Senate President

Senate President John Cullerton and Senators Kim Lightford and Don Harmon
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Members of the Illinois Senate will gather in the Capitol Sunday to choose a new president.

Illinois' new governor has his first opportunity to determine the fate of legislation. Gov. Bruce Rauner's decision could affect how much you're paying for electricity.

The measure at hand, House Bill 3975, took a strange and winding path to get to Governor Bruce Rauner's desk, beginning with one governor and one General Assembly, and carrying over into another administration and new legislative session. The plan allows Ameren and Commonwealth Edison to continue asking customers to pay for upgrades to the electric grid; in many cases that means a higher electric bill.

Amanda Vinicky

Advocates for government transparency still have a fight ahead over the state's Freedom of Information Act. That's despite a temporary reprieve yesterday.

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, of Chicago, caught transparency advocates off guard last week, with just a handful of days remaining in the legislative session. She introduced a plan that would make it harder for members of the public to obtain government information. It would also make it harder for citizens to recover legal fees when governments illegally withhold documents.

The Illinois House will take the lead on whether Illinois keeps its 5 percent income tax. It's scheduled to roll back at the end of this year unless legislators take action.

It's happened in the past. The Illinois Senate will pass a controversial measure -- like a tax hike -- only for it to languish in the House.

Not this time.

Senate President John Cullerton says the Senate will vote on the tax question if and only if it first passes the House.

Senate President Emil Jones Jr. is retiring.
WUIS/Illinois Issues


Voters will have cast their choice for U.S. president by November 4, but one more president must be elected in Illinois. The general public won’t have a say in this one, however. 

It’s solely internal, as Illinois Senate Democrats will pick a new presiding officer to replace outgoing President Emil Jones Jr., who will retire in January. His son, Emil Jones III, will fill his Senate seat, but the race to replace him at the helm of the chamber is exposing a lengthy list of candidates.