On a freezing February day in 2007, President Barack Obama announced his bid for the nation's highest office in front of the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield -- the place where Abraham Lincoln gave his historic "House Divided" speech. At the time, Obama called for hope and change.
Nine years later -- to the very day -- Obama came back to Springfield. In his last year as president, he says he believes in the "politics of hope."
Changing how Illinois funds its schools is Senate President John Cullerton's top priority as a new legislative session gets underway. Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, says Illinois shouldn't fund schools at all next year until it comes with a more equitable way to do it. John Cullerton says the way Illinois funds schools "crushes dreams" and "stifles growth."
Illinois residents will hear from their Governor Wednesday when Bruce Rauner gives his annual state of the state address. It comes at a difficult time in Illinois government: For nearly eight months there has been no budget.
Social service agencies that depend on state funding are closing programs, the backlog of unpaid bills is piling up, and some public universities are moving forward with layoffs.
In a tight election, sometimes something as minor as where a name falls on the ballot can make a difference. The order for presidential candidates in Illinois has been determined as long as they all actually remain on the ballot.
The rift between Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated. Friday morning Rauner announced he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse.
Some 36,000 state employees in Illinois are represented by AFSCME, which is the state's largest public employee union. The organization has been negotiating a new contract with the state, but the union said Friday that Governor Bruce Rauner has walked away from contract talks.
Come Friday, when the New Year begins, 237 new laws will be in effect in Illinois – about half of those that passed during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first term. But the state is still without a budget as Rauner and lawmakers fight over a handful more.