Statehouse

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said he would have preferred President Trump get congressional clearance before attacking Syria’s Assad regime Friday. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner made a rare request for a meeting with the four legislative leaders of the General Assembly — House and Senate, Democratic and Republican. In a show of how once-ordinary tasks can be touted as achievements in the current toxic political climate, Republicans left the meeting saying they were pleased Democrats agreed to appoint budget negotiators.

They also apparently agreed to set a "revenue estimate" — the amount of  money Illinois government expects to collect, and thus to spend, in the next budget year.

Bruce Rauner
Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

There was a rare meeting Thursday among Gov. Bruce Rauner and the top leaders of the Illinois General Assembly.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Passing a state budget is arguably the most important thing the Illinois General Assembly does every year — or at least should do every year.

After last year's drama — when a two-year standoff ended with a Republican revolt against Governor Bruce Rauner — it's an open question about how things will go this year.

So I set out to answer a simple question: Will there be another impasse?

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The new bipartisan Illinois Senate Women’s Caucus threw its  support behind the Equal Rights Amendment helping it win approval in that chamber. But, not all women are on board. 

Google Maps

The Illinois Department of Corrections says a major cash crunch has it struggling to keep its facilities running.

The warning came Wednesday at a Senate budget hearing. But some Democratic lawmakers say that was the first time they were hearing the situation was so dire.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers Wednesday took a step closer to establishing state net neutrality rules before the federal regulations expire later this month. The Illinois proposal advanced out of a House committee and will be discussed by the General Assembly. But — there’s still confusion about consumer protections and the legality of legislation.

via TheMuuj / Flikr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

With summer fast approaching, one Illinois lawmaker wants to let people break into cars to rescue animals trapped inside. But some argue that might do more harm than good. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois House Republicans Tuesday introduced a resolution opposing a progressive income tax — even though Democrats in the General Assembly haven’t been actively pursuing it.  

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner says if asked by President Trump, he would send Illinois National Guard soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Martha Dominguez on Unsplash

Lawmakers advanced a measure Tuesday that would require Illinois hospitals to have nurses on staff who can provide specialized care to victims of sexual assault, including children.

The measure would require Illinois hospitals to have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), who can treat and examine victims, on their staff within five years.

 

Robert / Flickr- CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois is joining several states scrambling to keep net neutrality protections before the federal repeal date of April 23.  Some Illinois legislators say they still have time to act with a plan before that deadline.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

J.B. Pritzker is reiterating his call for a graduated income tax — and says before that, Illinois might need to raise its existing flat tax rate.

Tim Killeen and Barbara Wilson
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The University of Illinois president told a panel of lawmakers Thursday that he'd like to maintain a freeze on tuition rates.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly is considering whether people should be allowed to sue to block regulatory decisions of state government. The state’s business community says that’s dangerous for the economy.

Matt Alaniz on Unsplash

March Madness fans in Illinois could not legally bet on Monday’s championship game. But a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected this spring could open the door to states allowing sports betting, both in-person and online.

Lawmakers in Illinois and more than a dozen other states are considering proposals that would regulate the industry.

A study from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC shows earnings could total $681 million in the state, according to Chris Grove, managing director of sports with the firm. That could mean tax revenue in the tens of millions.

Katherine Johnson / CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

Planning for the state fair is in full swing, but Illinois has yet to pay all the costs for last year’s fair.

The state still owes the city of Springfield around $109,000 for the fire protection it provided to the fairgrounds in the fiscal year that ended last summer. The same amount for the current fiscal year is due by June.

Springfield budget director Bill McCarty says the fire department will continue to provide protection regardless, but late payments do present challenges.

Rauner at gym with students
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is expecting a new addition to his family: he and First Lady Diana Rauner are becoming first-time grandparents.

Rauner, 61, has six children, all grown, so this was bound to happen at some point.

Still, the governor seemed caught off guard when reporters asked about it this week.

“Uhhh, well,” Rauner said before laughing. “Um, OK. I wasn’t going to about that, but I’m happy — you know what, we’re so excited, I’m sort of busting at the buttons.”

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Thousands of Illinoisans joined people across America and around the world in marches showing support for stricter gun laws. A former campaign worker sued House Speaker Michael Madigan over his handling of a harassment complaint against one of his top aides.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx toook moved against Facebook after the privacy lapses ¸brought into public consciousness by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And can Gov. Bruce Rauner repair his relationship with conservative voters?

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner’s office has been criticized by a state audit.

Kyle McCarter
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois State Sen. Kyle McCarter’s nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to Kenya comes at a time of challenges for the African nation.

via State Representative David McSweeney website

An Illinois lawmaker wants to give police officers more power to take away guns from someone who poses a threat. 

via Creative Commons 2.0 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Though Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure to license gun dealers, Illinois House Democrats are trying to muster support to overturn the decision. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner won renomination by just three percentage points — a remarkable margin considering he raised more campaign cash than his opponent, Rep. Jeanne Ives, by a factor of 26 to one. Ives says she won't be endorsing the Republican governor for reelection.

Meanwhile, J.B. Pritzker bested each of his two main opponents for the Democratic nomination by 20 percentage points. But state Sen. Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy both say they'll support Pritzker in his race against Rauner.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner says he needs to “find common ground” with the nearly half of Republican voters who rallied behind his primary election opponent, Jeanne Ives.

In his election night victory speech, Rauner said he heard the message those voters wanted to send, but he has yet to give specific details on what that message is. 

Pritzker and Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois primary voters have spoken. This year’s race for governor will be a battle between two of the wealthiest men in the state.

But this outcome almost didn’t come to pass.

Democrat J.B. Pritzker won easily, but incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner barely escaped a humiliating defeat.

Pritzker and Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After what’s thought to be one of the most expensive primaries in Illinois history, billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic nominee for governor.  Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner won the Republican primary, narrowly beating his only opponent, state Representative Jeanne Ives.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A week before the primary election, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the first gun-control legislation sent to him after the mass murder at a school in Parkland, Florida. It would have required gun dealers to obtain state licenses.

Senate Democrats say they'll try to override the governor — eventually. They bought themselves more time by refusing to immediately recognize his veto, breaking with past practice and the Illinois Constitution.

Johan Fantenberg via flikr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

People who use Illinois currency exchanges will pay less in fees to cash certain types of checks. It’s part of an overhaul of the state’s check cashing fee structure.  

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Last year’s data breach at the Equifax credit reporting agency brought attention to the fees customers can be charged for freezing their accounts. The Illinois Senate Wednesday approved a ban on such fees.

Pages