13 at 9:30pm and May 15 at 6pm. Part one also will air on WSIU-TV's second digital channel, WSIU WORLD (8.2 and 16.2), on May 11 at 8pm.

Part two of the Spring Session report will air on Wednesday, May 25 at 11pm, with repeats on May 27 at 10pm and May 29 at 6pm. An additional broadcast will air on WSIU WORLD on May 25 at 8pm.

The current spring session could prove especially volatile. “Illinois still owes billions of dollars to vendors and other creditors despite hiking the state income tax 67-percent earlier in the year,” says Tichenor. “The House and Senate are still far part on how much to cut from the current budget to stay below the spending caps that were passed as part of the tax package. There also will be plenty of debate on hot-button issues like workers compensation, pension reform, medical marijuana, and concealed carry legislation.”

From live coverage of midnight-hour budget debates to furious floor battles, cantankerous committee hearings, and literally hundreds of in-depth on-set interviews, Illinois Lawmakers has earned a well-deserved reputation as the television program of record for legislative coverage since its debut in the spring of 1986. “We have developed a great rapport with the members and the legislative over the years,” says Marty McLaughlin, executive producer for the series since its inception. “They trust us to get the story right, and we've earned their respect for being scrupulously balanced in our coverage.”

A production of the public television stations of Illinois, Illinois Lawmakers is broadcast simultaneously on the state's nine PBS member stations via satellite during each Fall and Spring Veto Legislative Session of the Illinois General Assembly. The series also provides live coverage and analysis of the Governor's State of the State and Budget Addresses, as well as statewide election coverage.

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Download Image of Jak Tichenor and Marty McLaughlin

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