Governor Pat Quinn has finally named his running mate. It's a once-notable Illinois politician who's been out-of-state for the past decade.
It was widely assumed that Quinn, like his Republican opponents, would choose a woman, a minority, or someone from downstate - to be his candidate for lieutenant governor. Conventional, political wisdom says that would have been his ticket to winning over a new voting bloc.
The city of Chicago had a setback in Springfield Thursday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing to increase prison sentences for people convicted of gun crimes. But on the last day of the Illinois legislature's fall veto session, a group of African-American legislators used a parliamentary maneuver to block him.
Such tactics are not uncommon in politics — but this was a rare example of Illinois Democrats pulling a fast one on members of their own party.
The problem of violence that plagues parts of Chicago is national news.
Though he was originally in Springfield to give the General Assembly's customary daily prayer, Rev. Jesse Jackson became part of an effort by African American legislators to denounce legislation that would require a mandatory minimum prison sentence for certain gun crimes.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he has not visited since his son reported to federal prison late last month.
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is serving two-and-a-half years in a North Carolina penitentiary. He was convicted of corruption for spending $750,000 of his campaign fund on personal spoils.
"Well his health has been recovering and that has been, as father, the most important thing to me. He has been diligent in doing his work. And I have nothing further to say about that," Rev. Jackson said at the Capitol Thursday (11/7).
Gov. Pat Quinn says he's planning to sign same-sex marriage legislation on Nov. 20 in Chicago. The governor announced Thursday that he will sign the bill at the University of Illinois at Chicago in a 3:30 p.m. ceremony. The Legislature passed the measure Tuesday.
Illinois legislators wrapped up their two-week veto session this afternoon (Nov. 7), though they may be back in Springfield before the year's end.
The General Assembly knocked one, big item off its to-do list: same-sex marriage. After intense lobbying on both sides, lawmakers on Tuesday sent the governor a measure that will allow gays and lesbians to marry.
The rest of the major issues on the General Assembly's agenda remain:
-a tax package crafted to ensure Archer Daniels Midland keeps its headquarters in Illinois is on hold
An Urbana lawmaker says her late son would be proud that she returned to the Capitol to vote for same-sex marriage in his last hours. Garret Jakobsson, the 46-year-old son of Democratic state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, died Tuesday evening after suffering from Pick's Disease. He had been in hospice care.
Jakobsson rushed back to Springfield Tuesday afternoon to vote for the same-sex marriage bill, which she had co-sponsored. It ultimately passed the House with one vote to spare.
A Senate panel has approved legislation that would give tax incentives to two of Illinois biggest corporations — Office Depot and Archer Daniels Midland.
ADM says it's moving its head office from Decatur to a larger city.
Chicago is thought to top the list of alternatives, but the company has also checked out Minneapolis and Atlanta. That said, ADM executive Gregory Webb told senators the company would prefer to stay in Illinois.
Sponsors of the same-sex marriage bill - Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake), Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy ( (D-Chicago) - approved by the General Assembly on Tuesday hand-deliver it to Gov. Pat Quinn (far left) in his ceremonial office at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
Gay and lesbian couples may not have to wait until June to marry in Illinois. A lawmaker is moving to accelerate when same-sex marriage becomes legal.
Already, same-sex couples are hurrying to take advantage of the marriage legislation approved on Tuesday. That very night, Rep. Sam Yingling, a Lake County Democrat who's openly gay, got engaged. "Well, we don't have a date yet, but I will certainly let you know when we do," he said.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's prepared to pass a ``meaningful'' pension reform bill, and he hopes it will happen before the end of the year.
The Chicago Democrat says legislative leaders are waiting for actuaries to crunch numbers on some proposals they're considering. Once they have the information he hopes lawmakers can return to Springfield and approve a bill.
Politically connected Illinois businessman William Cellini has been released from federal prison. A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons says the Republican insider snagged in the corruption scandal involving former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was released from the federal lockup in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 31.
The same-sex marriage legislation approved yesterday, Nov. 5, by the Illinois General Assembly will become law by the end of the month.
Gov. Pat Quinn hosted a party last night at the executive mansion in Springfield to celebrate. The festivities morphed into an engagement party when one of a handful of openly gay legislators, Rep. Sam Yingling, D - Grayslake, proposed to his partner.
Director of Illinois' Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity testifies at the House revenue committee about tax incentive options offered to companies looking to locate to Illinois, or threatening to leave the state.
State legislators are advancing a measure that attempts to lure chemical plant jobs to Illinois, but broader plans to offer companies like ADM incentives are not ready just yet.
Archer Daniels Midland is the highest-profile case of a company looking for a tax break from the state, in exchange for creating jobs. In ADM's case, the company is looking to move its global headquarters from Decatur to ... maybe Chicago, maybe a city in another state.
Same-sex marriage will soon be legal in Illinois. The House narrowly approved legislation Tuesday, and Governor Pat Quinn says he'll sign it into law.
The vote came after months of intense lobbying, in which both sides claimed they were fighting for individual freedom.
It's been a busy year for people who care about same-sex marriage in Illinois. Supporters had an early victory on Valentine's Day, when the state Senate approved what backers call "marriage equality" legislation.
The new head of the Illinois Municipal League wants lawmakers to remain committed to a pension overhaul. Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg was recently named president of the organization. Lindberg says the group has not put its support behind any one plan, but is paying attention to work being done by the bipartisan pension panel.
An audit finds the agency that keeps track of all of Illinois state property does a poor job. Auditor General William Holland's review Thursday shows the Department of Central Management Services' inventory includes only a fraction of what the state controls. The review says the department has made little progress in developing a computerized list.
Two state senators say partisan bickering over the state's budget should be set aside for the sake of Illinois residents.
Park Ridge Democrat Dan Kotowski and McHenry Republican Pam Althoff touted the results of a survey of Illinois residents at a Tuesday news conference in Chicago.
Kotowski says both Democrats and Republicans want many of the same things out of the state's budget. That includes more of the state's budget being put toward growing businesses, ensuring public safety and improving infrastructure.
Credit Darrell Hoemann/ Midwest Center For Investigative Reporting
The future of SNAP, the program which funds what are commonly referred to as food stamps, is up for debate as Congress attempts to authorize a new Farm Bill. An increase passed by Congress in 2009 to food stamps expires at the end of the month.
Food pantries and homeless shelters say they're beginning to notice repercussions of a reduction in food stamps that will take effect Fri., Nov. 1. A temporary hike in benefits that kicked as a result of the recession expires this week.
Individuals enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could see their benefits cut by $11 a month. A family of four could see a decrease of $36.
Union workers are still fighting for raises they were owed starting in 2011, but have never been paid. A court has ruled in their favor, but the Illinois legislature is still debating whether to make good.
To finally settle the pay raise issue, lawmakers would have to come up with about $100 million.