Avery Bourne

Rep. Kelly Cassidy watched as the Reproductive Health Act passes.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After a long and unusually emotional debate in the Illinois House Tuesday, lawmakers approved legislation aimed at keeping abortion legal in Illinois, regardless of what happens in other states or Washington, D.C.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker hugs Rep. Robert Martwick after passage of a graduated income tax constitutional amendment
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois voters will get to decide the future of the state’s income tax. Democrats on Monday approved a measure to put a graduated income tax on the ballot next fall.

Capitol in fog
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

The former ethics watchdog for the Illinois General Assembly says the office is “broken.”

Julie Porter says as her term was ending earlier this year, lawmakers on the Legislative Ethics Commission buried a report in which she concluded one of their colleagues had engaged in wrongdoing.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Republicans in the Illinois House are speaking out against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax.

Jenna Dooley / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission has selected a new inspector general – to investigate misconduct and harassment within the Statehouse

State Sen. Andy Manar at podium
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The future of state funding for Illinois schools is still up in the air Monday afternoon. The fight over Senate Bill 1 — legislation that would overhaul the way Illinois supports k-12 schools — has such high stakes and such slim vote margins that it has turned into a parliamentary chess game. Now, the next move belongs to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" stumbles, Gov. Bruce Rauner fights to allow Illinois to keep going without a full budget, and Illinois businessman Chris Kennedy enters the race for governor.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Legislation to keep Illinois government functioning without a full budget stalled Thursday. Democrats and Republicans have dueling proposals to keep paychecks flowing to state employees.

The Democratic plan would pay state workers through the end of the budget year — June 30th.

The Republicans responded with a plan to pay state workers forever, even if Illinois never adopts a full budget.

Shortly after that, Gov. Bruce Rauner came out with a video saying how terrible it was that Democrats put an end date on their bill.

Illinois State Capitol
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois lawmakers are preparing legislation to ensure that state employees continue receiving paychecks if a judge agrees with the attorney general's argument that their pay should be halted during the budget impasse.

flickr/ DonkeyHotey

The presidential race is capturing most voters' attention. But here in Illinois, there's record-breaking spending going into races for the General Assembly. Hanging in the balance is the state of Illinois, or at least its budget, anyway.

Rachel Otwell

It's now close to a year since Illinois had a budget in place. The impasse has led to increased attention for what many consider a financial crisis. On Sunday, comptroller Leslie Munger announced pay for the legislature and its constitutional officers will be delayed, as have many payments for vendors and service-providers . The amount of unpaid bills is nearing $8 billion. Meanwhile, some members of the legislature are trying to pass a measure that would cease their pay as well - and make it contingent on passing a "balanced budget."

Two recently appointed state representatives held off primary challenges Tuesday night.

flickr/ Zoe Hoornaert

A couple of legislative primary races are serving as stand-ins for the political struggle between the governor and Democratic leaders. 

Creative Commons

It's a week into the New Year, and gyms across the country are packed with people who've vowed to get in shape. Our Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky had resolved to be one of them, but admits that already, she's fallen short. Maybe Illinois' leaders will have better luck. Vinicky asked around for their civic-minded resolutions.

No matter your political persuasion, given the stalemate that's gripping the state, we can all agree that Illinois could use some self-improvements.

Illinois General Assembly

Republicans' choice of a 22 year old to take over a vacated seat in the Illinois House of Representatives has some wondering how she'll handle the responsibility.

Representative Avery Bourne is the youngest lawmaker to serve in the legislature. Bourne was going to law school at Washington University in St. Louis before the GOP county chairmen in central Illinois chose her to fill an empty seat in the House. She will take a leave of absence from school.