Statehouse

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
file / 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.

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.

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. 

Flickr

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.

Toi Hutchinson
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A controversial abortion measure was approved Wednesday in the Illinois Senate. It would expand government funding of the procedure.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has been in office a long time.  He’s been a House member since the early 70’s and served as Speaker since the 1980’s, minus a brief 2 year window. 

But Madigan has never seen the state fail to pass a full budget, until recently. 

WUIS

 

Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she’s not sure when school districts will receive state money owed to them for the rest of this school year. Mendoza’s office is in charge of paying the state’s bills.

The state of Illinois still owes local school districts nearly $1 billion to cover the current school year. But Mendoza, a Democrat, says she’s not sure when they’ll actually get the money.

 

Digging a hole. A really deep hole.
David Stillman / Flickr.com/stilldavid (CC-BY-NC)

A nonpartisan research group says Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago says unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

Pat Quinn speaking next to his portrait
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Former governor Pat Quinn was back in the Illinois Statehouse Monday. The Democrat was there for a ceremony to unveil his official portrait in the Capitol’s Hall of Governors.

Dick Durbin
file / Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is putting his heart into attacking the Republican health care bill — literally.

Durbin is citing his own recent cardiac procedure to point out what he and other Democrats say are flaws in the legislation.

Daniel Biss speaking to group
Office of state Sen. Daniel Biss

The Illinois Senate passed a bill Friday that would prohibit a defense for murder based on a victim’s sexual orientation or a nonviolent sexual advance.

The gay panic defense bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Daniel Biss of Evanston, passed unanimously with a vote of 41-0 and will be up for consideration in the House.

Biss says that although rare, these types of crimes do happen.

Budget talk continues in Springfield — but our panel isn't getting its hopes up yet. And what's really holding up the sale of the Thompson Center? (Spoiler alert: It's complicated.)

James Kluppelberg
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois’ budget stalemate has held up compensation for people who’ve been unjustly imprisoned. But on Thursday, a bipartisan group of state senators took a step toward fixing that.

The State Board of Elections says hackers gained access to the information of 80,000 Illinois voters — including their social security numbers and driver’s licenses.

Elections officials say hackers had access to Illinois’ system for nearly three weeks before they were detected. They did get access to personal information, but officials say that’s about it.

Medicaid is one of the largest pieces of the state’s budget, and Democrats say the governor is trying to significantly alter the way the program is managed — without oversight from the legislature.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced in February a new format by which healthcare companies and organizations bid for contracts to administer Medicaid. Five years ago, Illinois moved to increase the use of outside parties to take care of the paperwork and administration of Medicaid.

Tom Lisi / NPR Illinois

The spring legislative session has been overshadowed by a 22-month stretch without a budget. Nevertheless, meaty legislation is being weighed. Those issues include abortion, wage theft, animal research and criminal justice.

Senate Committee
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The death of a one-year-old child in Joliet Township has Illinois' child-welfare agency on the defensive.

Department of Children and Family Services director George Sheldon testified Wednesday before a state Senate committee.

We’re in an era when Chicago politicians dominate state government.  But it wasn't that long ago that some of the more powerful state politicians came from southern Illinois. 

Heather Steans
file / Office of Sen. Heather Steans

Illinois Senate Democrats are hoping to win bipartisan support for a partial government spending plan.

The proposal would release more than $800 million that’s been collected in special state accounts for higher education and human services, areas that have been particularly squeezed during the 22-month budget stalemate.

bus stop
flickr.com/stevekeiretsu

The state budget impasse has left Illinois months behind in payment to downstate mass transit agencies. That’s led to cuts in service from Kankakee to Jacksonville.

Now lawmakers are looking to remove them from the fight.

Illinois has gone 667 days without a budget. Asked to grade his performance in office, Gov. Rauner gave himself an A for what he could do without legislative support.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Michael Madigan requested a meeting with Rauner — thought to be their first in nearly 6 months.

And between 1,500 and 2,000 women marched on the Capitol in support of Democratic policies and candidates, as House Democrats sought to highlight Rauner's contradictory positions on abortion rights.

ilga.gov

 

A group of Republican lawmakers say Gov. Bruce Rauner has rescinded his decision to lay off 124 nurses at the Illinois Department of Corrections. Rauner was planning to move the jobs to a private contractor.

 

The governor has not confirmed the announcement. The Illinois Nurses Association, the union representing the IDOC nurses, says it’s taking all this with some skepticism.

 

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