Statehouse

Five of the six Democrats running for governor met in Springfield for a debate. House Speaker Michael Madigan was once again a hot topic, as the speaker had earlier in the week cut ties with a second aide over allegations of harassment.

Meanwhile, Republicans were distancing themselves from their own problem candidate — one who'd used racial and anti-gay language in a conversation with Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.

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Several Illinois lawmakers want added regulations on car title loans. They say some lenders charge interest rates in the triple digits, putting borrowers at risk of losing their cars. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

An Illinois labor union is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner over an Illinois law. The case — filed Thursday afternoon in federal court — expects bad news for labor in the (potential) landmark Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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

Early voting in this year’s primary election came a little late in some parts of Illinois. But officials say the polls are now officially open statewide.

Democratic candidates for governor
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Five of the Democrats running for Illinois governor met at a debate Wednesday night in Springfield. Among the prime topics was House Speaker Michael Madigan’s handing of harassment in his political organization.

WUIS/Illinois Issues

Another state lawmaker is targeting weapons like the AR-15,  a  popular semiautomatic rifle used in the recent Florida school shooting.  Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, filed a bill that would ban "assault weapons." 

AR-15
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An Illinois proposal has been drafted in response to the deadly shooting at a Florida high school last week. The newly filed measure would ban so-called "ghost guns." 

Flickr.com/morgnar (CC-BY-NC)

A divided Illinois Supreme Court says it was OK for the government to seize a woman’s Harley-Davidson — even though it was her husband who used it to drive drunk.

This week, Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address before the General Assembly and House Speaker Michael Madigan fired a long-time campaign worker due to sexual harassment allegations.

Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

Commentary: The governor's plan would rely on some iffy savings from shifting pensions costs to schools and universities and getting state workers to pay more for their health care.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should at least temporarily step down as head of the Democratic Party, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. 

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

When out campaigning, Governor Bruce Rauner has been making big claims about lowering taxes. But there was little follow-through in Wednesday's budget proposal.

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

2018 Budget Address

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

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been campaigning relentlessly against last year’s income tax increase.

But in his annual budget address Wednesday, he'll call for spending the extra money that rate hike has generated.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to unveil his fourth budget proposal Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly.

Illinois lawmakers have only enacted a budget for one of the three years he’s been in office.

That led to service cuts and some layoffs, but the state didn’t collapse. For most people, life went on as normal.

So we asked Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey: Does it really matter if Illinois has a budget?

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Opioid deaths nearly doubled in Sangamon County last year, with heroin as the leading cause in 20 of the 42 opioid-related deaths, according to data retrieved from the county coroner’s office.

Billionaire hotel heir and Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker apologizes after another Chicago Tribune story about his 2008 phone conversations with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate for governor Jeanne Ives, a state representative from Wheaton, is not apologizing for an ad that's been condemned by people across the political spectrum.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

  

Illinois is joining 35 other states this year attempting to give divorced couples equal parenting time. The issue is stirring debate among family law attorneys, mental health professionals, parents and others.  

Illinois Campaign for Political Reform via press release

The polls have opened for Illinois’ primary election, as voters were allowed to start casting early ballots Thursday. But the state’s election technology needs to be overhauled, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

 

Governor Bruce Rauner sparred with Republican primary challenger Jeanne Ives before the Chicago Tribune editorial board this week; the Democratic challengers continued to jockey for position; and Rauner delivered the annual State of the State Address.

NPR Illinois' Daisy Contreras and the Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson join the panel.

Rauner addressing General Assembly
Gov. Rauner / Facebook

Governor Bruce Rauner said Democrats and Republicans need to work together to move the state forward.   But a lack of trust in the shadow of an election year and the governor's own remarks seem to make that less likely. 

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner likely considered the upcoming election while crafting the State of the State Address he gave Wednesday. There's a host of Democratic candidates vying to unseat him - and a single Republican who says she wants to get him out the way during the primary this March. They too are sticking to campaign points.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his State of the State Address Wednesday to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.  

01/31/18: 2018 State of the State Address

Jan 31, 2018

Governor Bruce Rauner delivers his annual State of the State speech to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, January 31 at 12pm.

The Democratic candidates for governor appeared in the first of several televised debates, an unsealed lawsuit reveals Gov. Bruce Rauner has been more involved in his personal finances than he let on, and an audit finds the administration could not properly account for more than $7.11 billion in Medicaid payments to private insurance companies. 

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

With primary season underway, AARP Illinois is ramping up efforts to educate voters before they head to the polls next month.

 

This week, Gov. Bruce Rauner dodged a Nerf-ball question about whether former Congressman and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was a racist. Meanwhile, Rauner, a Republican, is running an infomercial about Democratic primary candidate J.B. Pritzker. And we hear the latest on the school funding overhaul that just won't end.

PHOTO CREDIT BRIAN MACKEY / NPR ILLINOIS - TAXREBATE.ORG.UK / CC BY 2.0 / A DERIVATIVE OF “MAGNIFIER GLASS AND MONEY” - PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS

Commentary: Expanded economic interest disclosures would lead to more accountability

CREDIT FLICKR USER / MICHAEL COGHLAN "PRISON BARS" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill Tuesday that's meant to help women in state prisons.


Bob Daiber, state Sen. Daniel Biss, J.B. Pritzker, Tio Hardiman, and Chris Kennedy
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Five of the six Democrats running for governor were in Peoria over the Martin Luther King Day weekend. They were making largely similar cases to voters at a forum on criminal and economic justice.

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