Statehouse

Gov. Bruce Rauner has called 10 special sessions on the budget for the final days of the month. For the first time, he's publicly endorsed a specific set of tax increases to accompany the non-budget demands he's been making since he came into office. Does this represent real movement? Or is it just marketing?

Bilandic Building
Google Street View

Illinois’ struggling social-service agencies lost another round in court Thursday. An appellate panel in Chicago says Illinois does not have to pay unless the state has a real budget.

Bruce Rauner
Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Gov. Bruce Rauner has called 10 special sessions of the Illinois General Assembly for the end of the month.

St. Clair County Building
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

BELLEVILLE — Dozens of Illinois’ social service providers were back in court Wednesday. Many have gone nearly a year without funding during the budget stalemate. They’re asking a St. Clair County judge to force Illinois to pay.

Credit @Ted Schurter / State Journal-Register

Louder outcry from voters may be what will be the trick to produce movement from the governor and House speaker

Fifth District Appellate Court
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

MOUNT VERNON — A case with the potential to upend Illinois' budget impasse was argued Tuesday before the Fifth District Appellate Court.

St. Clair County Building
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Two court hearings this week could shape the future of Illinois’ budget impasse.

opensource on Flickr

A new report says repealing the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — would have a disproportionately negative effect in rural parts of Illinois.

flickr/sideonecincy

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday signed legislation intended to improve the fairness of Illinois courts. It should mean more people will be eligible for bail while awaiting trial.

A federal judge says Illinois has to prioritize payments for Medicaid providers, but the state doesn't have enough revenue to meet its spending obligations. Could Illinois soon run out of money? Does the market really think Illinois could default on its debt?

Capitol in fog
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

Members of the Illinois House on Thursday heard stories of misery resulting from nearly two years without a state budget. Democrats used the opportunity to attack Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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.

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.

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.

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