Illinois Lottery

More Illinois Lottery prizewinners won't be able to reap their rewards immediately. The Lottery says claims will be paid only once a budget is passed.

The Illinois Lottery website has a press release, dated Aug. 13, 2015. It quotes Homer Glen resident Rhonda Rasche, who'd won $50,000 on a Crossword ticket, exclaiming "This is amazing! I can't believe it's happening to me!"

She's still waiting on the cash, and is suing the state to get it.

Leslie Munger at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois won't make its next pension payment; Comptroller Leslie Munger Wednesday announced she can't, because the state doesn't have the cash.

Trevon Yates interrogation
MacArthur Justice Center

How do you get a 17-year-old to confess to a crime he didn’t commit? Turns out it’s not that hard.

Gov. Rauner Calls For Selling The Thompson Center In Chicago

Oct 13, 2015

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to sell the state's office space in the heart of downtown Chicago. That could mean the demise of the iconic, 1985 structure known as the Thompson Center.

Illinois lawmakers are increasingly trying to make it easier for residents to be involved in politics -- there'll be a hearing Tuesday in Chicago on automatic voter registration. A separate proposal that goes in the opposite direction. But its sponsor says it's for good reason.

Illinois' next election isn't until March, but you can go ahead right now and register to vote in it. More the procrastinating type? A new state law says you can now also register right up until, and on, the day of the election, at any precinct.

Trade Mission: Cuba

Oct 12, 2015
Rich Berning

A steady stream of American elected officials have traveled to Cuba since the two countries restored diplomatic ties over the summer.

As the budget gridlock continues, downstate Republicans are finding themselves having to balance support for the Governor with constituent concerns.

One of those lawmakers is C-D Davidsmeyer.

Amanda Vinicky

Another lawsuit over a pension law was filed this week in Illinois, this time seeking to strike a law that reduced Chicago Park District pensions. That could be significant for other local governments, and future negotiations.

When it first passed, the park district pension law was seen as a possible model for future ones, in part because it had been drafted in cooperation with SEIU, the union representing park district workers.

Rauner Names Major GOP Contributor, Others To Historic Preservation Board

Oct 9, 2015
flickr/Katherine Johnson

Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed a long-time businessman and major Republican contributor to chair of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Board of Trustees.

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is calling for legislation that would keep convicts from being labeled as felons for the remainder of their lives.

Illinois is now 100+ days without any agreement on or even negotiation towards a state spending plan.  One item on which there does seem to be agreement is a replacement for Illinois' retiring Auditor General.  Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Local health departments are responsible for everything from restaurant inspections, regulating private sewage systems and water wells and investigating disease outbreaks -- all services that are threatened, as they await for state money to come through.

Amanda Vinicky

Low-income, working parents are fighting to once again get help from the state for childcare.

Host Bernard Schoenburg (The State Journal-Register) and guests Brian Mackey (Illinois Public Radio) and Bruce Rushton (Illinois Times) discuss the consequences of the ongoing budget impasse and shutdown of state government.

Commonwealth Edison's CEO says the utility is continuing to push for changes that failed to win legislative approval in the spring.

Illinois has surpassed the 90-day mark of going without a budget. The governor on Friday signaled that number will keep rising.

Illinois' budget impasse means public universities have gone three months without any state funding. The State Museum has closed. Therapists that worked with disabled infants quit, because they weren't getting paid. The Secretary of State's office isn't going to mail out reminders about expiring license plate registration, because it can't afford the postage.

Lisa Ryan

As Illinois enters a second quarter without a budget in place, Gov. Bruce Rauner put the blame on legislators.  He made the remark Friday after a manufacturing event in Effingham.

Rauner, a Republican, says his administration will keep essential services going as the impasse continues, and warned that it could last awhile longer.

Illinois government continues limping through its partial shutdown.  This week, the Illinois State Museum was shuttered, the secretary of state announced he won’t be reminding you when to renew your license plates, and at least one state facility has had the water shut off.  Could a revolt among rank-and-file legislators break the stalemate?  Brian Mackey talks about that and more with Amanda Vinicky, Jamey Dunn of Illinois Issues, and Natasha Korecki of the Politico Illinois Playbook.

University of Illinois Public Affairs

Illinois' elementary and high schools are operating as normal; funding for education was the only spending spared from Governor Bruce Rauner's veto pen. But universities are another story. They haven't gotten a dollar from the state since July.

Collectively, Illinois' public universities educate some 200,000 students a year. Now, the campuses are "on the brink of serious operational damage."

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to close state museums and a sport-shooting complex to the public because of the budget crisis, even though most staff will still report to work. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' racing board is taking a gamble in an attempt to save the beleaguered industry. Two historic Illinois tracks will hold no races next year, a decision that could lead to their permanent closure.

Paul Kehrer via Flickr

The owners of Illinois' horse race tracks say the industry is struggling to survive, but key players diverge on how to salvage the industry. Decisions by a state board Tuesday afternoon could determine tracks' fate. The Illinois Racing Board is set to decide during a meeting in Chicago which Illinois tracks can hold horse meets, and when --- a decision that's key to the tracks' profitability.

"We look at this meeting today as probably one of the most important ones that we have ever been to," said Dick Duchoissois, chairman and owner of the Arlington Park track.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says his office will suspend mailing reminder notices on renewing motor vehicle registrations because there's still no state budget. 

Amanda Vinicky

Critics say Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is too liberal, but he's gaining in polls against presumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. On Monday, he took his campaign to Illinois.

In 1964, Sanders graduated from the University of Chicago in a ceremony at the on-campus Rockefeller chapel. Now as a U.S. Senator from Vermont, Sanders returned to students packing the pews to hear him speak.

Illinois is about to enter its fourth month without a budget. One of the state's top Democrats says the problem could be resolved within days, if the governor moved off his insistence that other laws pass first.

Illinois' budget situation remains much the same as it has been for months - no agreement between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders, court orders maintain much of state spending, many social services are going belly-up, and the future is uncertain.  In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still pushing for a property tax increase in Cook County to help solve the city's own budget woes.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel.

Illinois continues to meander through a partial government shutdown. Even so, legislators are taking a break from Springfield.

A former Illinois state representative sentenced to five months in prison for pocketing a $7,000 bribe is asking for a delay in his surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  

Derrick Smith, a 51-year-old Chicago Democrat, was sentenced in April after jurors convicted him last year of bribery and attempted extortion for accepting a bribe for supporting a day care center's application for a $50,000 state grant. The facility was fictitious and part of an FBI sting.  

Credit Flickr/aka_kath

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has accepted the resignation of the state's Agriculture Department director and the director of the state fair.  

The resignations of Phil Nelson and Patrick Buchen were announced late Thursday. The reasons for their resignations were not given. 

Amanda Vinicky

A recent agreement means that despite the budget impasse, Illinois will fund services for disabled babies. But therapists and children who rallied at the Statehouse Thursday say their worries aren't over.