Bruce Rauner

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.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Democrats remain divided over how to address the state’s financial crisis.

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?

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.

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.

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?” 

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

Women's March on Springfield
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The minimum wage, abortion rights, and the state budget were among the rallying points for women marching on the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday. The event put liberal issues — and Democratic candidates — front and center.

John Cullerton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been saying he thinks a comprehensive budget deal is “very close.” He points to negotiations in the state Senate, so Brian Mackey asked the Senate president if that’s the case.

flickr/stannate

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Friday why he’s changed his position on an abortion law since the 2014 campaign.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'd veto legislation seeking to protect the right to abortion in Illinois. Pro-abortion-rights activists say that's a change of position from what Rauner told them as a candidate in 2014.

Meanwhile, S&P and Moody's say the budget impasse, approaching 22 months, is hurting the credit worthiness of state universities.

Gov. Bruce Rauner embarked on a political tour of Illinois — but he says it's not a campaign tour. (In fact, he's already confirmed he will seek re-election next year.)

As public universities face fiscal emergencies and domestic violence shelters are closing, House Democrats approve what they call "lifeline spending." Republicans object, saying it relieves pressure on legislators to pass a comprehensive state budget.

Meanwhile, billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker formally declares his candidacy for governor. Will the Democratic primary be a story of David vs. Goliath vs. David vs. Goliath vs. David?

A month after Gov. Bruce Rauner conveyed to Republicans his opposition to the grand bargain, Senate Democrats are rejecting his attempt to break off pieces of the deal. Meanwhile, Democrats are offering a "Comeback Agenda" as an alternative to Rauner's "Turnaround Agenda," and House Speaker Michael Madigan is taking public offense to some of the governor's remarks.

Illinois Issues: This State's Abortion Debate

Mar 30, 2017
U.S. Supreme Court exterior
Brittany Hogan / flickr

Bill aims to protect abortion rights on the chance Roe v. Wade  is overturned.

With Democrats in firm control of the Illinois General Assembly, abortion rights might seem to be safe in the state. But what would happen if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal across the country in 1973?

Sen. Don Harmon and Democrats
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It’s been two years since Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his Republican “Turnaround Agenda.” On Wednesday, a group of rank-and-file Democratic legislators responded with their own “Comeback Agenda.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says Gov. Bruce Rauner is making “false statements” about the speaker’s position on selling a state building in Chicago.

On Tuesday, Rauner repeatedly declined opportunities to refute Madigan’s allegations.

Interstate 55
Marc Buehler / flickr.com/marc_buehler (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Gov. Bruce Rauner was in the Chicago Suburbs Monday pushing to add toll lanes to Interstate 55. He also took the opportunity to attack Illinois Democrats.

State Week: Budget Battles Continue In Courts

Mar 24, 2017

It seems there more budget action in Illinois courts than in the Statehouse. After getting just one paycheck since last summer, state legislators are finally getting paid.

Grand Bargain GOP
senators via ILGA.gov / Rauner by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Republican senators working with Gov. Bruce Rauner began breaking off pieces of the "grand bargain," which Democrats say undermines efforts to move toward a compromise budget. Meanwhile, what had been a bipartisan selection process for Illinois' U.S. attorneys is changing, with senior Republican Congressman John Shimkus saying he's waiting for the Trump administration to advise him on how to proceed.

NPR Illinois

As Illinois remains mired in gridlock and nearing two years without a full budget, voters are pinning the blame on state leaders.

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