Statehouse

Barbara Flynn Currie
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House has blocked Governor Bruce Rauner’s attempt to merge the parts of state government that deal with discrimination complaints.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois government has been deadlocked on a state budget for 23 months. During that time, the once-perfunctory job of comptroller has gained in power and prominence.

Scott Drury
ILGA.gov

Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury, from the Chicago suburb of Highwood, is entering the race for Illinois governor.

Evan Rushing
NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly has approved legislation intended to make it easier to hold drug dealers accountable when their customers overdose.

flickr/ TaxCredits.net

A court hearing scheduled for Tuesday has the potential to shake up Illinois' already-precarious financial situation. Organizations that run the state’s Medicaid program are asking a judge to speed up their payments.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois government ended another legislative session without a budget. Because of that, credit rating agencies downgraded the state's debt while public universities announced more layoffs.

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker was in the news because of his relationship with imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A day after the Illinois General Assembly ended it’s spring session without passing a budget, two bond rating agencies have downgraded the state’s credit.

The actions, by S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service, leave state government debt just one step above “junk” status.

Chicago Police Department

The General Assembly passes legislation aimed at strengthening hate crime laws after a post-presidental-campaign spike in bias incidents.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly ended its annual legislative session last night without agreeing on a budget.

Top Democrats and Republicans blamed each other.

As Brian Mackey reports, state government's long, slow financial crisis will accelerate.

Illinois House Republicans

 

The Illinois General Assembly voted to increase a fee on cell phone bills in order to fund 911 services. It was a rare example of Republican lawmakers defying the Rauner administration.

 

Negotiators involved in the legislation say the governor tried to pull Republican support because Rauner did not want Mayor Rahm Emanuel to get a win.

 

But GOP lawmakers ended up voting for the measure, which includes a cell phone fee increase in Chicago.

 

Brian Mackey

Yesterday activists who had been marching from Chicago since May 15th arrived in Springfield. Some of them represented groups like Fair Economy Illinois and The People's Lobby

Lou Lang
file / Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Wednesday is the last day of the Illinois General Assembly's annual legislative session.

It also happens to mark 700 days since Illinois last had a real budget. Majority Democrats still aren’t saying whether they plan to do anything about that.

Capitol in fog
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House has approved a plan to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 an hour. But it faces an uphill climb to become law.

 

Emergency dispatchers, phone companies, and lawmakers from both parties were in agreement. The fee on cell phone bills needed to increase — to keep 911 services  going and to add new technology mandated by Illinois.

 

 

 

Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, says he was not part of the talks, but he was ready to lend his support when talks broke down.

 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Democrats remain divided over how to address the state’s financial crisis.

I voted sticker
Vox Efx / flickr

Illinois’ top election officials say the nearly two-year budget stalemate could interfere with preparations for next year’s election. The warning came at a budget hearing Sunday afternoon.

Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democrats in the Illinois Senate on Friday made another attempt to meet the demands of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s economic agenda.

The Republican governor has said the expense of workers compensation insurance has driven businesses out of the state.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Senate Democrats go it alone on a tax hike — will their House counterparts follow suit? And what happens if legislators don't pass a budget by the scheduled end of session on May 31?

Justin Wright

Some reformers say Illinois' minimum age for juvenile detention needs to go up.

WUIS

 

 

The Illinois Senate passed a budget package Tuesday after a similar plan failed last week. The difference was several new “yes” votes from liberal Democrats. No Republicans supported either plan.

NPRIllinois

As state lawmakers again consider expanding the number of casinos in the state, Springfield could wind up in the mix. 

Dick Durbin
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says talk of impeaching President Donald Trump is premature.

That's at odds with positions taken last week by at least three of the Democrats running for governor in Illinois.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Senate Democrats hold another set of votes on what was once referred to as the "grand bargain," but Republicans say the deal isn't there yet. Can anyone in Springfield trust anyone else long enough to make something happen?

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker is under attack by Republicans over his property taxes.

Jason Barickman and other members of the Illinois Senate Republican cuacus.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Senate Democrats on Wednesday passed part of a budget plan for state government.

If it also passes the House and is signed into law, it would be the first real budget Illinois has had since 20-15. But that’s a big “if.”

WUIS

The Illinois State Board of Elections is fining Auditor General Frank Mautino’s former campaign committee. A complaint alleges he failed to properly report some $380,000 dollars in spending.

Heather Steans
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Both the Illinois House and Senate return to work in Springfield today. Just over two weeks remain before the annual legislative session is scheduled to end.

Each One Feed One

The seven Republican Congressmen from Illinois are recommending state Senator Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, to be next U-S ambassador to Kenya.

The seven Republicans in Illinois’ Congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump, saying McCarter would be a good candidate for the job. McCarter has done charity work in the east-African country for decades.

McCarter would still have to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Senate Democrats tried — and failed — to force votes on the so-called grand bargain. What are the prospects for a budget deal before the Illinois General Assembly's scheduled end-of-session on May 31?

Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner was booed when he appeared at the commencement ceremony for Chicago State University — the public university arguably hit hardest by the 22-month stalemate over taxes and spending in Illinois government. 

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Commentary: The time has come to stop talking about a  'truly balanced budget'

“Let’s get a truly balanced budget ... ”  Gov. Bruce Rauner and his aides, in various venues on numerous occasions, 2015-present.

Not to downplay the governor’s mantra, but what exactly is a “truly balanced budget?” 

John Cullerton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

There was another setback Wednesday for efforts to end Illinois' budget stalemate.

Senate Democrats attempted a series of test votes on items in the so-called “grand bargain.” But Republicans refused to go along, saying more negotiation is needed to reach a deal they can support.

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