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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to Governor Bruce Rauner in its ruling on the Janus v. AFSCME case.  Also, the Gubernatorial race gained more candidates with this week's filings by independent parties.  The State Journal-Register's Bernie Schoenburg joins the panel.

Liberty Justice Center

The man at the center of the case of public sector unions and fair share fees is a state employee from Springfield.  Mark Janus took his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Wednesday, he was victorious.  The decision means non-union members won't have to pay those fees to cover activities like collective bargaining. 

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

While Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus labor case on Wednesday, his chief opponent on the campaign trail was quick to criticize. J.B. Pritzker took to the podium in Springfield to do just that.


Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

The Libertarian Party filed a slate of statewide candidates on Monday, turning in more than 47,000 signatures to the Illinois State Board of Elections. That’s nearly double the required 25,000. 

Jenna Dooley

Even after the Illinois General Assembly approved legislation meant to tackle the backlog of discrimination cases before the Illinois Human Rights Commission, Gov. Bruce Rauner is putting forth his own plan.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner and black state legislators are escalating a fight that began earlier this week.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week means shoppers will more often be paying sales taxes for online purchases. It might also have meant a windfall for state government, but Illinois lawmakers anticipated the decision and already spent the money.

U.S. Supreme Court exterior
Brittany Hogan / flickr

A decision from the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday gives more power to states to collect taxes on Internet sales. It could be a boon to Illinois, but not as much as in other states.

Illinois Senate Democrats

After a Chicago Tribune investigation uncovered years of sexual abuse in the city’s public schools, Illinois lawmakers are calling on school officials for answers. A hearing is scheduled Wednesday morning in Chicago.

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, via Twitter

Illinois will soon mint commemorative coins to mark the state’s 200th birthday. They're the latest in a string of products the state is offering to mark its bicentennial year.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a several months-long contest, challenging designers to capture Illinois’ history on a single coin face. Submissions poured in from far and wide, but they were eventually whittled down to five finalists, whose designs were then voted on by the public.

Kathryn Decker / Flickr- CC BY-SA 2.0

A measure aimed to bridge the gender wage gap was approved by the Illinois General Assembly last month. This is the second attempt by lawmakers to get a ‘no salary history’ initiative into law. Employers would no longer be able to ask someone what they previously earned during interviews.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

AFSCME, Illinois biggest laobr union representing state government employees, was in the Fourth District Appellate Court this week. It's fighting a move by the Rauner administration to declare an impasse in contract negotiations, which are three years overdue.

Senator Dick Durbin via Twitter

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is supporting President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next ambassador to Kenya: Illinois state Sen. Kyle McCarter. That’s despite the significant political differences between Durbin and McCarter.

Durbin says he met with McCarter this week in Washington, D.C. to discuss his Kenya nomination.

McCarter is quite conservative, and Durbin says his voting record poses “some issues.” But that isn’t stopping him from giving the Republican a thumbs up.

Charles E. Freeman
handout / Illinois Supreme Court

Thursday was the last day on the job for the first African American on the Illinois Supreme Court.

AFSCME picket
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

The latest skirmish between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the AFSCME labor union took place in a Springfield courtroom Wednesday. This time it was before a panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The debate continues over whether Illinois’ law allowing for taxpayer-funded abortions violates the state constitution. A trial judge dismissed the case last year but anti-abortion advocates are fighting back.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Allegations of bullying and inappropriate comments prompted the resignation of the top aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan. Tim Mapes had been the speaker's chief of staff since the late 1990s, and was also executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner signing a full-year budget into law, a first for the incumbent Republican, who's in his fourth year as governor.

Illinois officials have persuaded a federal judge to delay a trial over health care in state prisons.

The move drew a rebuke from the plaintiffs’ lawyers — who are representing a group that includes every inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

As part of the new Illinois budget, thousands and thousands of state workers will get paid for salary increases they were supposed to get as far back as 2011.


Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was asked Tuesday whether he would support a shorter prison sentence for Rod Blagojevich.

Illinois House Democrats

A measure awaiting  Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature would expand protections in the Human Rights Act to cover workers at businesses with 15 or fewer employees. 

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat, says it’s impossible to know how many times employees of small businesses in Illinois tried to file complaints under the Human Rights Act because they’ve had no coverage under the 38-year-old act. He said he’s talked to many lawyers who’ve turned would-be clients from small business away because they had no protections under Illinois or federal law.

Dick Durbin
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Sen, Dick Durbin says Rod Blagojevich should have gotten a shorter prison sentence.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs the budget
handout / Illinois Information Service

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed Illinois’ budget into law.

Sam Dunklau / via Wikimedia Commons, Flikr

Illinois lawmakers have approved a plan that would let schools, churches, and workplaces take out restraining orders against someone considered dangerous.

Under current Illinois law, only an individual can take out a restraining order against another person. But after recent shootings at schools and churches, state lawmakers have been pushing for legislation to protect those places from future attacks.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A busy week in Springfield as the Illinois General Assembly approves a budget, the House ratifies the ERA, and a leading Democrat is accused of inappropriate behavior.

Illinois Senate Democrats

The Illinois General Assembly is continuing its push to change what’s been criticized as a culture of sexual harassment. Lawmakers approved the first set of recommendations from a task force Thursday.

The measure would overhaul the power of the legislative inspector general — taking hiring and firing authority away from the legislative leaders and giving it to the Legislative Ethics Commission.

It would also allow the inspector general to investigate sexual harassment without getting permission from the commission.

 

Jim Durkin
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly has approved a budget for the state — and Governor Bruce Rauner is indicating he’ll “enact” it into law.

via Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly passed a full year budget Thursday. It includes a few plans to cut down on the state’s massive pension debt.


A prominent state legislator, who led efforts in the Illinois House to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, has stepped down from his leadership post after being accused of bullying and intimidation. 

Andy Manar
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois is one step closer to having a budget for next year — the state Senate approved a spending plan late Wednesday night.

It follows years of bitter partisan fighting over state taxes and spending. But the mood around this year’s budget is remarkably different.

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