Statehouse

Statehouse
1:22 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

$3M In Illinois Governor's Mansion Repairs Made

Credit Wikimedia/Teemu08

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Documents show that about $3 million in repairs were made to the Illinois Governor's Mansion last summer.  The State Journal-Register reports that documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the repairs included patching roof leaks that damaged walls and contributed to black mold. An emergency generator was replaced and a valve was installed to prevent recurring flooding. About another $2.8 million of repairs are pending at the Capital Development Board.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
12:56 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Youth organizations among first to feel Rauner’s austerity plan

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has made a point of undoing as many of Quinn’s lame-duck actions as possible.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Nearly three-dozen non-profit organizations — mostly in the Chicago area — were told Jan. 29 that money they were expected to get as part of an $8 million Youth Development grant had been blocked by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The new Republican governor has made a point of undoing as many of former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s lame-duck actions as possible, withdrawing promised funding, blocking contracts and rescinding executive orders.

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Leadership Blog
5:07 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Rauner Defends Paying CFO $120,000 For Four Months' Work

Donna Arduin, Rauner's CFO, will be paid $120,000 for a contract that runs from February through April.
Credit Reboot Illinois

Funding for everything from state-subsidized daycare to court reporters' salaries is running out in Illinois. At the same time, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has signed on a top aide for a contract worth $30,000 a month.

Donna Arduin may not be a household name in Illinois yet, but as Rauner's Chief Financial Officer, she may become on.

Arduin has been contracted to "provide advice to the governor" on how to deal with Illinois' pending fiscal challenges.

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Statehouse
5:00 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Deadline for Insurance Enrollment Approaching

The health care marketplace will be open until midnight on Sunday, February 15 at www.getcoveredillinois.gov
Credit healthcaregov.net

The deadline is approaching to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act. In-person counselors help walk people through the process.

Loren Greer is a 63-year-old truck driver who was taken off his company's health coverage when he was forced into early retirement. He sought help from an in-person counselor so he can avoid paying a fee after the February 15 deadline. If it weren't for the threat of a 325 dollar fee, Greer might not enroll.

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Illinois Issues - State of the State
7:30 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

State of the State Breakdown - CapitolView

Host Bernie Schoenburg (SJ-R) and guests Brian Mackey, Hannah Meisel (WILL/Illinois Public Media) and Charlie Wheeler (UIS) discuss Bruce Rauner's State of the State address.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

State Week
1:48 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Listen to State Week - February 6, 2015

Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

This week, discussion of Governor Bruce Rauner's first State of the State address.

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Statehouse
2:14 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Minimum Wage Debate Continues

Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) wants to increase the minimum wage to $11 by 2019.

A day after Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed a seven year time frame to bring Illinois' minimum wage to $10 an hour. The Illinois Senate approved a plan that would make that happen by 2017.  

The Senate, or its Democrats, anyway, passed a minimum wage hike late last year. It died after stalling in the House.

Senators wasted no time in taking another swing now that a new legislative session has begun. Sen. Chris Nybo, a Republican from Elmhurst, tried to persuade the measure's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Kim Lightford, to wait.

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Statehouse
2:01 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Deficit Causes Daycare Drama

If the state doesn't find the $300 million to cover the budget deficit, smaller daycare facilities of 60-80 kids could close.
Credit childcarecenter.us

Illinois' program that provides subsidized daycare for low-income families is out of cash. A Senate committee attempted to address the issue on Thursday.

Chandra Ankoor is a 24-year-old single mother from Springfield. While she is working, she sends her three daughters to child care that is partially paid for with the help of the state.

If it weren't for this assistance, she says it would cost her every dollar she makes, and then some, to afford the cost of child care.

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Statehouse
6:39 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Illinois' Top Republicans Dissapointed In End of Future Gen

Proposed Future Gen Plant in Meredosia. It is a former Ameren-CIPS Power Plant.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse/WUIS

Illinois' top two Republicans say they're disappointed the Federal government has halted funding for the future gen project in the region.

Governor Bruce Rauner and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk released a statement on the public-private coal project at Meredosia. 

They say the Fed's decision will block advancements in  so called "clean coal" efforts and bringing jobs to the region.   The two say they won't give up on the technology and bringing new jobs to the state.

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Leadership Blog
12:12 am
Thu February 5, 2015

In State Of The State, Rauner Throws First Pitch Of His "Turnaround" Manifesto To Legislators

Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his first State of the State address Tuesday; he says it's "make or break time for the Land of Lincoln."
Credit Amanda Vinicky

For the past couple of weeks, Illinois' new governor, Bruce Rauner, traveled the state, giving speeches that mostly told audiences what's wrong with Illinois. Tuesday, he used his state of the state address to begin to describe what he wants to do about it.

Rauner didn't just deliver a big speech yesterday. He produced a full manifesto, complete with calls for an upheaval of Illinois' labor laws, changes to the constitution, a property tax freeze, and the hiring of more prison guards. The speech started off on a conciliatory note. Or maybe it was an invitation.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
5:55 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Hear Our Broadcast Of Gov. Rauner's State Of The State Address

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Governor spoke to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on February 4, 2015. 

Jak Tichenor hosts the broadcast, with analysis from Rich Miller of Capitol Fax and WUIS' Amanda Vinicky.

Reaction from Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Republican Leaders Rep. Jim Durkin and Sen. Christine Radogno.

As Prepared for Delivery

 

Good Afternoon.

President Cullerton

Speaker Madigan

Leader Radogno

Leader Durkin

Lieutenant Governor Sanguinetti

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Statehouse
5:41 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Madigan Open To "Fiscal Austerity"

Michael Madigan
Credit ilga.gov

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is likely to have disagreements with the new Governor Bruce Rauner.  Madigan is a Democrat and Rauner a Republican.

But following the Governor's State of the State Address, the Speaker says he and Rauner are on the same page when it comes to limits on spending:

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State of the State address
4:02 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Rauner Urges All Or Nothing On Agenda

Gov. Bruce Rauner addresses reporters in the Illinois Statehouse in this December 2014 file photo. Rauner was governor-elect at the time.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner laid out an ambitious, pro-business agenda Wednesday during his first State of the State address. The Republican was speaking to a legislature that’s still dominated by Democrats, and reaction was mixed.

Rauner's agenda reads like a businessman's dream: restricting lawsuits and workers' compensation, and reducing the power of labor unions. But he also called for changes to the criminal justice system, acknowledging conditions in state prisons are "unacceptable."

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Statehouse
12:13 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Text Of Gov. Bruce Rauner's State Of The State Address

As Prepared for Delivery

Also included: Policy Agenda and Conflict of Interest Timeline

 

Good Afternoon.

President Cullerton

Speaker Madigan

Leader Radogno

Leader Durkin

Lieutenant Governor Sanguinetti

Attorney General Madigan

Secretary White

Comptroller Munger

Treasurer Frerichs,

Members of the General Assembly,

Thank you for your service.

To our distinguished guests and to the media, thank you for attending today.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
12:00 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Rauner's First State of the State Address - Illinois Lawmakers

Illinois' first Republican Governor in twelve years delivered his first annual State of the State speech to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 4. In this special edition of Illinois Lawmakers, Governor Bruce Rauner called on legislators to work with him to pass economic policies aimed at improving the state's business climate.

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Statehouse
7:31 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Rauner Hints State Workers Paid Too Much, Shouldn't Be Able To Strike

Credit brucerauner.com

State employees can rest assured-- Gov. Bruce Rauner does not want to cut their salaries. But a memo sent to state legislators Monday warns of other changes the governor would like to see.

Shortly after becoming governor, Rauner tried to spread goodwill, reaching out to workers with visits to state offices.

"I want to make Illinois a wonderful place to work for everyone here. I want good, fair compensation."

Then came a series of speeches, previewing his State of the State address on Wednesday, in which he says Illinois' payroll is bloated.

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Statehouse
6:40 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Medical Marijuana Program Continues To Next Step

Credit WBEZ

  Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced a list of the companies that'll be able to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois.

Illinois law spelled out what was supposed to be a blind process to select who'd get the potentially-lucrative pot licenses. Though it appears as if former Gov. Pat Quinn's administration had selected winners, he finished his term last month without awarding any.

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Statehouse
3:23 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Lawmaker Wants To Allow Two Children Per Seatbelt

The current fine for passengers over 8 years old not wearing a seat belt is $25, plus court costs.
Credit Illinois Department of Transportation

Illinois law is pretty straightforward: one child, per seat, each with his or her own seat belt. Rep. Mary Flowers, a Democrat from Chicago, wants to change the law for drivers who don't have enough room in their car for each kid. She proposes allowing two children, if they're between the ages of 8 and 15, to buckle into a single seat belt.

"It's a financial burden on a poor family. If they're trying to comply with the law, they should not be penalized because they don't have a bigger vehicle," Flowers said.

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Statehouse
5:00 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Rauner May Bring More Than Just Dogs, Van To Springfield

Gov. Bruce Rauner poses for a picture with his dogs and his van after moving into the executive mansion on January 24, 2015.
Credit @GovRauner

If Illinois had political gravity, it could be said that all things orbit around Chicago. Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana vow to change all that by living in the mansion and running state government from Springfield.

  Some might find it surprising that a governor would need to make such a statement. The historic mansion, 150 years old and just a few blocks from the statehouse, is considered the official residence of the governor, but not all have made it their home.

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Budget FY15
12:30 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Eyes On Rauner As Popular Daycare Program's Out Of Cash

Credit childcarecenter.us

Gov. Bruce Rauner has consistently said he's waiting to give details on his plans for Illinois' finances until his budget address, on February 18th. But decisions by previous lawmakers may force him to make closely-watched decisions sooner.

Illinois has a program that helps low-income parents pay for day-care. But -- because the previous General Assembly cut funding for it by millions from the current state budget - state money for has run out.

That's alarming for advocates like Emily Miller, who is with Voices for Illinois Children.

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Illinois Issues - State of the State
12:00 am
Sun February 1, 2015

A New Governor Brings A New Rauner

No Illinois politician has so skillfully used the techniques of branding and marketing as Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

News Analysis — Modern American audiences read George Orwell’s 1984 with a sense of relief. The fascist and communist mind control Orwell knew and feared is all but dead, clinging to life in a dwindling number of totalitarian tide pools around the globe. But the production of political propaganda, on the other hand, remains a growth sector.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
12:00 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Bloomington's Jason Barickman - Edgar Protégé Moves Front-And-Center

Jason Barickman
Credit Senate Republicans

An Edgar protégé moves from business into a front-and-center role in politics.

As a freshman member of the Senate, Jason Barickman had little say in his appointment to serve on the Legislative Audit Commission. But the dull-sounding assignment soon landed him in the middle of one of the biggest controversies of the 2014 race for governor.

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Illinois Issues - State Of The State
12:00 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Supreme Tort: The Campaign To Fire Justice Lloyd Karmeier

Justice Lloyd Karmeier was targeted for defeat by just seven lawyers and law firms.
Credit Brian Mackey / WUIS

A version of this story appears in the February 2015 edition of Illinois Issues magazine.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
12:00 am
Sun February 1, 2015

People - Transitions In Illinois Goverment

Leslie Munger

Rauner names novice politician to replace Topinka Leslie Munger stepped into the role of Illinois Comptroller, filling the office that Judy Baar Topinka left vacant when she died in December. 

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Illinois Issues - Ends And Means
12:00 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Gov. Rauner Faces Bleak Budget Numbers In The Multibillions

Charles N. Wheeler III

The day of fiscal reckoning is drawing near for Gov. Bruce Rauner. After almost two years of vague generalizations and vacuous campaign slogans, the state’s brand-new Republican chief executive finally will have to deliver the budgetary goods, a proposed spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1. On February 18, Rauner will have to lay out in excruciating detail his Fiscal Year 2016 budget, one rooted in the fiscal realities of a multibillion-dollar drop in revenue and hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending.

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Statehouse
5:28 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Springfield Attorney Picked To Chair Illinois Gaming Board

Gov. Bruce Rauner has selected 54 year old Don Tracy, a Springfield attorney and businessman, to become Chair of the state's Gaming Board.   He would replace Aaron Jaffe.

A statement from the administration says Tracy has the background and experience to lead the board "dealing with an important industry in Illinois."

Tracy is a partner in the firm Brown, Hay and Stephens LLP.  He is also general outside counsel and part owner along with his siblings of DOT Foods, the nation's largest food re-distributor.

State Week
1:39 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Listen to State Week - January 30, 2015

Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

Discussion of the new Bruce Rauner administration's latest actions - just a few days before Governor Rauner's first State of the State Address.

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Statehouse
6:28 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rauner Defends Higher Staff Salaries

Credit WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is defending paying his staff members significantly more than his predecessor, saying he'll pay what he has to for top
talent.
 
The Republican told reporters Friday that some of his administration hires from the private sector were taking pay cuts to work in state government.
 
 The Associated Press found annual salaries of ten top staffers in Rauner's administration outpace those of comparable aides to former Gov. Pat Quinn by
roughly $380,000 _ or 36 percent.
 

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
7:30 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Rauner's First Moves - CapitolView

Host Amanda Vinicky and guests Charlie Wheeler (UIS) and Patrick Yeagle (Illinois Times) discuss Bruce Rauner's actions so far as governor of Illinois. This week he will give the State of the State, his first speech as governor.

Statehouse
5:53 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Rauner Tells U Of I To Cut Bureaucracy

Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair in 2014
Credit WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to hammer away at the unions and government bureaucracies he believes are behind many of state's problems.
 
During a speech Thursday at the University of Illinois he said he'd like to put more money into the university. But he said first the university must make cuts in its own bureaucracy.
 
And Rauner said public-employee unions should be barred from making contributions to politicians they negotiate contracts with.
 

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