Gov. Pat Quinn is the latest Illinois official to disclose his tax returns. They show he paid about $29,000 federal taxes, $7,700 in taxes to the state. Still, a lot of information about politicians' finances can remain hidden.
There's no law requiring politicians make their tax returns public, though they often do.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says that's a positive thing.
"I think it shows that people are demanding more disclosure," she says.
University of Illinois officials have worried for months that state pension reforms will push employees to retire early. But they say language inadvertently placed in pension law may provide even stronger incentive.
Avijit Ghosh is a senior adviser to university President Robert Easter. He said at a trustees' meeting Friday that the pension law passed last year would effectively take away a year of pension benefits from about 4,000 University of Illinois employees if they don't retire before July 1. Those pensions would be reduced by up to 35 percent.
This week, the legislature works to bring the proposed Barack Obama presidential library and museum to Chicago, more information on corruption charges leveled against lawmaker Derrick Smith, and the debate over charter schools currently taking place at the Statehouse.
Residents fighting to stay in Centralia's Murray Developmental Center can remain where they are ... for now. An appellate court decision blocks the state from moving people out without the permission of a court-appointed guardian.
The ruling gives Murray Center families reason to hope for a favorable outcome in another case — one trying to block Gov. Pat Quinn's efforts to close the institution.
Gov. Quinn has pushed to shutter large state-run institutions, like Murray, and transition residents into community-based care.
Last year, Illinois approved medical use of marijuana after years of debating the issue. But could Illinois be closer to following the lead of some other states that have given the o-k to recreational use?
House Speaker Michael Madigan pulled his plan for a so-called "millionaire tax" last week. The plan would have raised taxes on those earning $1 million or more a year, with the proceeds going to schools. It would have required a constitutional change.
Professor Brian Gaines has studied the idea. He's with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. He called Madigan's change of heart a bit surprising:
Lawyers for Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by an ex-employee alleging sexual harassment and forced political work on state time.
The motion in U.S. District Court in Chicago seeks to end the lawsuit by Edmund Michalowski. Michalowski worked for the former Republican candidate for governor for three years before leaving in January and filing the lawsuit.
The document contends Michalowski's claims that he was disciplined for not doing campaign work on state time are not plausible.
A coalition of Illinois gas station owners say they're wary of a plan to increase motor fuel taxes. Opponents say it would cause too much pain at the pump.
Engineers, the state Chamber of Commerce, and local mass transit agencies have a strategy to shore up the state's deteriorating highway network and other infrastructure needs: a strategy that includes raising Illinois' tax on gas, which hasn't seen an increase in 24 years.
For now, it's just a plan; no state lawmaker has committed to supporting that proposal.
Republican Bruce Rauner and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn made their first joint appearance of the campaign when they took the stage Friday at an Illinois Education Association meeting in Chicago. More than 1,000 people were in attendance.
The two answered questions and also took political jabs at one another. IEA President Cinda Klickna moderated the question and answer session.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner have attacked one another for their record and positions on education. Quinn and Rauner met for the first time Friday in the 2014 campaign for Illinois governor. They discussing education policy before members of the Illinois Education Association in Chicago.
Quinn is a Chicago Democrat seeking his second full term as governor. He says Rauner is ``the biggest threat to public education in the state of Illinois.''
Rauner supports non-union charter schools, vouchers and moving public employees
This week, a discussion of a pair of constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall, the city of Chicago gets a pension overhaul, and Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner deals with an unwelcome endorsement.
A proposal to overhaul the way Illinois schools get state funding is advancing in the state Senate. But Republicans are worried that under a new formula, Chicago schools will get an even bigger share of the money than they do now.
Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has made it his mission to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. The freshman senator says it's long overdue; there's been no change in 17 years.
He's pushing a plan that'd weight poverty, so schools with more poor students get more state money, and wealthier schools get less.
An Illinois lawmaker is apologizing for a racially charged remark she made Wednesday during a debate on charter schools.
Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) was closing a long debate over charter schools. But just as she argued minority students sometimes get blocked from charters, she seemed to get frustrated with the noise in the chamber, and turned to address her fellow Democrats.
"There's starting to be a segregation of children between the haves and the have nots — listen to me, minorities! I'm over here because we're all over on this side, right?"
Illinois will invest another eight point six billion dollars into roads, bridges and other projects. It's the latest installment of a major infrastructure plan lawmakers passed in 2010. Now, Governor Pat Quinn is calling for a new one. But he's not saying where the money should come from.
The 2010 infrastructure program - known as Illinois Jobs Now! - has funded thousands of miles of road repairs so far -- paid for by higher taxes on alcohol, candy and soft drinks; a higher license plate fee; and revenue from video poker.
The Illinois House has approved a proposal to add protections for voting rights to the Illinois Constitution.
The measure is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan himself.
In explaining why he thinks it's necessary, he recalled the federal Voting Rights Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to "modify" parts of that law.
"That modification by the Supreme Court has apparently brought on efforts in other states to enact legislation that some of us would consider to be voter suppression," Madigan says, pointing to voter ID laws.
Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says common perceptions about him have it all wrong: he's not against unions and he doesn't want to take away public workers' pensions. Rauner was in Springfield Tuesday for a Sangamon County Republican Foundation fundraiser.
Unions worked hard to prevent Rauner from getting the GOP nomination --- and why not. He constantly talked during the primary about how "government union bosses" were to blame for much of Illinois' ills.
But since he became the nominee, I've yet to hear him publicly use the phrase. I asked him:
Springfield powerbroker William Cellini is back on the political scene, following his release from prison late last year. He was found guilty of participating in an extortion scheme when Rod Blagojevich was governor.
Cellini attended a Sangamon County Republican Foundation event Tuesday night, which featured Bruce Rauner, the party's nominee for governor.
Cellini says he backed State Senator Kirk Dillard in the Republican primary race. But now he's behind Rauner.
"Well I've been a Republican all my life and he's the Republican candidate," Cellini said.
Illinois lawmakers want to take a closer look at the Illinois High School Association ... the organization that sanctions spots and extracurricular competitions statewide. Critics fear it will end in a takeover.
Football, chess and water polo matches — not to mention band, drama and scholastic bowl competitions — are all governed by the IHSA. It's a non-profit-group, based in Bloomington.
But while it's not government-run, Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, says it was created by the General Assembly.
Opponents of Governor Pat Quinn's proposed income tax increase say it will chase jobs out of Illinois. A new report that challenges that assumption.
What to do about Illinois' expiring income tax hike has been the star of the debate this spring. The governor threatens cuts unless its extended, while Republican leaders say keeping the higher tax rate is a bigger threat to the economy.
Ralph Martire, director of the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, says that's a misunderstanding. He says property taxes are the true obstruction of economic growth.