WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois Statehouse Bureau Chief

Ways to Connect

 Gov. Bruce Rauner says he supports one of Illinois' top industries: Agriculture. But critics say a recent plan goes against his own assertion that he's a “strong advocate” for it.

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday said the state does not have to pay unionized employees what it says in their contracts, unless legislators specifically appropriate the money.

Illinois’ Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing to decide if Governor Bruce Rauner and the state’s largest public employees union have reached an impasse.


By the end of next week, Illinois will have gone a full nine months without a budget. And yet, the state's top politicians still aren't talking. The governor and the four legislative leaders went all of June through November without meeting, before finally getting together a couple of times just before the end of 2015. They didn't continue into the new year.


Gardeners would lose a weapon against insects under a measure recently introduced in the Illinois legislature.

The Republican nominee for president will have Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's support, no matter who he is.

Back when Rauner was running for governor, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was often in Illinois, helping him campaign.

Rauner didn't return the favor when Christie tried to win the White House.

  A majority of Illinois voters do not believe that Illinois is headed in the right direction. That's according to a new poll, from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Higher education continues to be caught in Illinois lawmakers' political crossfire.

A crisis management team has been formed to help Chicago State University navigate budgetary peril. State higher education leaders are working to prevent CSU from closing, after eight months of waiting on state funding.

All of Chicago State University’s 900 employees are on notice – they’ll lose their jobs if the governor and lawmakers don’t come through with cash.

The vitriol and finger-pointing over the gridlock in state government has amplified. University leaders are trying to keep their distance, even as they fight for funding.

Rich Egger

Low-income college students who were promised state help paying for their tuition will continue to go without it. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has followed through on his pledge to reject funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

A tight contest for the Presidential nomination and competitive races for seats in the General Assembly could make for a gripping primary in Illinois next month. Deadlines loom if you plan to be a part of it.

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."

The Illinois Senate President is encouraging Governor Bruce Rauner to rethink his priorities on student aid legislation, but the governor was quick to repeat his promise of a veto.

Senate President John Cullerton says he'll hold onto legislation for a couple of weeks, to give the governor time to "cool off," then he'll send it to Rauner for action.

Brian Mackey

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner used his State of the State address Wednesday to say he wants to bring competitive balance back to Illinois.

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."

 Gov. Bruce Rauner will give his second annual State of the State address at noon Wednesday. After a year of stalemate, he's expected to make some effort to bridge a bipartisan divide.

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.

A new pension plan introduced Thursday by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner as a bipartisan deal immediately crashed and burned. 

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.

afscme31.org

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.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is marking his one-year anniversary in office. 

Rauner campaigned on a promise to shake-up Springfield. And on that account, at least, he has succeeded.

Illinois' in the midst of a historic budget impasse -- with no signs of coming to an end.

Critics, including Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, lay the blame on the governor.

Brian Mackey

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.

A total of 23 Illinois counties are under state disaster status due to flooding. Gov. Bruce Rauner added 11 to that list Tuesday.

A month ahead of the the Iowa caucuses, presidential contenders can officially file to run in neighboring Illinois. 

Five Republicans got their petitions in early Monday, with at least 3,000 signatures each.

The Illinois Republican Party's attorney John Fogarty says the popular vote for president is known here as the "beauty contest."

That's because who Illinois GOP primary voters pick as delegates -- who are listed on the ballot as supporters of a particular candidate -- is where the race is really won.

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.

Black legislators say Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn’t done enough in the wake of the release of police shootings of LaQuan McDonald and other African Americans.

When asked by reporters, Gov. Rauner said he cried after watching the 2014 video of black Chicago teenager LaQuan McDonald getting shot 16 times by a city cop.

“That video — shocking, terrifying. I cried for the young man who was brutally shot," he said.

In recent days officers responding to a call killed two other black Chicagoans.

  Even with all of its fiscal troubles Illinois will have to put nearly $8 billion into its retirement systems next year -- that's a quarter of the state's expected revenue. Legislative leaders and the governor may finally be poised to begin talking about how they may be able to reduce costs.

Rich Egger

Money can now be released in Illinois to local governments and community organizations that have been waiting for state funding since July. The Senate was in Springfield briefly Monday to approve the funding; within hours the governor had signed the plan into law.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is rebuffing a bid by the White House to assuage concerns over Syrian refugees.

Rauner's one of some 30 governors nationwide who've said no to taking in people fleeing war-ravaged Syria. Rauner, a Republican, cited security concerns following the terror attacks in Paris. "What matters is a coordinated, cooperative, highly communicative effort at a national scale to protect the people of America against terrorists," he said in November.

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