Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It’s been two months since Illinois government finally passed a full budget. Legislators hoped that would accelerate the payment of overdue bills, which total more than $15 billion. But the governor’s office is holding that up.

Broken piggy bank

The Illinois state pension funds are among the worst-funded in the nation.  Yet, a new state law allows less money to be put toward that purpose. 

Illinois schools will soon resume receiving state funding, after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bipartisan compromise that passed the House and Senate earlier in the week.

NPR Illinois

Illinois is getting tougher on those convicted of hate crimes. In the wake of Charlottesville, the legislature passed resolutions taking a stand against hate. But resolutions are not legally binding.

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

What we know as of Friday about a tentative compromise among legislative leaders on school funding, along with the continuing controversy over Governor Rauner's response to a political cartoon posted by the Illinois Policy Institute.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold and WTTW's Amanda Vinicky join the panel.

Wojcicki Jimenez campaign

Another Illinois legislator will not be seeking re-election.

State Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez is from Leland Grove, near Springfield.

She was among the Republicans who defied Governor Bruce Rauner — helping Democrats pass Illinois' first budget in two years.

Republicans and Democrats gathered in Springfield this week for their annual rallies tied to the Illinois State Fair. Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republicans outlined a campaign strategy that takes aim at House Speaker Michael Madigan. Democrats, meanwhile, tried to lash Rauner to the fortunes of President Donald Trump.

The Illinois Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor are spending more time campaigning against the incumbent than each other. And they’re not pulling any punches.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Republicans are gearing up for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election fight. At a state fair rally Wednesday, they made clear their campaign will focus on one man.

The Illinois General Assembly is still weighing what to do in the wake of Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the Democrats' new approach  to how the state sends money to schools in  Illinois. Meanwhile, Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Rauner to get going on issuing bonds to begin paying down the backlog of bills.

David Harris
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Another voice is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to work with the budget that was passed over his objections.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to step up the pace in dealing with the state’s debt.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed parts of the Democratic education funding overhaul known as Senate Bill 1. He used his Constitutional power to make recommendations for changes in the legislation, saying he wanted to stop a "bailout" of Chicago schools. But Democrats accuse him of tacking right and waging an "assault" on public education.

The coliseum at the state fair with flags waving above it.
Katherine Johnson / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

The Illinois State Fair opens in one week. Years of budget cuts and deferred maintenance have led to a series of problems at the fairgrounds. But officials say they’ll be ready.

Pawar, Pritzker and Biss
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

One of the Democrats running for governor of Illinois is proposing a huge expansion in a government healthcare program.


Some lawmakers say legalizing recreational marijuana should be on the horizon for Illinois. But they admit there are still details to work out. 

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

Despite Governor Bruce Rauner calling the Democrat-controlled Legislature into special session to resolve the issue of school funding, there is still no agreement on funding for Chicago Public Schools.  Also, the next gubernatorial race is shaping up to be the most expensive in state history; we'll look at the potential money involved.  Joining Sean Crawford in the studio is IPR Education Reporter Dusty Rhodes, UIS Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield, and Law360 Springfield Reporter Hannah Meisel.

Amanda Vinicky

We talked to leaders at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and The Civic Federation to learn about their insights on the state's first spending plan in more than two years.

A website that popped up this month asks a question as its URL: It then very simply answers it with a bright red "NO." A group of professional women in the state are behind the effort to draw attention to the issue.

Illinois State Capitol
Daniel X O'Neil / Flickr

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s choices for new top staff positions — from chief of staff to policy director to the head of his communications team — have created a firestorm in recent weeks.

James Kluppelberg
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois is finally making good on some of its most overdue bills — compensating people who were unjustly imprisoned.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has demanded Democrats send him school funding legislation, threatening to call a special session if they don't. The governor has sought to pit Downstate school school districts — and local legislators — against Chicago Public Schools.

Meanwhile, Rauner continued replacing top staff with people from a libertarian advocacy organization.

Illinois' constitution has been in place since 1970.  But there's an effort to draft a new one.  Republican representative Tim Butler of Springfield has introduced a plan to hold another constitutional convention. 

IRS-1040 tax form header

A tax increase is not the only change coming for some Illinois residents as the new budget package is rolled out.  

Gov. Bruce Rauner is replacing several top aides with employees of the Illinois Policy Institute, a libertarian-conservative advocacy organization. It comes days after a bipartisan group of legislators ended Illinois' two-year budget impasse by overriding Rauner's veto.

Change is coming to the state agency that oversees historic sites and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

The issue pits business interests against privacy concerns.

For Carolyn Parrish, a privacy professional based in Evanston, data privacy is just as important in her personal, everyday life, as it is to keeping her business running.


The Governor failed to get a lot of what he wanted in the recent legislative session.   Now, there's fallout in the top ranks of Bruce Rauner's administration.  

wikimedia commons

Passing a budget wasn’t the only thing Illinois lawmakers did last week. They also named a major road after former president Barack Obama. 

After more than two years, 16 Republicans split from Gov. Bruce Rauner to help Democrats pass a budget for Illinois. It spends less than Illinois has been during the impasse, and raises the individual income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent.

What was the breakthrough? Was this really an uprising among rank-and-file legislators? Does Rauner benefit from this outcome? And is the end of Illinois' fiscal problems?