Statehouse

Amanda Vinicky

As the state budget impasse has entered an eleventh month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he's hopeful a "grand bargain" can be worked out by the end of May; but he's leaving the bargaining to others.

Groups of legislators have been meeting in private, attempting to hammer out compromises. "I think the good news is they're talking about very significant reforms, I've been told," he said Monday. He's been told.

Rauner says he's not directly involved in talks.

But he's the governor.

After a dearth of redistricting opportunities, there's a chance Illinois voters could be faced with several options in the November election.

flickr/emilydickinsonridesabmx

The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is already a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site. Now, there's an effort to elevate the status of an area running through Collinsville Illinois to a National Monument.

For a couple of years, the National Park Service has surveyed the St. Louis area Cahokia Mounds.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's mission of modernizing Illinois government continues. At issue this time is a hearings process he says is outdated and overburdened.

The state gets roughly 100, 000 requests for administrative hearings each year.

"Administrative law is the body of law that regulates the operation and procedure of government agencies," says Sadzi Olivia, the chief administrative law judge for the Dept. of Children and Family Services.

If it sounds bureaucratic, that's because it is.

LinkedIn

  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is set to get a new leader in July.

When it opened in 2004, the presidential museum was touted as a world-class complex, and a tourist-luring gem for Springfield.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced in a hush-money scandal and admitted to molesting children; Governor Bruce Rauner said he hopes for a 2-year budget deal with legislative leaders by the end of May; and the governor insists contact negotiations with AFSCME are at an impass.  Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald joins the panel.

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A youthful mistake could be a burden for life, according to a study released Thursday by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

flickr/ Jim Bowen

Looking beyond our state’s borders and into Illinois’ past for a playbook to end the current budget standoff. 

Illinois business leaders say the state could significantly grow jobs related to math and science if it can develop the workforce needed to do those jobs.

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said he's hopeful he and Democratic lawmakers can reach a two-year budget deal by the end of next month. The state's already gone 10 months without a budget and that's crippled higher education and human services.

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, chairs the Asian-American caucus.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Members of a tax policy group based in Washington D.C., came to Springfield Tuesday to oppose two pieces of legislation that would change Illinois' income tax from a flat rate to rates based on how much a taxpayer earns. The change would depend on lawmakers passing a proposed amendment to the state's constitution and voters approving it in the fall.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Child protection investigators in Illinois can now get hands-on training in the state's capitol.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

The Illinois legislature sent a measure to the governor Friday giving $600 million to community colleges and public universities the first state funding they've seen in almost 10 months. It was a bi-partisan effort to push short-term spending by rank-and-file members frustrated by the budget impasse.

As one statehouse reporter put it, the main headline from this week is "Something finally happens in Springfield." Democrats and Republicans came together to pass stop-gap funding for higher education in Illinois.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Members of the Illinois House spent Thursday evening congratulating themselves thinking they were minutes from passing a bipartisan measure sending 600 million dollars in emergency funding to the state community colleges and public universities. But, the vote never happened.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Illinois colleges and universities have cut staff, eliminated programs and threatened to close … all because they've gone 9 months without money from state government. As people rallied in Springfield Wednesday to push for state cash, there was news of more possible layoffs.

Flickr user: TaxCredits.net

Illinois is one of only eight states with a flat income tax. The reasons can be traced to the state’s first-ever successful attempt at putting an income tax in place.  

An effort to change the current tax structure is underway, but supporters face a fast-approaching deadline.  

Harrison Chancy and Joseph Hurst
Illinois Department of Corrections

A Sangamon County judge has declined to give a group of Illinois prisoners a new parole hearing — at least for now.

The case has to do with a formal process for assessing how much of a risk certain prisoners pose. The Department of Corrections was supposed to have this risk-assessment tool in place by 2013. But three years later, it’s just now beginning to roll it out.

A pair of the state’s longest serving inmates have sued over the delays.

flickr/picturesofmoney

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House. 

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools.

BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

A measure to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana passed the Illinois Senate Tuesday.

Gov. Pat Quinn
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois' Auditor General Frank Mautino said millions of dollars meant for state anti-violence programs are unaccounted for. Gov. Bruce Rauner 's administration said the problem happened under former Gov. Pat Quinn and the state plans to recover the money.

Illinois colleges and universities have gone without state money since last summer.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, spoke about Medicaid on public television’s Illinois Lawmakers: “Boiling it down in more simple terms … who are the people that are eligible? How much of it will they get? How often will they get it?
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan wants to change the state constitution so it requires the state to foot the bill for the majority of school funding. House Republicans pushed back some at a Monday hearing over the potential cost.

Rachel Otwell

It's now close to a year since Illinois had a budget in place. The impasse has led to increased attention for what many consider a financial crisis. On Sunday, comptroller Leslie Munger announced pay for the legislature and its constitutional officers will be delayed, as have many payments for vendors and service-providers . The amount of unpaid bills is nearing $8 billion. Meanwhile, some members of the legislature are trying to pass a measure that would cease their pay as well - and make it contingent on passing a "balanced budget."

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois legislators should expect a delay in their paychecks.

Comptroller Leslie Munger announced Sunday that elected officials' pay will wait in line, just like other bills.

Vendors and agencies that perform work for the state are waiting months to be paid. Until now, officials' paychecks were essentially given preferential treatment.

With a handful of Constitutional officers and 177 state legislators, the paychecks collectively total $1.3 million a month, or $15.6 for the year.

Illinois legislators should expect a delay in their paychecks.

Comptroller Leslie Munger announced yesterday  that elected officials' pay will wait in line, just like other bills. Vendors and agencies that perform work for the state are waiting months to be paid.

With a handful of Constitutional officers and 177 state legislators ... the paychecks total one point three million dollars a month.

flickr/jmorgan

All Illinois residents -- no matter how rich, no matter how poor -- pay the same income tax rate. Now a plan is afoot to change that, with a constitutional amendment, and to have the wealthy pay more.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

An Illinois lawmaker want teenagers accused of murder to have a lawyer present when questioned by law enforcement. 

After months without meeting, the governor and legislative leaders gathered behind closed doors this week, with apparently no progress toward a budget agreement. Speculation continues the Attorney General might go to court to stop state workers from being paid without an appropriation. Some believe such a move could force the governor and leaders to reach a deal. Others aren't so sure.  The State Journal-Register's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Matt Turner/flickr

An Illinois House committee has approved a call for moving state government jobs to the Springfield area.  But its only a resolution and doesn't force that action.    

The sponsor, Republican Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez of Leland Grove,  says moving the jobs to the area would cut costs for the state and lead to more efficiency while also boosting the local economy.  

Pages