Statehouse

State workers suing to put an end to mandatory union dues will appeal a federal judge's order dismissing their case.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A federal judge has put limits on election-day voter registration in the most populous parts of Illinois. The governor's office has a rosier view of the Illinois deficit then legislative analysts. And Donald Trump once again shines a light on violence and policing in Chicago.

flickr/ 401kcalculator.org

The political spotlight has shifted to the election, but the state budget crisis continues to cost the people of Illinois. 

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

The man who calls himself the leader of Illinois' Republican Party conti ues to refuse to weigh in on this year's election.

Could the Republican nominee's emphasis on "law and order" derail a growing bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?

wikimedia

A federal judge has blocked an Illinois law that had been aimed at making it easier to vote this fall.

The law required the state’s biggest cities and counties to let citizens register to vote on election day and at their local polling place. It did not impose the same requirement on smaller election authorities.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois voters this fall will have a chance to amend the state constitution. The governor refuses to say whether he supports the change.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois has long had a day to honor Gold Star Mothers. For the first time Monday the state recognized the rest of their families.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library digitized a rare copy of a 1956 presidential primary debate. What does it have to say about American politics today?

House Republicans

Several long-serving members of the General Assembly are not running for reelection this year.

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the years they spent as lawmakers.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner stuck to his script during his Facebook Live event. He also denies that his legislative agenda is "hurting some class."

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday issued an opinion striking down a law that cut civil juries in half. The law would also have hiked juror pay.

When they passed it during veto session in late 2014, legislators argued that having fewer jurors made the higher pay affordable.

That, they said, was good for justice: People may be more willing to serve if they got paid $25 versus as little as $4.

But critics say really, it was a thinly-veiled parting gift to trial lawyers from Democrats while they still controlled the governor's mansion under Gov Pat Quinn.

Pension Prospects?

Sep 21, 2016

Lawmakers haven't touched state pension benefits in the nearly year-and-a-half since the Illinois Supreme Court ruled their last attempt unconstitutional. But Governor Bruce Rauner says he's "pretty excited": He thinks they will pass a new law this winter.


flickr/sideonecincy

When a man or woman is wrongfully imprisoned, Illinois law says they're entitled to compensation. But like so many others owed money by state government, 14 innocent individuals are still waiting. This is one of their stories.

Amanda Vinicky

 Gov. Bruce Rauner took to social media Tuesday to answer Illinois residents' questions in real time ... some of them, anyway.

The governor says he uses Google Hangout to video chat with his kids, but it was his first time trying Facebook Live.

"How you doing? Welcome to our first ever Facebook Live. This is going to be fun and interesting," he said at the start.

Amanda Vinicky

 Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, has gotten a lot of traction with his push for term limits. Voters seem to love the idea just as much as legislators hate it, even if the governor's plan doesn't seem all that practical.

Illinois is getting ready to celebrate a milestone. In 2018, the state turns 200.

Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday used his executive authority to create an office and a 51-member commission (members haven't yet been appointed) to coordinate the festivities.

"And we want leaders from all over the state coming up with their ideas and recommendations on how we can best celebrate," he said. "It's going to be a lot of fun, it's going to be a really big deal."

the moon
NASA / flickr.com/nasacommons

Prisons often take an expansive view of their power to censor what inmates are reading. It makes sense that they might ban a book on, say, how to escape from jail. But what about medical textbooks? Classic works of literature? Or even a picture of a cat?

13th Congressional District
U.S. Department of the Interior / Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

A central-Illinois physician has lost another round in his fight to become an independent candidate for Congress.

Jamey Dunn and Brian Mackey
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn, Brian Mackey, and Andy Maloney (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) talk about the new movie about the Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

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

Gov. Bruce Rauner has donated $16 million of his fortune to help elect Republican candidates. But he also says he's not really involved in the election. Huh?

Illinois hunters are gearing up to harvest bobcats, for the first time since the '70s.

Interest in participating is outpacing the permit supply. 

Bobcats were once considered a threatened species in Illinois.

Not anymore.

"I used to never see a bobcat, now it's uncommon to go to the woods and not see bobcats. And not one or two, but three or four of five or six of 'em," Sen. John Sullivan, a Democrat from Rushville, explained when legislators debated the measure that ultimately became the state law lifting the bobcat hunting ban.

Illinois Issues: Legislative Checklist

Sep 15, 2016
Chamber
Flickr user: Matt Turner

Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken action on hundreds of bills over the summer. He signed most of them into law, but he also made some high-profile vetoes. 

A conservative-backed organization says it will continue efforts to topple the Illinois law limiting campaign contributions, after a judge ruled the law constitutional.

The law caps how much individuals, corporations, and political action committees can give.

Committees controlled by the legislative leaders are subject to caps too, but only in the primary. There's no limit on what they can give to candidates during the general election.

Liberty Justice Center attorney Jacob Huebert says the law is set up to help the leaders maintain power.

Amanda Vinicky

The November election will determine if the balance of power in Illinois politics tips in a direction that will help Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner carry out his agenda or whether Democrats will maintain enough seats to stand in his way. Even with that at stake, Rauner is professing a hands-off approach.

Before he was governor, Rauner was a private equity investor. He became rich by keeping a sharp eye on his investments.

But Rauner says he is not taking the same approach to politics.

Google Maps

A divided Illinois Supreme Court is sticking by its decision on redistricting.

The Independent Maps group spent millions of dollars pushing a plan it promised would do away with gerrymandering - if voters approved in the upcoming election. Supporters collected some 563,000 signatures from Illinois voters to put the question on the ballot. Independent Maps wants to change the Illinois Constitution so a commission would draw district boundaries, rather than legislators themselves.

Amanda Vinicky

Activists from across Illinois gathered in Springfield to recognize "Moral Monday."

Office of State Sen. Karen McConnaughay

More than ninety cases of human trafficking in Illinois have been reported so far this year. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed legislation about efforts to combat it and to assist its victims. One bill created a statewide task force on the issue. 

The task force will work with others in the state, including one in Cook County, says Sen. Sponsor Karen McConnaughay, a Republican from St. Charles. The task force is expected to give its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by June 30, 2017.

Amanda Vinicky
Network Knowledge

Host Amanda Vinicky and guests Kent Redfield (UIS) and Dave Dahl (WTAX) discuss an impasse over the AFSCME contract and Governor Rauner as well as sinking enrollment in some state universities.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

Closed Tinley Park Mental Health Center
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration announced Friday afternoon that a portion of a state mental health facility in Elgin will become a ward for prisoners with mental illness.

Illinois' hand was forced to do something along these lines; the government agreed in settling a 2007 lawsuit, Rasho v. Baldwin, that alleged poor treatment of mentally ill prisoners.

In a press release, Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin calls the agreement between it and the Department of Human Services a "fundamental change."

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