Illinois law gives political candidates five days to report campaign contributions of $1,000 or more, but it's been weeks since Gov. Bruce Rauner gave Republican lawmakers four times that, and some still haven't told the state. But they aren't breaking the law.

It was May 11 when Rauner's campaign spread $400,000 among Republican senators and representatives, but you wouldn't know that from looking at state election records. Many legislators still haven't disclosed the money.

A high school friend works in DC and worked for Hastert. Here's his reaction.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Your favorite TV show might be interrupted with a pointed message purchased by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, though  the governor is refusing to say whether he's going to buy TV time to promote his agenda as he battles with the legislature's Democratic leaders.

Eleanor Klibanoff / Harvest Public Media

It's no longer enough for restaurants to offer roasted chicken or braised beef shank on their menus. They need to be able to tell customers exactly where that chicken came from and how the cow was raised. If they can remember the pedigree of the produce? All the better.

WGN broadcasting live from the WUIS/IPR Illinois State Capitol bureau for the scheduled adjournment day of the state legislature. Rick Pearson invited Amanda Vinicky to co-host .

State Capitol 100 years ago.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library

ILLINOIS ISSUES - Gov. Bruce Rauner took office deriding state government’s overspending and promising to change things. One hundred years ago, a former Illinois legislator did just that — and he did it outside of government, as a citizen.

The finished product uses shades of green, blue, rose and peach that match the marble throughout the Capitol.
Bethany Carson / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 Illinois lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would set statewide rules for the use of police body cameras.

 Gov. Bruce Rauner will now decide whether to separate the capital city's Lincoln showplace from its parent agency.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois' legislative session was supposed to be over by now. The schedule published months ago marked Sunday, May 31st as the adjournment date. Legislators typically don't return to Springfield until the fall. Instead, members of the General Assembly will be back beginning Thursday for a "continuous" summer session.

Jamey Dunn headshot 2015 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

ILLINOIS ISSUES - A recent national snapshot of state preschool programs shows Illinois’ commitment to pre-K education has slipped in the wake of the Great Recession.

Brian Mackey headshot 2015 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

ILLINOIS ISSUES - In state government, there are issues, ideas and talking points that recur through history. Take, for example, this line from a State of the State address: “The sentencing and parole system that we now have in Illinois and throughout the nation is a dismal failure. It does not deter, it does not punish, it does not rehabilitate and it should be scrapped.”

Those comments would not have been out of place in this year’s State of the State, but that was actually the late Gov. Dan Walker, speaking in 1976. Thirty-nine years later — this winter — Gov. Bruce Rauner said something similar: “Our criminal justice system in Illinois needs comprehensive reform.”

The Capitol
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Legislators in the Illinois House and Senate approved hundreds of bills this spring. Product bans remain popular, as with powdered alcohol and caffeine, and bumper pads for use in baby cribs. But lawmakers also voted to allow several things that had previously been illegal, such as raw milk and using crossbows to shoot coyotes.

Barack Obama
WUIS/Illinois Issues

There is sure to be an economic benefit to the city of Chicago with the decision to locate the Barack Obama Presidential Center on the city’s south side, but not to the extent a University of Chicago impact study suggested.

Drawing of a Native American
History and Lincoln Collections / University of Illinois Library

Lazy Frenchmen and subjugated Indians: that’s the stereotype of the pre-American French towns along the Illinois side of the Mississippi River valley. Not so, says Robert Michael Morrissey, a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The prevailing perception, developed by historian Francis Parkman, had two components: The French were lazy, anarchic fops dependent on French imperial authorities for direction and support. And they made the technologically inferior Indians dependent on European tools and weaponry.

Endangered Landmark List Includes Black Hawk Statue

Jun 1, 2015
photo showing statue's decay
Landmark Illinois

Two movie theaters, a 104-year-old statue and a number of mid-century houses are on this year’s list of Most Endangered Historic Places. Landmarks Illinois, a 44-year-old historic preservation group, has been publicizing endangered landmarks with the list for the past 20 years.

Hillard Family photo in field
Tonya Hilliard

Last year, Illinois was one of a handful of states that lost population. The out migration became a campaign issue in the governor’s race last year and has some throwing up caution flags. But the numbers don’t mean there is a crisis, or even a real clamor, to leave the state.

A Little Should Go A Long Way When It Comes To Salt

Jun 1, 2015

A food scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is researching methods of removing unnecessary salt from processed foods while leaving the flavor intact.

schoolbus and rural setting in disrepair
Rain Rannu

The status of the New Orleans school system post-Hurricane Katrina is a personal issue for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor Adrienne Dixson.

Now an academic focusing on issues of urban education and school reform, Dixson taught in the New Orleans public schools from 1991 to 1995, and has family in the region.

In a paper co-written with scholars from Georgia State University in Atlanta, she says, “We talked about the ways that public education has changed in a way that we argue displaces and disenfranchises people of color in particular.’’

Reproductive Effects of Bisphenol A chart

New research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that two common components in plastics could have a negative effect on female fertility in mice.  

Cortlon and Chloe Cofield
Cortlon Cofield

ILLINOIS ISSUES/EDUCATION DESK - Thursday nights were always special, Cortlon Cofield says, during his freshman year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. That’s because Thursdays were “Food for the Soul” night in the Florida Avenue Residence Hall (known as FAR).


ILLINOIS ISSUES - Idatyna Zarecky was sexually abused as a child, which she believes led to her developing mental health problems. Her mother didn’t have the time or resources to have her treated and would give her medication to calm her nerves.

courtesy of Emma Todd

ILLINOIS ISSUES - Emma Todd, then a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Tulsa, found herself seriously contemplating suicide, again. This time, the Springfield native had made her way to the top of a building.

Domestic violence cases accepted for prosecution chart
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

ILLINOIS ISSUES - In the predawn hours of December 17, 2014, the toxic relationship of Dean Norris and Vanessa Cross took the ultimate turn for the worse. Cross, 45, and her live-in boyfriend, Dean, had an argument. Then, police allege, Dean strangled Cross to death.

New State Superintendent Takes Over

Jun 1, 2015

Tony Smith became the state superintend of education last month. Before coming to Illinois, Smith, who was hired by the State Board of Education, worked as a school administrator in his home state of California. He was superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. He also served as deputy superintendent for the San Francisco Unified School District and superintendent of the Emery Unified School District. Most recently, he was executive director of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, which annually awards more than $5 million in education and child development grants.

More New Agency Hires

Jun 1, 2015

  Gov. Bruce Rauner chose James Dimas to become the secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Dimas is a veteran of IDHS. He led development and marketing for consolidating the agency into its current organizational structure. IDHS became the state’s largest agency in the late 1990s after seven previously separate health and social services agencies merged. Most recently, Dimas was owner and chief executive officer of Dimas Consulting, Inc., which focuses on human services programing, policy and administration.

Obituary – Don Moss

Jun 1, 2015

Don Moss, a longtime advocate for disabled people, died April 29. He was 85.

Obituary – Dan Walker

Jun 1, 2015

Dan Walker, the Democratic governor whose short political career was made and broken on battles within his own party, died April 29 in California. He was 92.

Walker focused much of his campaigning and governing on opposing the established Democratic power structure. In the early 1970s, that meant fighting Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

ILLINOIS ISSUES - The fat lady has sung.

Now, the question is, how should Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner respond?

public domain

Hunting for bobcats could soon be legal in Illinois, but the measure barely passed the legislature.

When the proposal was first introduced, its sponsor, Democratic Rep. Patrick Verschoore, had to postpone the vote because it didn't have enough support.

But the second time around, it passed with the minimum number of required votes.

Verschoore says it is an important bill to manage the bobcat population.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Illinois General Assembly ended its regularly scheduled spring session Sunday, without passing a single piece of Governor Bruce Rauner's so-called Turnaround Agenda.

Back in February, in his State of the State address, Rauner gave little indication he was willing to compromise on his pro-business platform: "We should consider it as a whole, not as a list of individual initiatives."