statehouse

The state representative challenging Governor Bruce Rauner in next year’s Republican primary is proposing several changes to Illinois’ pension systems.

Jaclyn Driscoll

Women in the Illinois Senate plan to advance their voices in leadership with the creation of their own caucus. Women on both sides of the aisle say they’ve had a significant role in crafting policy, but may not always get the credit they deserve. 

Illinois Issues: A Master Of Compromise Exits

Sep 14, 2017
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Former Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno reflects on her tenure.

Swings in school playground
Hal Frain / Flickr (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that makes it illegal to expel toddlers from preschools.

Backers of the new law point to a study that says toddlers and other Illinois preschoolers are expelled at a rate three times greater than their older, school-age counterparts.

“I just want you to let that sink in.”

State Rep. Juliana Stratton is a Democrat from Chicago.

“When you see expulsion in early years, it leads to higher suspension and expulsion rates in later grades."

BRENT LEVIN / CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

Some lawmakers say legalizing recreational marijuana should be on the horizon for Illinois. But they admit there are still details to work out. 

The Illinois Senate took action Tuesday meant to end a two-year budget stalemate. 

After two years of no budget and under threat of “junk bond” status, Democrats finally convinced enough Republican lawmakers to break with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

What would be the state’s first full budget in years includes an unpopular income tax increase.

Dale Righter of Mattoon is the only Republican senator who was persuaded to vote for it.

Speaker Madigan Sued By Primary Opponent

Aug 8, 2016
Jason Gonzales campaign website

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's failed primary opponent is suing over what he says amounts to defamation.

Leading up to the March primary, Madigan made a campaign issue of Jason Gonzales's past criminal record --- crimes for which Gonzales had been pardoned, by former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Gonzales is also complaining about two other "false" candidates with Hispanic surnames who were on the ballot for the Democratic nomination. He says they were recruited by Madigan and his affiliates to crowd the ballot and split the Latino vote.

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

Donald Trump continues causing headaches for down-ballot Republicans. Meanwhile, state legislators are already airing TV ads, and a conservative group sues to block same-day voter registration.

Illinois Republican National Committeewoman Demetra Demonte and state party chairman Tim Schneider on the floor for the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Republican leaders are trying to show a united front, and to build a bridge between two islands: that of party mainstays and Donald Trump-invigorated newcomers.

Amanda Vincky at work in her office
CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

NPR Illinois' Amanda Vinicky has been reporting on the politics at the Statehouse for about a decade, but this past year has presented a whole new set of challenges. Her stories covering the budget stalemate have been broadcast by multiple Illinois public radio stations and occasionally across the nation. Watch what a day is like covering the capitol with Amanda Vinicky. 

The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to spend about $2 billion on roads projects for the next fiscal year that starts July 1, if there's a budget. But, the lack of a deal could kill the construction season. 

 


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Governing magazine looks at advocacy and journalism with a focus on Illinois (includes a picture of Amanda Vinicky at work in the WUIS/Illinois Issues statehouse bureau).

WUIS

As traditional news sources cut back on statehouse reporters, other outlets seek to fill the gaps in coverage.

The Pew Research Journalism Project took a look at statehouse press corps across the country. State populations are generally predictive of the size of their statehouse press corps. At the time of the survey, Illinois had 22 full-time statehouse reporters. Texas had the most at 53. South Dakota had the fewest with two.

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

This week's topics include Democratic Party choices for endorsement of a Governor candidate, Secretary of State Jesse White announces he'll seek re-election, and the controversy over Capitol Building renovations continues.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Gov. Pat Quinn has suspended funding for future renovations at the Capitol, a pricey project that's already caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois and raised questions about how it was allowed.  
The Chicago Democrat told reporters Tuesday that he's instructed his budget director to hold up appropriations for renovations that are yet to be done.  

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

This week's topics include the next Governors race and some questions about the cost of renovating the State Capitol Building.

Reps. Jim Durkin and Raymond Poe
Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Topics this week: Leadership change for Illinois House Republicans and a state lawmaker forgoes a bid for governor in the next election.

This week's guest is Kurt Erickson of Lee Enterprises.

Jim Durkin, Dwight Kay, Raymond Poe
Illinois House of Representatives

The topics on this edition of State Week in Review include Republican Tom Cross' announcement that he is stepping down from the position of House Minority Leader and raising the speed limit for Illinois interstate highways.

This week's panel consists of Sean Crawford, Charlie Wheeler, Amanda Vinicky, and Brian Mackey.

Lawmakers Will Address Concealed Carry Next Week

Jul 2, 2013

Lawmakers are being called back to Springfield to consider Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed changes on a concealed carry bill.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown said Tuesday the House
will convene in regular session July 9. Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says senators will join them. 
That's the day Illinois must meet a court-mandated deadline to legalize concealed carry.
Quinn used his amendatory veto power Tuesday to make significant changes. But the bill's sponsor intends to call for an override.
 

Governor Pat Quinn is giving legislators less than three weeks to come together on a pension overhaul. So far the formation of a rare “conference committee” is the only result of the special legislative session Quinn called to deal with the state’s pension problem.

Dana Heupel
WUIS/Illinois Issues

There are a lot more vacant offices and empty desks in the Illinois Capitol Press Room than there used to be. That may be good news for politicians and state government administrators who don’t welcome media scrutiny. It’s bad news for the rest of us.