John Cullerton http://wuis.org en Moody's: Budget Could Undo 'Significant Progress' http://wuis.org/post/moodys-budget-could-undo-significant-progress <p>The credit rating agency Moody's says Illinois is at risk of undermining progress toward better finances. It says the failure to extend current income tax rates could lead to a worsening deficit.</p><p>Moody's says because lawmakers failed to stop an automatic tax cut scheduled for the end of the year, Illinois could have to increase its backlog of unpaid bills. The state already has the lowest credit rating in the nation.</p><p>Republicans say this shows Illinois needs to further reduce costs, but Democratic Senate President John Cullerton says there isn't that much left to cut.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:46:05 +0000 Brian Mackey 26554 at http://wuis.org Moody's: Budget Could Undo 'Significant Progress' Unfinished Budget To Become Campaign Issue http://wuis.org/post/unfinished-budget-become-campaign-issue <p>With the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session over, lawmakers aren’t scheduled to return to the Capitol until November. Two months of fierce debate over state spending and taxes culminated in a stalemate, so they passed a placeholder budget that will likely have to be revisited at the end of the year.</p><p>What they did — and more importantly, what they didn't do — will shape the political conversation heading into this fall’s general election.</p><p>This year began with Democrats outlining an ambitious, progressive agenda for Illinois.</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:57:24 +0000 Brian Mackey 26431 at http://wuis.org Unfinished Budget To Become Campaign Issue Cullerton, Madigan Come To Budget Agreement, Will Revisit Revenue After Election http://wuis.org/post/cullerton-madigan-come-budget-agreement-will-revisit-revenue-after-election <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says he's come to an agreement on state spending with the speaker of the Illinois House. But Cullerton is leaving the door open for an income tax hike after the November election.</p><p></p> Thu, 29 May 2014 00:37:47 +0000 Hannah Meisel 26135 at http://wuis.org Cullerton, Madigan Come To Budget Agreement, Will Revisit Revenue After Election Quinn To Meet With House Democrats On Budget, Taxes http://wuis.org/post/quinn-meet-house-democrats-budget-taxes <p>Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday to begin the final two weeks of the spring legislative session. The big question remains whether Democratic leaders can convince enough rank-and-file lawmakers ... to make a higher income tax rate permanent.</p><p>Although Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, and House Speaker Michael Madigan all support making the temporary 5-percent income tax rate permanent — Madigan in particular has had a hard time getting fellow House Democrats to go along.</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 17:43:14 +0000 Brian Mackey 25446 at http://wuis.org Quinn To Meet With House Democrats On Budget, Taxes House Democrats Pass Spending Plan (Barely) http://wuis.org/post/house-democrats-pass-spending-plan-barely <p>How much you'll pay in state taxes next year remains an open question, even as the Illinois House Thursday approved dozens of spending bills, that rely on a permanently higher tax rate. It sets the stage for a budget battle, just weeks before legislators are set to adjourn for the summer.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Illinois House convened at 8 o’clock Thursday morning, and spent most of a very long day on the budget. Lawmakers began with a debate on funding Illinois' public education system, giving schools a slight increase over this year.</span></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 10:56:00 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 25235 at http://wuis.org House Democrats Pass Spending Plan (Barely) Senate President Moves To Save Obama Artifacts For Presidential Library http://wuis.org/post/senate-president-moves-save-obama-artifacts-presidential-library <div style="margin:0;"><font color="black" face="Tahoma" size="2"><span dir="ltr" style="font-size:10pt;"><span lang="en-US"><font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="3"><span style="font-size:12pt;">An Illinois Senate panel Wednesday approved a measure to pay tribute to one of the chamber's most distinguished former members.</span></font></span></span></font></div><div style="margin:0;"><font color="black" face="Tahoma" size="2"><span dir="ltr" style="font-size:10pt;"><span lang="en-US"><font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="3"><span style="font-size:12pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n Thu, 15 May 2014 02:57:32 +0000 Lee Strubinger 25142 at http://wuis.org Senate President Moves To Save Obama Artifacts For Presidential Library A Conversation With Sen. President John Cullerton http://wuis.org/post/conversation-sen-president-john-cullerton <div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Illinois' &nbsp;General Assembly is heading into its final stretch. &nbsp;They've got a lot to resolve before their scheduled adjournment at the end of this month, including what to do about Illinois' income tax rate. &nbsp;</div><div>It's scheduled to drop midway through the next fiscal year, but Democrats, &nbsp;including Senate President John Cullerton, want to make the current, higher rate permanent. Thu, 01 May 2014 03:56:57 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 24170 at http://wuis.org A Conversation With Sen. President John Cullerton You First ... No, You First: Tax Hike Timing http://wuis.org/post/you-first-no-you-first-tax-hike-timing <p>The Illinois House will take the lead on whether Illinois keeps its 5 percent income tax. It's scheduled to roll back at the end of this year unless legislators take action.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's happened in the past.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Illinois Senate will pass a controversial measure -- like a tax hike -- only for it to languish in the House.</span></p><p>Not this time.</p><p>Senate President John Cullerton says the Senate will vote on the tax question if and only if it first passes the House.</p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:03:31 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 23990 at http://wuis.org You First ... No, You First: Tax Hike Timing Quinn Tax Hike Plan Sets Stage For Governor's Race http://wuis.org/post/quinn-tax-hike-plan-sets-stage-governors-race <p></p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 05:00:23 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 21716 at http://wuis.org Quinn Tax Hike Plan Sets Stage For Governor's Race Madigan To Call For Tax Vote In Spring Session http://wuis.org/post/madigan-call-tax-vote-spring-session <p>Following an announcement by Governor Pat Quinn in his budget speech Wednesday, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he plans to call a vote on making the state's tax increase permanent.</p><p>Madigan is chairman of the state Democratic party and has served as speaker for nearly 30 years.</p><p>He made the comments during an interview with Illinois Public Television following Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address in Springfield on Wednesday.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:34:44 +0000 Associated Press 21696 at http://wuis.org Madigan To Call For Tax Vote In Spring Session Cullerton Prods GOP Over 'Secret Plan' On Budget http://wuis.org/post/cullerton-prods-gop-over-secret-plan-budget <p>The top Democrat in the Illinois Senate on Monday went on the offensive over state spending. Senate President John Cullerton is calling out the Republicans running for governor.</p><p>Cullerton laid out the hits expected in next year's budget, including the roll back of the income tax hike and mandatory spending increases on things like personnel and healthcare for the poor. Add it up, Cullerton says, and it's a nearly $3 billion hole.</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:21:16 +0000 Brian Mackey 19170 at http://wuis.org Cullerton Prods GOP Over 'Secret Plan' On Budget Cullerton Taunts GOP Over Budget Delay http://wuis.org/post/cullerton-taunts-gop-over-budget-delay <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The campaign for governor seeped into a debate in the Illinois Senate Wednesday. It let senators get into a little partisan elbowing.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Legislators were in town for just two days of session this week, and they only passed one bill. It lets </span>Gov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Pat Quinn delay his budget address from mid-February to the end of March. The administration says it needs the delay to continue crunching numbers.</span></p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:58:30 +0000 Brian Mackey 18386 at http://wuis.org Cullerton Taunts GOP Over Budget Delay Democrat Cullerton Wants To Meet With GOP Nominee For Governor http://wuis.org/post/democrat-cullerton-wants-meet-gop-nominee-governor <p>The President of the Illinois State Senate - John Cullerton - says he wants to meet with the eventual Republican nominee for governor about the state’s finances.&nbsp; It comes as the state’s income and corporate tax rates are scheduled to go down in a year.</p><p>The governor’s office predicts the tax decrease will create a nearly $2 billion hole in the next budget. Cullerton - a Chicago Democrat - says he’d like to hear from the Republican nominee about the state’s budget.</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:57:07 +0000 Tony Arnold 17529 at http://wuis.org Democrat Cullerton Wants To Meet With GOP Nominee For Governor A Day After Passage, Pension Legislation Sent To Governor's Desk http://wuis.org/post/day-after-passage-pension-legislation-sent-governors-desk <p>A bill aimed at fixing Illinois' hundred billion pension crisis is before Gov. Pat Quinn. &nbsp;<br />A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said Wednesday that the bill had been sent to Quinn. &nbsp;<br />The move came a day after the Illinois General Assembly approved the bill that is estimated to save the state $160 billion over the next 30 years. &nbsp;</p><p>The plan reduces benefits for current and retired public employees. Among other things, it also raises the retirement age on a sliding scale for some employees. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 02:56:00 +0000 Associated Press 14341 at http://wuis.org A Day After Passage, Pension Legislation Sent To Governor's Desk Leaders Reach Pension Deal; Now Drumming Up Votes http://wuis.org/post/leaders-reach-pension-deal-now-drumming-votes <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>The leaders of Illinois' General Assembly have reached a deal on pensions. But now they have to persuade legislators to go along with it. The House and Senate will meet in Springfield Tuesday (12/3) to debate the measure.</p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 22:49:43 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 13921 at http://wuis.org Leaders Reach Pension Deal; Now Drumming Up Votes Pension Deal Reached; Vote Likely Next Week http://wuis.org/post/pension-deal-reached-vote-likely-next-week <p>House Speaker Michael Madigan says the vote on a pension deal will be ``very difficult'' when lawmakers gather for a special session next week. &nbsp;<br />Madigan spoke to reporters Wednesday after legislative leaders said they agreed on a proposal that will help solve Illinois' $100 billion pension crisis. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 19:03:18 +0000 Associated Press 13893 at http://wuis.org Pension Deal Reached; Vote Likely Next Week Reaction To Same Sex Marriage Bill Signing http://wuis.org/post/reaction-same-sex-marriage-bill-signing <p>Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday signed same sex marriage into law in Illinois. Here are quotes and reaction to the bill signing. &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ___ &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;``It means we are able to say that we're a family and be recognized because we are like everyone else.'' _ Jen Dickie Rothke of Chicago, who has been with her partner for 13 years. They have a son together. &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ___ &nbsp; Wed, 20 Nov 2013 23:15:36 +0000 Associated Press 13450 at http://wuis.org Reaction To Same Sex Marriage Bill Signing Legislators Leave Capital, But They May Be Back http://wuis.org/post/legislators-leave-capital-they-may-be-back <p>Illinois legislators wrapped up their two-week veto session this afternoon (Nov. 7), though they may be back in Springfield before the year's end.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The General Assembly knocked one, big item off its to-do list: same-sex marriage. After intense lobbying on both sides, lawmakers on Tuesday sent the governor a measure that will allow gays and lesbians to marry.</span></p><p>The rest of the major issues on the General Assembly's agenda remain:</p><p>-a tax package crafted to ensure Archer Daniels Midland keeps its headquarters in Illinois is on hold</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 21:26:46 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 12572 at http://wuis.org Legislators Leave Capital, But They May Be Back Gov. Quinn: Pension Problem Is "Extreme Emergency" http://wuis.org/post/gov-quinn-pension-problem-extreme-emergency <p>Gov. Pat Quinn is disputing a fellow top Democrat's statements that Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall isn't a crisis.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br />Senate President John Cullerton has said that the pension shortfall is not an imminent crisis, but that finding a solution can keep the state's income taxes down. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 20:17:59 +0000 Associated Press 11469 at http://wuis.org Gov. Quinn: Pension Problem Is "Extreme Emergency" Ill. Supreme Court Will Hear Lawmaker Pay Dispute http://wuis.org/post/ill-supreme-court-will-hear-lawmaker-pay-dispute <p>The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear Gov. Pat Quinn&#39;s appeal of a ruling that his veto of money for lawmaker pay was unconstitutional.<br />The court issued its one-page order Wednesday without additional comment. A hearing date has not been set.&nbsp; Quinn vetoed money for lawmakers&#39; salaries in July because he said they didn&#39;t deserve to get paid until they address Illinois&#39; nearly $100 billion pension crisis. &nbsp; Wed, 16 Oct 2013 22:41:31 +0000 Associated Press 11083 at http://wuis.org Ill. Supreme Court Will Hear Lawmaker Pay Dispute Cullerton Says Pension Issue Could Bypass Committee http://wuis.org/post/cullerton-says-pension-issue-could-bypass-committee <p>Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says the state&#39;s pension problem could be addressed in the fall legislative session even if a committee working on it remains split. &nbsp;<br />The Chicago Democrat tells The Associated Press in an interview that lawmakers could bypass the committee and call a vote through another legislative route. &nbsp;<br />An AP survey found that five of the pension committee&#39;s 10 members still had concerns with a proposed $138 billion savings plan. The Legislature cannot consider a committee proposal unless it is signed by six members. &nbsp; Tue, 15 Oct 2013 18:30:47 +0000 Associated Press 10976 at http://wuis.org Cullerton Says Pension Issue Could Bypass Committee Decatur Job Loss Part Of Negotiations On ADM Incentives http://wuis.org/post/decatur-job-loss-part-negotiations-adm-incentives <p>Senate President John Cullerton says any tax-incentive package to get Archer Daniels Midland Company to keep its headquarters in Illinois should include something to make up for the loss of jobs in Decatur.<br />&nbsp;<br />ADM announced last week it was moving its global headquarters _ and 100 jobs _<br />out of Decatur. The company is asking the state for $20 million in tax breaks to<br />keep its headquarters in Illinois. Chicago officials have said the city is in<br />the running.<br />&nbsp;<br />The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/156Z8gp ) Thu, 03 Oct 2013 22:12:51 +0000 Associated Press 10240 at http://wuis.org Decatur Job Loss Part Of Negotiations On ADM Incentives Cullerton Backs Possible Pension Compromise http://wuis.org/post/cullerton-backs-possible-pension-compromise <p>The president of the Illinois Senate says he&#39;s backing a compromise pension reform plan that could save $138 billion by 2043. &nbsp;<br />Chicago Democrat John Cullerton tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/1btBYG2 ) that he&#39;s working to build support for the still-unfinished proposal being developed by a pension reform committee. Cullerton hopes lawmakers can begin to act on the plan during the upcoming Oct. 22 veto session. &nbsp; Thu, 03 Oct 2013 14:37:49 +0000 Associated Press 10190 at http://wuis.org Cullerton Backs Possible Pension Compromise Quinn Asking Supreme Court To Back Him In Lawmaker Pay Dispute http://wuis.org/post/quinn-asking-supreme-court-back-him-lawmaker-pay-dispute <p></p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 22:16:30 +0000 Associated Press 10146 at http://wuis.org Quinn Asking Supreme Court To Back Him In Lawmaker Pay Dispute Judge: Gov. Quinn Must Pay Lawmakers http://wuis.org/post/judge-gov-quinn-must-pay-lawmakers <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A Cook County judge has ruled that </span>Gov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Pat Quinn&#39;s decision to halt lawmaker pay over the pension crisis is unconstitutional and has ordered Comptroller Judy </span>Baar<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Topinka<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to pay them immediately.</span></p><p>Judge Neil Cohen made the ruling Thursday.</p><p>He says the state Constitution makes it clear that lawmakers&#39; pay can&#39;t be changed while serving they&#39;re serving their terms.</p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:02:17 +0000 The Associated Press 9725 at http://wuis.org Judge: Gov. Quinn Must Pay Lawmakers Judge Delays Decision On Lawmaker Paycheck Dispute http://wuis.org/post/judge-delays-decision-lawmaker-paycheck-dispute <p>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. &nbsp;<br>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. &nbsp;<br>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. &nbsp; Fri, 20 Sep 2013 22:34:00 +0000 Associated Press 9359 at http://wuis.org Judge Delays Decision On Lawmaker Paycheck Dispute Ruling On Lawmaker's Paychecks Expected Next Week http://wuis.org/post/ruling-lawmakers-paychecks-expected-next-week <p>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<br>decision by Sept. 26.<br>&nbsp;<br>Quinn used his line-item veto to cut money for legislators' salaries from the<br>state budget because they hadn't fixed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension<br>crisis.<br>&nbsp;<br>House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying<br>Quinn's actions were unconstitutional. They asked Cohen to order Comptroller Wed, 18 Sep 2013 22:43:50 +0000 Associated Press 9170 at http://wuis.org Ruling On Lawmaker's Paychecks Expected Next Week Democrats' Divide Deeper Than Quinn v. Daley http://wuis.org/post/democrats-divide-deeper-quinn-v-daley <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Illinois Democrats put on happy faces Wednesday in Springfield for one of the party's biggest annual gatherings.&nbsp; But even as they brushed off suggestions of turmoil and division within their ranks, a prominent member of the party was being sentenced to prison, another didn't show up and there's a battle for the top of the state Democratic ticket. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:59:13 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 7316 at http://wuis.org Democrats' Divide Deeper Than Quinn v. Daley Oral Arguments Over Lawmaker Pay Set For Next Month http://wuis.org/post/oral-arguments-over-lawmaker-pay-set-next-month <p>Gov. Pat Quinn predicts that a lawsuit over his decision to suspend lawmaker pay for failing to act on the state pension crisis will be a ``landmark'' case. &nbsp;<br>Quinn attended a court hearing Tuesday involving a lawsuit filed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton force Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks. &nbsp;<br>A Cook County Circuit Court judge set oral arguments for Sept. 18. &nbsp; Tue, 06 Aug 2013 15:31:30 +0000 Sean Crawford 6829 at http://wuis.org Oral Arguments Over Lawmaker Pay Set For Next Month Madigan And Cullerton Want Court Action On Lawmaker Pay http://wuis.org/post/madigan-and-cullerton-want-court-action-lawmaker-pay <p></p><p>Attorneys for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton will be in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday to try and force Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue legislators' paychecks.</p><p>Last month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks in the state budget. He'd threatened consequences if lawmakers failed to act on addressing the pension problem. When a bipartisan pension failed to meet a deadline, Quinn cut their salaries.</p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 12:16:29 +0000 Associated Press 6821 at http://wuis.org Madigan And Cullerton Want Court Action On Lawmaker Pay