From WILL - Focus -

Coming up on Focus: Bees, Illinois Fiscal Crisis and The End of Money

Next week, we’ll learn more about colony collapse disorder and how its affecting bees and our agriculture systems and will talk through the Illinois budget crisis. Join our conversation!

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Coming up next week on Focus, we’ll talk about the state’s fiscal crisis, what it would be like to live in a world without cash and new research that helps scientists understand more about colony collapse disorder.

Monday May 6 – Tax Policies and Illinois’ Fiscal Crisis
Are you tired of hearing how broke the state is? Do you have a suggestion for solving the problem? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the state’s deficit and tax policy.

According to the Fiscal Futures Project at the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, Illinois is currently ranked in last place out of all 50 states for its bond ratings. Legislators at the statehouse have made some progress towards passing reform to try and solve Illinois’ massively underfunded state pension system but even if reform is passed, the state has a long way to go to get back in the black. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ralph Martire, Executive Director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability about Illinois fiscal health and what could help improve it.

Tuesday, May 7 – Going Cashless 
Did you get stung by the Schnuck’s debit card security breach? Has your credit/debit card ever been compromised? Second guessing how often you pay with plastic? 

Fewer and fewer people are regularly carrying cash. Carrying cards seems easier, and paying with plastic leaves a handy electronic record to track where your money goes. But with lots of questions circling about cyber-security and a security breach that compromised more than 5,000 debit/credit card users in the area, isn’t there a huge advantage to paying with cash money? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about money, currency and what it would be like to live in a world without cash. David Wolman, author of “The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers – and the Coming Cashless Society" and Professor of Finance Charles Kahn join us.

Wednesday, May 8 – Colony Collapse Disorder
Are you a bee keeper? Are you a concerned farmer or gardener? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!

No one really knows exactly why colony collapse disorder happens, but as scientists have pointed to pesticides or microbial organisms  as a possible cause. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with May Berenbaum, Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign about colony collapse disorder, what it is, why it’s a problem and what might be causing it. According to new research, high fructose corn syrup could also play a role. We’ll also talk this hour with Rich Ramsey, a beekeeper who lives outside Springfield and keeps 40 hives. He has a hive collapse in 1989 and is concerned that beekeepers are putting their colonies through too much stress.

Thursday, May 9 - TBA

Friday, May 10 – Preparing Your Lawn, Growing Your Garden

It’s time to get out your lawn mower. Congratulations or sincerest apologies depending on your views when it comes to yard work. This hour on Foucs, Sandy Mason joins us to answer your lawn and garden questions. Tom Voigt, a lawn care specialist, will also be here.