Statehouse

Abraham Lincoln Museum Celebrates 4 Millionth Visitor

Feb 26, 2016
Sarah Mueller WUIS

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library hit 4 million visitors Friday. Museum staff dropped balloons and a crowd cheered as Elise Arnold, the 4-millionth visitor, and her family entered the museum. 

Sarah Mueller WUIS

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association and its 300 members, which include ESPN and Yahoo, are backing legislation that would make daily fantasy games legal in Illinois. It would also characterize the contests as games of skill.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continued stumping in favor of his school funding agenda Wednesday. He was in Springfield, touring a high school and speaking to teachers and students.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Days after vetoing a measure to help low-income college students, Gov. Bruce Rauner signaled he's open to another way of making it happen.

Rauner's reason for rejecting the Democrats' funding plan was that it would have sent Illinois deeper into debt.

But Rauner -- a Republican -- has said he'd be OK with an alternate GOP approach -- because it's paired with money to back it up. The governor's doubling down on that notion.

Creative Commons: Chris He, 2009

Journalists in Illinois have come up short trying to get information about Governor Bruce Rauner's state email. Wednedsay, the governor gave his explanation for why.

State transparency laws mean requests for emails in which Rauner had done state business should have yielded something.   

Unless, of course -- even in this age of digital everything -- there aren't any.

"I have no email. None whatsoever," Rauner says.

Gov. Rauner says an email-free existence has improved his quality of life, and increased his productivity.

Illinois Municipal League Supports Rauner Proposals

Feb 23, 2016
Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / N

Cities in Illinois want their financial ability to be a factor in labor contract negotiations. Union workers in public safety jobs can collectively bargain, but they can't strike. Disputes are settled by an objective arbitrator.

Illinois Homeless Caught In Budget Battle

Feb 23, 2016
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless advocates traveled to Springfield and urged more state funding for homeless education. Chicago Coalition for the Homeless advocates traveled to Springfield and urged more state funding for homeless education. The coaliti
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois has collected million dollars earmarked for helping the homeless. But the budget impasse means the money is continuing to sit untouched for now.

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court on Monday made television and radio coverage of court cases a permanent part of Illinois' legal landscape.

ilga.gov

The top Republican in the Illinois House says there is room to compromise with Democrats on the conservative agenda Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing. 

Illinois lawmakers are beginning to craft a new state budget even though there still isn't one eight months into this fiscal year. There's no precedent for handling this murky situation. It go go any number of ways.

One option would have politicians craft a spending plan to cover this, the 2016 fiscal year ending June 30, before moving on. "I think we've kind of blown past that deadline already," Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said Wednesday following GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget address.

WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner's attempt to spur lawmakers into action has left no clear way forward in the state's seemingly never-ending budget saga. 

WIU students demonstrating.
Rich Egger / Tri States Public Radio

Low-income college students promised state help paying for tuition will continue to go without it. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has followed through on his pledge to reject funding for the Monetary Award Program.

Gov. Rauner vetoed Democratic-backed legislation to pay for so-called "MAP grants" Friday afternoon. Students had traveled to Springfield in recent days to rally in support of the plan.

Amanda Vinicky

Anti-smoking advocates want to raise the age for buying tobacco to 21, in an attempt to dissuade teenagers from picking up the habit.

You can vote at the age of 18, join the military, and for now buy cigarettes. Legislation (SB3011)  introduced by Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago, would require young adults to wait another four years.

Governor Bruce Rauner addressed the Illinois General Assembly this week with his vision for the next fiscal year, despite still having no agreement on a spending plan for the current year.  John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel.

flickr/ Emilio Kuffer

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan for next fiscal year seeks to fix the foundation while the house is on fire.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says it's shocking and unacceptable that the state is in its eighth month without a budget. Wednesday, he laid out his vision for finally ending the political stalemate that has paralyzed state government. The Republican's language was more conciliatory, but the ideas remain the same.

Illinois government has never gone this long without a budget. The big question going into the speech was -- would the governor say anything to change the dynamic that's brought about this historic impasse?

WUIS

Listen to our broadcast of the Governor's Address with reaction from House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and Republican Leaders Rep. Jim Durkin and Sen. Christine Radogno.

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax and NPR Illinois' Amanda Vinicky join host Jak Tichenor for the broadcast:

Education may once again receive special treatment from Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. He's set to unveils his plans for the state budget later Wednesday.

Rauner is in an unprecedented position: he's required to present a plan for a new, balanced state budget when Illinois is eight months into its current fiscal year without one and is running a $6 billion deficit.

But a document from Rauner's office shows he'll again propose a windfall for pre-K through high schools.

T-shirts are sold on the first day of the September 2012 teachers’ strike.
Chicago Teachers Union

Despite unions winning a small victory Tuesday in the Illinois House, state workers' future salaries, benefits and even a potential strike remain in limbo.

A day ahead of Governor Bruce Rauner's budget address, a number of community organizations and labor unions are proposing a "People's Agenda." It's meant to be an alternative to the governor's "Turnaround Agenda."

The People's Agenda calls for higher tax rates on the wealthy and a new tax on stock trades. It would spend the money on programs like universal pre-K, ending homelessness and violence prevention.

Guadalupe Hernandez is with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. Speaking through a translator, she says the governor is too focused on a business agenda.

Dick Durbin
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have vowed to block any nominee the president might submit to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says there’s more than enough time to consider who should fill the vacancy.

higher ed funding news conference
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to deliver his budget message to the Illinois General Assembly this Wednesday. In advance of that, interest groups are lining up to plead their case for state funding. On Monday, representatives of the state’s colleges and universities made one such pitch.

Amanda Vinicky / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

A just-issued court order does away with a law that third-party candidates say makes it difficult to run for certain offices in Illinois.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

On Friday, Bernice King spoke to a group in Springfield representing the Abraham Lincoln Association - which regularly honors the president's birthday with scholarly symposiums. King was there to accept the "Spirit of Lincoln" award on behalf of her parents - Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. 

A tight contest for the Presidential nomination and competitive races for seats in the General Assembly could make for a gripping primary in Illinois next month. Deadlines loom if you plan to be a part of it.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

On Feb. 12 -- Abraham Lincoln's birthday -- officials released plans to salute another President with state ties.

Just days ago, on Wed., Feb. 10, President Barack Obama gave a major speech in Springfield, at the capitol, where he'd once served in the state Senate.

"Thank you for such a warm welcome as I come back home," he said to legislators' applause and hoots.

Dick Durbin, Barack Obama, Bruce Rauner, Jim Langfelder
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

President Barack Obama returned to Springfield to address the Illinois General Assembly this week. He's renewing the central argument of his first campaign for president: that most Americans want a less bitter, less divisive form of politics. Did his message resonate with Illinois lawmakers?

Barack Obama outside the Old State Capitol
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

On a freezing February day in 2007, President Barack Obama announced his bid for the nation's highest office in front of the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield -- the place where Abraham Lincoln gave his historic "House Divided" speech. At the time, Obama called for hope and change.

Nine years later -- to the very day -- Obama came back to Springfield. In his last year as president, he says he believes in the "politics of hope."

The themes of Obama's speech yesterday echoed what he'd said nine years ago, back when his hair hadn't yet gone gray.

Air Force One
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

Click the image to launch a slideshow of White House pool photographs by Justin L. Fowler of The State Journal-Register and Terrence Antonio James of the Chicago Tribune.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. As expected, he talked about improving American politics. What follows is Illinois Public Radio's broadcast of the full speech, hosted by Niala Boodhoo with reporting and analysis from IPR's Amanda Vinicky and Brian Mackeyand former state Sen. Rick Winkel, who's with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. There's also video of the speech and a transcript provided by the White House press office.

Pages