Statehouse

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

This week, discussion of a recent ruling on negotiations between AFSCME and Governor Rauner.  Also, enrollment numbers released for the state's public universities, and reflecting on the death of Phyllis Schlafly.  Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn and Ivan Moreno of the Associated Press join the panel.

This week, we’re revisiting an Illinois Issues interview with House Speaker Michael Madigan from 1988. In the interview, Madigan talked about his views on taxation and its relationship to Illinois’ business climate, many of the same topics that are in play today.

  A state senator who staved off a primary fight is now also free from a complaint that he misused campaign contributions but perhaps he’s not free for long. 

Members of the same political parties generally stick up for each other, like family. Not so for GOP Senator Sam McCann. He was challenged in the primary by a candidate, state trooper Bryce Benton, well-financed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

CREDIT (GAGE SKIDMORE)

The outspoken conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly has passed away.  She was 92 and died at her home in St Louis Monday. 

Jamey Dunn
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn and guests Jordan Abudayyeh (WICS) and Bruce Ruston (IL Times) discuss the latest on the redistricting lawsuit and social service provider lawsuit.

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

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

  Advocates for changing how Illinois’ legislative districts are drawn are not done yet, there’s continuing fallout from the ongoing unnatural disaster known as the Illinois budget, and Chicago violence hits a grim milestone.

book cover
The New Press

Even at this time of economic anxiety, America's system of organized labor is so convoluted, it’s no wonder unions are so unpopular.

John Bradley soft on crime ad
screen capture / Friends of John Bradley

In an era of political gridlock, one of the few topics on which there's been hope of bipartisan cooperation is on the issues of crime and punishment.

Politicians have traditionally been averse to doing anything that could get them painted as being "soft on crime."

It's an easy attack, and one that's been frequently deployed in the past. But this year, criminal justice reform advocates are fighting back.

IGPA

The ongoing budget debacle that’s hobbled Illinois government was front and center Wednesday in Springfield.

Debates over the minimum wage usually come down to economics — whether it helps or hurts workers and businesses. But new research suggests another potential winner: babies.

Economists have long known that people who make more money are generally healthier.

Robert Kaestner is with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government & Public Affairs. He found that among new mothers with lower education levels, living in an area with a higher minimum wage led to heavier babies — about 11 grams for every dollar — and heavier babies are healthier babies.

The most recent attempt at changing the way legislative districts are drawn might have had a shot — had only the proposal left the auditor general out of the equation. 

npr.org

It's a rare occurrence of late: A credit rating agency saying something positive about Illinois' finances. But the comment published Tuesday by Moody's Investor Service was tempered.

Illinois could end up having to put an additional half billion dollars into one of its pension funds next year.

As the name suggests, the Teachers Retirement System is the retirement benefits fund for all Illinois public school teachers outside of Chicago.

elevator down arrow
Eric Skiff

The Illinois Teachers Retirement System voted last week to reduce the amount of money it assumes it will make from its investments. The board revised this rate of assumption down to 7 percent from 7.5 percent.

This change means that as lawmakers and the governor are putting together a budget for next fiscal year, they will have to come up with a projected $420 million more than what they might have expected to pay into the retirement system for teachers outside of Chicago. Illinois' total unfunded liability for all its pension funds is pegged at $111 billion. 

Anxious legislators will once again see a deposit from the state of Illinois in their bank accounts. They’re getting paid Tuesday for the first time since July, when their April paychecks came through.

The candidates vying to be Illinois comptroller are at odds over whether the office should even continue to exist.

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

The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to change the way Illinois' legislative districts are drawn.

Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

An overhaul of the retirement benefits Illinois gives state employees, public school teachers and university workers has been the subject of talks between state leaders in recent months. Gov. Bruce Rauner said so Wednesday, but he sounded uncertain as to what will come of it.

Amanda Vinicky

  Jesse White’s days as the Illinois Secretary of State may be coming to a close.

Amanda Vinicky and Brian Mackey
Network Knowledge

Host Amanda Vinicky, Brian Mackey, and Dave Dahl (WTAX) discuss what went on when the legislature returned for the Illinois State Fair.

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

albatross
Michael Sale / Flickr.com/michaelsale (cc-by-nc)

Republicans and Democrats gathered in Springfield this week for party meetings and rallies at the Illinois State Fair. Republicans mostly avoided mentioning presidential nominee Donald Trump, preferring to focus on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Democrats, meanwhile, were happy to embrace Madigan, and tried to tie Republicans into an embrace of Trump, too. Both parties are hoping the other side's top politicians will become an albatross around the necks of down-ballot candidates.

John Cullerton, Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Can Democrats convince voters to see Donald Trump as an albatross around the neck of Illinois Republicans?

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois’ and Chicago’ precarious financial situations have some residents relieved the city was not successful in its attempt to host the latest Olympics games.

But not Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers.

Seven years ago, he was Chief of Staff for Chicago’s bid. Summers says he grew up, and still lives, on the South Side. He says the Olympics would have been phenomenal and transformative for parts of the city.

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

In just a few years, one man has transformed the Illinois Republican Party from a perennial also-ran into a serious contender. Bruce Rauner been an agenda-setter, a shot-caller, and a rainmaker. And his party’s true believers couldn’t be happier.

Amanda Vinicky

Support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump remains tepid among leaders of the Illinois Republican Party.

Amanda Vinicky

A new foundation has been created to raise money for Illinois State Fair infrastructure.  Questions have already been raised about how the private entity will intermingle with government.

State Sen. Matt Murphy
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Even before the November election, the makeup of Illinois legislature is changing.

Rep. Frank Mautino reviews a COGFA report.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

The head of the Democratic Party of Illinois is sticking up for the beleaguered Auditor General.

As supporters of automatic voter registration are set to hold a press conference Monday morning, Gov. Bruce Rauner is defending his veto of a plan that would have made it a reality in Illinois.

Jamey Dunn, Kent Redfield, and Charlie Wheeler
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn and guests Kent Redfield (UIS) and Charlie Wheeler (UIS) discuss former Gov. Rod Blagojevich losing his bid to have his prison sentence reduced.

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

State Sen. Matt Murphy
WUIS/Illinois Issues

A rising star in the Illinois G-O-P is stepping down to become a lobbyist.

Since he was elected in 2006, Senator Matt Murphy of Palatine has been an articulate, vocal critic of how Democrats run Springfield; he’s one of the Republicans’ top negotiators on the budget and pensions.

Come next month, it’ll be his job to cozy up to his former peers as a contract lobbyist with Mac Strategies Group, a public relations firm based in Chicago. 

While certain state employees can’t leave their government jobs to lobby right away, Illinois has no such restriction for lawmakers.

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