Illinois Democrats

Brian Mackey

Illinois Democrats say they're in an "epic" struggle with the state's new Republican governor. The party met in Springfield Thursday for its annual fundraising breakfast and State Fair rally.

Illinois is officially without a state budget -- the deadline to pass one came and went any movement toward a compromise. Lawmakers are poised to vote on a temporary version Wednesday.

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield Tuesday, leaving them one last day to get a budget deal in order. This year's spending plan expires at midnight on June 30. Not only is there no long-term agreement, there's no sign of a provisional one either.

Illinois begins the fiscal year without a new budget. Governor Bruce Rauner revised his plan. He's now offering Chicago and other municipalities some pension relief.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed the bulk of a proposed new state budget. Only funding for schools is safe.

Rauner says he had to do it because the plan approved by Democrats is out of balance and, thus, unconstitutional.

But that means Illinois in will have almost no spending authority when the new fiscal year begins next Wednesday, July 1.

 Democrats are accusing Governor Bruce Rauner of "dodging" questions about how much his top staff are making. Just how much Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is costing taxpayers was supposed to be the subject of a hearing, called by House Revenue Chairman John Bradley.

But when he asked repeatedly "is there anyone from the governor's office here to testify?" there was silence.

No one from the governor's office showed. That's a breach of legislative decorum that's virtually unheard of.

The Illinois House met in Springfield Thursday for an unusual June session. Democrats took a series of votes on changes to the workers’ compensation system.

Illinois just enacted a big, bipartisan overhaul of workers’ comp a few years ago. But Gov. Bruce Rauner says costs are still too high, and that more changes are needed.

Illinois leaders have another month to settle on a new budget plan, but given their failure to reach a deal by Sunday's initial deadline, Gov. Bruce Rauner says he must take immediate steps to manage state spending.

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.

Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker died early Wednesday at his home in Calfiornia.   He was 92.  His son confirmed the news to the Associated Press.

Walker served only one term as governor, from 1973-1977.  But he left his mark on Illinois politics.  His decision to walk the state in 1971 lifted him to the Democratic nomination.  But he battled with his own party, including the Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. The infighting led to his defeat in the next primary and set the stage for Republicans to control the Governor's Mansion for a quarter century. 

  Environmental activists hoping to curb hydraulic fracturing in Illinois crashed a breakfast held for Democratic party organizers in Springfield Wednesday. They want to stop natural gas extraction in the state before it starts.


"Drought! Pollution! Earthquake! Fracking is a big mistake!"

Even as states like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin are known as political battlegrounds and bellwethers, Illinois has the reputation for being a solid "blue" state. Illinois sends double as many Democrats to Washington as it does Congressional Republicans. The state legislature tips heavily in favor of Democrats, who hold veto-proof majorities. And it has been more than a decade since a Republican last sat in Illinois' governor's seat.

Funeral services are set for former area state lawmaker Mike Smith. The 48-year-old Democrat died Saturday morning at his home of a suspected heart attack. Visitation is Wednesday from three to seven at Oak-Hines Funeral Home in Canton.  The funeral is set for Thursday at 10 at the funeral home.  

Progressives and conservatives alike should be outraged at the bipartisan stonewalling and slights that last week culminated in the Illinois Green Party having to file a federal lawsuit about ballot access.

Former Democratic Senator Alan Dixon Dies At 86

Jul 7, 2014

Former U.S. Senator Alan Dixon died Sunday, just shy of his 87th birthday.  His political career ended in 1992 when he lost a Democratic primary to Carol Moseley Braun.

In an interview recorded a couple of years ago, Dixon says a neighbor, who was the Democratic Party Chairman of Belleville, took him under his wing. He helped Dixon land his first elected office, as the local police magistrate.

From there, Dixon didn't stop, for decades.

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