Statehouse

Several of the races in this week's primary election were widely seen as a referendum on Gov. Bruce Rauner. In the two highest-profile races, the governor neither protected an ally nor vanquished a foe.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Illinois senators voted along party lines Thursday on legislation that would spend $3.8 billion dollars to fund higher education and human services.

Trump and Rauner
Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

With victories Tuesday in Illinois and elsewhere, Donald Trump is continuing his march toward the Republican presidential nomination. Those contemplating what a Trump presidency would look like might consider Illinois' ongoing case study in the promise and perils of the businessman-turned-politician.

Statehouse exit sign
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois' primary may be over, but the friction between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan is not. Nor is their divide over the path forward.

Madigan's viewing the primary results as a sort of vindication, as though the contests were a referendum on Rauner's pro-business, anti-union agenda, and voters rejected it.

The Speaker points to two races as proof: his own, in which he fended off a candidate whom Madigan says was supported by "those aligned with the governor’s belief in how government should be run."

Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, who is running for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's seat, sharpened her attacks against the Republican a day after winning the Democratic primary.

Hillary Clinton eked out a win in the state where she was born and raised, Donald Trump prevailed despite lackluster support from most of the state's GOP leaders, voters finalized who'll compete to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate, and a couple dozen state legislative contests were decided Tuesday night in Illinois' primary election.

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The stakes are high for candidates Tuesday in Illinois. Races are expected to be tight from the presidential nominations right down to state legislative contests. Even if you've moved or haven't yet registered to vote, there's still time.

Illinois politicians have themselves voted in recent years, to make it easier for Illinois residents to vote them in (or out) of office.

This is the first time voters statewide can take advantage of being able to register on election day.

Macon County

Illinois' primary contest is rapidly approaching, which is why NPR Illinois is bringing you this Illinois Edition pre-primary special (which aired Wed., March 9). 

This election cycle is wild, and not just at the top of the ticket --- though Illinois has already seen presidential candidates including Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump stop by.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has already, presumably, cast his vote for one of the remaining Republicans --- he early voted in Arlington Heights a weekend in early March.

Amanda Vinicky

Kate Dunn, a mother of three whose oldest son does to a Springfield public school, gun violence is "a primary concern for everybody in the United States." "I feel like it's preventable. It's not necessary," she said. "It's crazy. I mean just .. every day. I hate to even look -- listen, look, watch -- every day it's something worse."Credit Adam RifeEdit | Remove

Hillary Clinton was born and raised in Illinois, and she has the confidence of the state's primary Democratic leaders, but polls show she's at risk of losing the state to Bernie Sanders. She made a final pitch to Illinois voters on the eve of Tuesday's primary, including at a town hall in Springfield.

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With the primary Tuesday, by now you've likely been inundated with campaign brochures and television commercials, at least for the big races. As much as we at public radio do our best to keep you informed, you may still feel like you don't have enough information on some of the races further down ballot.

That's where University of Chicago graduate student Aviva Rosman's company, BallotReady, comes in. It does research, to help make it easier when you get to the ballot box.

Amanda Vinicky

Presidential candidates are making final swings through Illinois ahead of Tuesday's primary. Amanda Vinicky has a roundup of the weekend campaigning, and a preview of what's still to come.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner spent his Sunday trying to give a boost to a central Illinois Republican candidate for state senate. The race is seen as a key test of Rauner's own agenda, and power within his party.

Gov. Rauner stopped by a table of folks waiting for pancakes at Charlie Parker's diner in Springfield.

He gestured to the man by his side -- Bryce Benton. He's a state trooper, and homeland security officer, Rauner told them. Vote for him on Tuesday.

"I need him in the legislature to help me battle Madigan. So. Bryce Benton for State Senate," Rauner said.

A Republican state legislative race in west-central Illinois has become a test of Governor Bruce Rauner's reach.

Back in August, the Illinois Senate took a vote on legislation Gov. Rauner called the worst he'd ever seen. The union-backed bill would allow state labor contract disputes to go to arbitration. Sen. Sam McCann was the only Republican to vote in favor of it.

He says that's the reason he's facing a primary. And not just any primary -- political action committees with ties to Rauner have spent some $2.5 million dollars against McCann.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow the governor to make unilateral budget cuts. But it could also impact the state's access to health care. 

With the election arriving next Tuesday, a handful of candidates and their "dark money" supporters were spending millions of dollars on just a handful of campaigns. Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner once again went on the attack against Democrats, and university presidents began making a more forceful case for state funding.

EIU.EDU

Higher education in Illinois has been caught in a continuing battle over the budget. 

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Illinois lawmakers are working on a budget for next year, but the state has gone nine months without a budget for this year. Governor Bruce Rauner's office made its case Wednesday before members of the Senate.

Jason Gonzales campaign website

House Speaker Michael Madigan has won the Democratic primary, and subsequent general election, nearly two dozen times -- usually sailing to victory without serious opposition. But this year there are powerful forces trying to topple him. He's facing a well-funded challenge in the March 15 primary.

Tammy Duckworth
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Illinois candidates for office will face a primary election next week. Some candidates are accusing their opponents of ducking debates.

Amanda Vinicky

Nine months into a stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget, Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday let loose on House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Amanda Vinicky

If you vote in Illinois March 15, most of the names you'll see at the top of the ticket are well-known. Others, less so.

Hillary Clinton is not the only candidate with Illinois ties running for President; Illinois Democrats next week can also cast a vote for Willie Wilson.

In Chicago, the name "Willie Wilson" may ring a bell; he finished a distant third in the city's race for mayor last year.

Now, he's aiming for the White House.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

A candidate for the Illinois House has gotten help from an unlikely, high-level political figure.

With the race for the White House and control of the U.S. Senate on the line (not to mention leading the free world) President Barack Obama surely has plenty on his mind this election cycle. Evidently, that includes a contentious, and expensive, primary race for the Illinois House.

He's voiced an ad, asking voters to support Juliana Stratton.

Statehouse exit sign
Brian Mackey/WUIS

It’s been 10 months since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s last attempt at a pension overhaul. Legislators have yet to decide what to do about Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension debt, but they are beginning to weigh their options.

Amanda Vinicky

A week from Tuesday, Illinois voters will have their chance to help determine who is the next President of the United States. Candidates are planning last minute campaign stops here.

Amanda Vinicky

It's less than two weeks before the March primary election. Illinois lawmakers in the House wanted to show voters they are working to resolve the state's financial issues. However, the House recessed Thursday until early next month.

It’s been 247 days since the state of Illinois had a budget. In that time, the nation of Iran struck a deal with America to limit its nuclear program and the United States reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba. But in Springfield there is still no peace.

Illinois Lottery

Even as Illinois scrounges for money it appears as if the state will let revenue slip away, albeit only a tiny slice of revenue. Legislators' delay also means that by the end of this month, Lottery fans won't be able to buy tickets online.

Years ago, Illinois authorized online Lottery sales --- but only on a temporary basis. That authority expires March 25.

Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Republican from Lake County,  introduced legislation to make the program permanent, "because it's a process that has done well, and it's done well for bringing money into our schools."

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

  A majority of Illinois voters do not believe that Illinois is headed in the right direction. That's according to a new poll, from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

One thousand voters were asked if they believe Illinois is on the "right track." Eighty-four percent of them answered "no." It comes as Illinois is in the midst of a historic budget impasse.

The state of Illinois hasn't funded higher education or many social services, as a budget impasse continues. House lawmakers passed legislation Thursday to partially restore that money. But the political wrangling isn't done yet.

Even as Illinois scrounges for money, it appears as if the state will let a small slice of revenue slip away.

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