Mark Batinick

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.

Rep. Anna Moeller
Rep. Anna Moeller

Legislation passed out of the House Wednesday is meant to help close the gender wage gap in the state.

After a House vote of 91-24, the Equal Pay Act amendment will now be considered in the Senate as SB 981, under the sponsorship of Sen.  Daniel Biss, a Democrat from Evanston. 

Democratic Rep. Anna Moeller of Elgin, who sponsored House Bill 2462, says that while she expected the House to pass the bill, she was surprised by the number of yes votes.

“It just shows that this is an issue that is important to women in Illinois and families in Illinois,” she said. 

Statehouse exit sign
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

It’s been 10 months since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s last attempt at a pension overhaul. Legislators have yet to decide what to do about Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension debt, but they are beginning to weigh their options.

Flickr user: Dean Hochman

Lawmakers return to Springfield with some new ideas, but the unfinished business of 2015 will likely overshadow other topics in the second year of the legislative session. 


A Chicago-area lawmaker has been pushing for a measure that would allow the city's mayor to be recalled. Now come efforts to take it a step further.

Illinois allows recall of elected officials -- or one of them anyway. It's a cumbersome process that only applies to the governor. Voters approved that in 2010 after the Rod Blagojevich scandal.

New proposals include one that would only apply to Chicago's mayor. A lawmaker introduced it following an uproar over Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handling of the delayed video release of a black teen repeatedly shot by a police officer.

ILGA.gov

Illinois lawmakers are increasingly trying to make it easier for residents to be involved in politics -- there'll be a hearing Tuesday in Chicago on automatic voter registration. A separate proposal that goes in the opposite direction. But its sponsor says it's for good reason.

Illinois' next election isn't until March, but you can go ahead right now and register to vote in it. More the procrastinating type? A new state law says you can now also register right up until, and on, the day of the election, at any precinct.

IPR

There is a lot of repetition going on at the state capitol these days.  And it has a political purpose.

flickr/dborman

As Illinois' $36-billion budget remains in limbo, the state's top political leaders have been focusing on a much smaller number: roughly $250,000 in spending. That's roughly how much Illinois is set to spend this year paying legislators a raise. Republicans and Democrats both say the focus over pay is a distraction, while at the same time denouncing each other for enabling what they claim to be excessive salaries.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Your favorite TV show might be interrupted with a pointed message purchased by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, though  the governor is refusing to say whether he's going to buy TV time to promote his agenda as he battles with the legislature's Democratic leaders.