Michael Madigan

flickr/ Pal-Kristian Hamre

The governor describes the stopgap budget as a bridge to reform. But it could also be called an excavator — digging the state’s fiscal hole deeper.

Illinois delegation sign at DNC in Philadelphia.
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

For the first time … a major party has nominated a woman for President. Hillary Clinton officially became Democrats’ nominee Tuesday night at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia.

State delegations to the convention took turns casting their votes.

When  it wasw Illinois' turn, party chairman Michael Madigan got things started by introducing the with a nod to its Democratic heavyweights, like President Barack Obama. Then Madigan passed off the microphone to Bernie Sanders’ state director Clem Balanoff.

Illinois delegation sign at DNC in Philadelphia.
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

For the first time … a major party has nominated a woman for President. Hillary Clinton officially became Democrats’ nominee Tuesday night at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia.

State delegations to the convention took turns casting their votes.

When  it wasw Illinois' turn, party chairman Michael Madigan got things started by introducing the with a nod to its Democratic heavyweights, like President Barack Obama. Then Madigan passed off the microphone to Bernie Sanders’ state director Clem Balanoff.

Durbin with reporters at the DNC in Philadelphia
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Democrats joined fellow party members in Philadelphia Monday for the Democratic National Convention. But state politics, not the national scene, was the focus of the delegation’s first official day of business.

Alan Lowe
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

This is the first week on the job for the new director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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

Democrats and Republicans came together to approve a partial state budget. It's enough to sustain some government operations through the end of the year, but it's still a long way away from functional government.

Democratic leaders in the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner appear to be close to a deal to approve some funding for social service providers, higher education, capital construction and state operations. The proposal would also fund K-12 schools for all of next fiscal year.

But the plan can’t erase the destruction caused by the state going for a year without a budget.​​

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

Illinois lawmakers left Springfield a month ago fractured, indignant and without a budget. They'll return Wednesday for another try at a compromise. With just days left before the new fiscal year starts July 1, there are signs there's reason to be optimistic. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

  Gov. Bruce Rauner says his Republican negotiators and Democrats are getting closer to an agreement on a partial state budget. Meanwhile, bipartisan gun control legislation has surfaced in the wake of the massacre of 49 people in Orlando, Fla.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Legislators who've been privately working for the past month to craft a temporary budget have one drafted, but that doesn't make it a done deal.

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

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he and his administration have done "heroic" work to keep Illinois government running. But time and money are catching up with that effort, and that will cost taxpayers for years to come.

Illinois political leaders’ performance on the budget is reminiscent of the losingest team in modern baseball. 

a metaphor about Illinois government
I.W. Taber / Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

  After spending seventeen months fighting over the governor’s agenda and the end of May fighting about a temporary spending plan, now Democrats and Republicans are fighting about political fighting itself. Also: whales (!).


Even as Illinois is without a budget, the Illinois House has canceled its one-day session.

John Cullerton, Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner marked the end of the legislative session with a blistering attack on Democratic legislators. He then embarked on an eight-city tour — mostly downstate — where he continued his critique.

One of Rauner’s main messages is that Democrats are holding the state budget “hostage” in order to get their way. I thought that accusation of political ill-will had a familiar ring, so I decided to take a closer look at the governor’s communication strategy.

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

Thwarted in a last-minute attempt to thrust a temporary spending plan on Democrats, Gov. Bruce Rauner is liberal in his use of the word "failure." Democrats, meanwhile, train their fire on each other.

Jeff Bossert

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is calling on more Democrats to break ranks with party leaders in order to pass a budget plan for the state.  Rauner says he was ‘stunned’ that Democrats were unable to agree on a budget plan on the last day of the spring session. Some Democrats did break ranks, leading to the defeat of a House budget plan in the Senate, and a Senate school funding bill in the House.

Jim Edgar
Hannah Meisel/WUIS

Former Gov. Jim Edgar expressed a dim view of stopgap funding measures during an appearance Tuesday on the public radio program The 21st. He also shared his views on whether current Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic supermajorities in the legislature will ever come to terms on the anti-union aspects of the governor’s "Turnaround Agenda."

Michael Madigan
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Democrats say they will not pass Gov. Bruce Rauner's last-minute pitch for a stopgap state budget -- at least not today, the final day of the legislature's regular spring session.

Just days ago, Rauner's office nixed the idea of a temporary budget -- something Senate President John Cullerton had floated -- saying it would kick the can down the road.

Now, he's had a "turnaround." He's pushing a plan to fund schools, finally pay what's owed to cash-starved social service agencies, and generally keep things running through the calendar year.

Amanda Vinicky / Bruce Rauner, Jim Durkin

Lawmakers only have two days to pass a budget before a pending deadline. But even as top leaders came out of a meeting Sunday, saying that a deal is possible, it was clear the chances are woefully slim.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has danced around it before. But this time, he didn't flinch.

Rauner says if it gets to his desk, he will reject in its entirety the only spending plan currently alive in the statehouse: a plan House Democrats approved last week.

"That's the bill that has a $7 billion implied deficit in it, I will veto that bill," he said.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois' top lawmakers say budget talks are on the verge of collapse with the deadline for next year's budget just four days away.

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

With just days remaining before the scheduled end of the spring legislative session, Democrats and Republicans appear far apart on a state budget and the governor's agenda. Will Illinois enter a second year without a spending plan?

On Wednesday, tempers at the capitol flared; but Thursday the legislature's top Republicans shifted toward an optimistic stance on the budget situation.

Amanda Vinicky / Michael Madigan

An attempt to reach a deal on Governor Bruce Rauner's pro-business, anti-labor demands isn't working out for House Democrats, who are set to go it alone on a new state budget. That's the takeaway from a meeting between Rauner and the legislative leaders Wednesday morning.

Republicans -- led by Rauner -- say they won't increase taxes to balance the budget until they get fundamental economic changes.

To that end, bipartisan groups of legislators have been meeting in private on the governor's agenda.

flickr/dborman

There's no reason for the governor to further hold up partial funding for social services. That's the message from the Speaker of the Illinois House.

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

Thousands of union members rallied against Gov. Bruce Rauner's pro-business, anti-union agenda, and the legislative leaders met with the governor. But is Illinois any closer to ending the historic budget standoff? (Spoiler alert: No.)

Amanda Vinicky

Unions members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda, and what they say are his anti-labor policies.

Union workers marched to the capitol for a rally, where they were briefly joined by a pair of prominent Democrats: House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

There was a time (in recent memory) that the labor movement wasn't all too fond of Madigan. Though he's a Democrat, he helped pass bills cutting government worker pension benefits, and he's backed corporate tax breaks.

Amanda Vinicky

Mixed messages came out of a meeting Tuesday between Illinois' governor and legislative leaders. It was their first meeting in months, even as Illinois is in the midst of an unprecedented budget standoff.

Amanda Vinicky

For only the second time this year, Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders are set to meet, Tuesday, in Springfield.  It comes as Illinois' historic budget stalemate yawns into May, with two weeks left in legislators' regular session schedule.

These "leaders' meetings" are private, but NPR Illinois Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky had the chance to get some perspective about where the leaders stood going into the confab. 

School desks
Flickr user: dcJohn www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/

Illinois' leaders are divided over school funding as ever, even as superintendents continue to sound the alarm about fears education funding will get caught in the political stalemate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to increase how much Illinois sends schools overall, by $120 million.

Even then, some districts -- including the financially beleaguered Chicago Public Schools -- would see their state funding drop. Senate President John Cullerton Monday nixed that as a viable option.

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