A bill to legalize gay marriage in Illinois will be waiting for lawmakers when they head back to Springfield next month. The bill already passed the State Senate - but is stuck in the House. Now, proponents are in the midst of a lobbying campaign targeted at an unlikely group of lawmakers: House Republicans. But as WBEZ’s Alex Keefe reports, there are big hurdles to getting GOP representatives to vote yes:
State Rep. Jim Durkin is officially beginning his tenure as Republican leader in the Illinois House. The Western Springs lawmaker was elected to the post last month but officially takes the reins Monday. His predecessor, state Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, stepped down to run for state treasurer. Cross held the position for a decade.
Many of Illinois' top Democrats met in Springfield Sunday to pick a slate of statewide candidates. Although several politicians had considered challenging Gov. Pat Quinn in next year's primary, they all backed off by the time of Sunday's meeting.
From the tone at Sunday's meeting, you'd never know a week before, Quinn was facing a tough primary fight. But then Bill Daley dropped out.
You'd also never know Quinn has spent months berating state lawmakers over guns and pensions.
You'd never know it because Quinn was unanimously endorsed for re-election.
A Cook County Circuit Court judge says he will rule next month on a lawsuit challenging Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to halt lawmaker pay until they address Illinois' pension crisis. Judge Neil Cohen said Wednesday he would issue his decision by Sept. 26. But on Friday, Cohen said he'll rule no later than Oct. 3. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued Quinn after the governor used his line-item veto to cut money for legislator salaries from the state budget. The legislative leaders say Quinn's action is unconstitutional.
The U.S. Marshals service is suspending a high-profile auction of clothing and memorabilia belonging to convicted former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. because of questions about the authenticity of some items. The agency said Friday that it was scrapping the online auction because of questions about a guitar purportedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen. The service says it will ``conduct a secondary review'' of the items out of ``an abundance of caution.''
This week's topics include Bill Daley's decision to drop out of the Democratic Primary for Illinois Governor, legal arguments over Governor Quinn's suspension of lawmakers' pay, and debate before the Illinois Supreme Court on the legality of changing retirees' health care.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks at a previous meeting of leading Democrats - the party's county chairmen - in Springfield this summer. Durbin, who's running for re-election, is expected to attend Sunday's meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee in Springfield. He faces no primary challenge.
Illinois' leading Democrats will meet in Springfield on Sunday. They're supposed to decide endorse candidates for next year's primary election ... even though there are no longer any competitive races.
Democrats have rarely slated candidates in recent years.
But this time - with incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn facing a primary challenge from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley - the state party was going to consider picking a favorite.
Not anymore. Daley's no longer in the running. He dropped out. Leaving Quinn without a serious challenge.
A suburban Chicago Republican running for Illinois treasurer says he has the best qualifications for the job as an accountant and county auditor.
Bob Grogan of Downers Grove is the only 2014 opponent so far to House Republican Leader Tom Cross. Grogan says he knows he doesn't have the name recognition that Cross does, but he's spent years straightening out public finances and wants to do the same for the state. Grogan is a certified public accountant who worked for a downtown Chicago firm. He's since been twice elected auditor of DuPage County.
Retired state workers who collect pensions in Illinois started paying health insurance premiums this summer. That's because of a change in the law last year — previously health insurance was free for anyone who retired with at least 20 years of service.
A number of retirees sued over the change. The case was argued Wednesday before the Illinois Supreme Court.
A few months ago, Illinois began collecting one percent of pension income from retirees who are eligible for Medicare, two percent from those who aren't.
A Cook County Circuit Court judge says he will rule next week on a lawsuit over Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to halt lawmakers' pay. Judge Neil Cohen held oral arguments Wednesday. He said he'll issue his decision by Sept. 26.
Quinn used his line-item veto to cut money for legislators' salaries from the state budget because they hadn't fixed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying Quinn's actions were unconstitutional. They asked Cohen to order Comptroller
On Thursday morning, a unique barn near Carrollton will begin a trip to a new location where it will be preserved for decades to come. The plan to move the Fry Octagonal Barn, rather than see it torn down, is the result of cooperation between the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Illinois' attempts to remove ineligible people from the state's Medicaid rolls are on hold, as Illinois and its largest public employees' union fight over who should actually do the scrubbing. The state says it will appeal a ruling that says it has to cancel its $77 million dollar contract with an outside firm.
Big changes are ahead for Medicaid, the state's health insurance program for the poor. Hundreds of thousands of residents are expected to be added to the rolls under the federal health care law.
But first, Illinois wants to remove people who are ineligible.
A labor coalition wants Illinois' pollution control board to waive pollution controls at coal-fired plants being sold by Ameren Corp. The AFL-CIO made its position known at the Illinois Pollution Control Board meeting in Springfield on Tuesday. The AFL-CIO says that move by the board would provide certainty to employers and communities in central and southern Illinois. But environmental groups say pollution upgrades are needed.
Republican state Sen. Bill Brady is naming former Long Grove Mayor Maria Rodriguez as his gubernatorial running mate. The Bloomington businessman and 2010 GOP nominee for governor made the formal announcement Tuesday at an event at the Union League Club in Chicago.
Bill Daley attended a Democratic County Chairmen Association breakfast this summer during his brief campaign for governor. Following his speech, Daley said that if Democrats again nominate Gov. Pat Quinn, Republicans will win in the general election.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan beat her last opponent by more than a million votes. Her decision to run for re-election next year scared away most of the people who'd been eyeing her job. But at least one Republican is throwing his hat in the ring.
The architect of the Illinois Capitol is swinging back at Governor Pat Quinn's accusations that he's responsible for controversial purchases, like $670-thousand dollar copper doors for the Statehouse.
Construction crews spent years renovating the state Capitol's west wing, but its unveiling has been tarnished by reports of what the rehab included, like doors that are as expensive as a large home and chandeliers that rang up to $320,000.
This week's topics include Democratic Party choices for endorsement of a Governor candidate, Secretary of State Jesse White announces he'll seek re-election, and the controversy over Capitol Building renovations continues.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says she's hitting the road to announce her candidacy for re-election. Topinka put out a schedule Thursday detailing stops across Illinois. Her trip starts Sunday in Chicago and ends Tuesday in Marion in southern Illinois. In between she'll make stops in Rockford, Moline, Peoria, Quincy, Springfield, Edwardsville and Mount Vernon. Topinka says in the announcement that she's running for re-election ``to fight against the ill-advised spending and reckless borrowing that has decimated state finances.''
Members of a board overseeing renovations to the state Capitol are defending decisions to include ornate features that have raised eyebrows.
The four-person board says the inclusion of copper-plated doors and chandeliers was "a mere fraction of the work being done.'' They say the $50 million renovation was mostly about safety and followed all budget and procedural requirements.
Three sets of copper doors each cost $223,000 and the chandeliers cost $80,000. Gov. Pat Quinn has halted funding for future renovations until a review of the expenditures.
The Democratic Party of Illinois says it'll meet later this month to consider slating statewide candidates in next year's election. But at least one of those candidates thinks its a bad idea.
It's been rare for the state Democratic Party to get involved in recent primary elections. That makes the announcement of the meeting something of a surprise.
Democratic Party chairman Mike Madigan — you may also know him as speaker of the Illinois House — says the meeting will give the candidates an opportunity to "convey the strengths they bring to the ticket."
Illinois' old law banning the concealed carry of firearms took another hit Thursday. A federal court already found it unconstitutional last year. Now the Illinois Supreme Court has taken the same position.
Alberto Aguilar was 17 when Chicago police arrested him for having a loaded handgun with the serial number scratched off.
He was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm and sentenced to 24 months probation.
Illinois’ capitol was designed in the late 1800s. Critics are upset about the money spent restoring the statehouse to what architect J. Richard Alsop III calls its “period of historic significance,” with fixtures like this statue of a maiden – which cost approximately $40,000.
The Governor says he's put a hold on future renovations of Illinois' Statehouse, a move his challenger calls too little, too late.
The fuss over how much money the state has spent redoing the west wing of the Illinois Capitol continues to brew. Some of the $50 million dollar project was done to fix ventilation issues and bring the building up to fire code, but $323,000 paid for gargantuan chandeliers created to look like antiques, and nearly $700,000 was spent on a set of copper doors.