Brandon Phelps

If you listened to Bruce Rauner on the campaign trail, you'd think that he would want to steer clear of Illinois' lawmakers. He reviled them. Especially those who had long careers in Springfield. Rauner, remember, ran on a platform advocating for term limits. But that was before he won election. Now, as he prepares to be Illinois' next governor, Rauner has spent a time reaching out to the politicians he'd once vilified. Amanda Vinicky checked in with some of them about how it went.

There are signs that the initial rush of applications for permits to carry concealed weapons in Illinois is slowing down and the process is getting a bit easier to navigate.  

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that observers say technology issues and other problems that applicants experienced when the process started in January have been largely remedied.  

Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says some people are getting their permits within 35 days of when they submitted their applications to police.  


Illinois lawmakers are considering amending the state's new concealed carry legislation.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports ( ) a series of changes are already being introduced in Springfield, even though the first concealed carry permits haven't been issued.
Some of the proposals would make it easier to get a permit, while others would
expand the list of locations where people would be allowed to carry weapons.
Others would tighten restrictions.

Brian Mackey / WUIS

As we get ready to welcome 2014, we thought we’d take a few minutes to reflect on some of the voices in the news this past year in Illinois state politics and government. People in the Capitol were busy with same-sex marriage, medical marijuana, and dozens of other issues. What follows are a few of the more memorable moments.

Gov. Pat Quinn: “This is no small issue. This is a choice about whether we will make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget by reforming our public pension systems."

Amanda Vinicky

  Governor Pat Quinn had harsh criticism for a bipartisan panel of legislators assigned to draft a new plan to reduce the state's pension costs.  He wanted legislation passed Tuesday.  Lawmakers say they're close, but Quinn is not helping.  

Quinn was quick to criticize lawmakers' failure to pass pension legislation in time to meet his July 9 due date.

Concealed carry debate
Chris Slaby/WUIS

With a week to go before a deadline requiring Illinois allow people to carry guns in public, Gov. Pat Quinn today vetoed the legislation that would have authorized concealed carry.  The Democrat claims he's concerned about public safety, but he's already under fire by critics who say it's a political stunt. The measure's sponsor has already filed paperwork to override Quinn's changes.

Illinois is the only state in the nation without some form of concealed carry.

Rep. Phelps: Quinn To Rewrite Concealed Carry Bill

Jul 2, 2013

The sponsor of Illinois' concealed carry bill says Gov. Pat Quinn will use his amendatory veto powers to rewrite the measure.
Democratic State Rep. Brandon Phelps says the governor's office told him Quinn would issue the amendatory veto on Tuesday.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson declined to give details about Quinn's decision, saying only that "the governor will act in the interest of public safety.''

courtesy of the Illinois Press Association

Governor Pat Quinn says he's reviewing a measure that would lift Illinois' long-standing concealed carry ban. It took legislators months to reach a compromise, and still gun control and gun rights activists both say they're not happy.   Other critics say they're upset about a lack of government transparency.

The concealed carry legislation approved late last month creates a seven-member board to review applications from people who want to be able to carry a gun in public.

Under the measure, that board would be exempt from the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Concealed carry debate
Chris Slaby/WUIS

The Illinois House on Friday approved legislation that would let Illinoisans carry concealed firearms. But Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll work to "stop it in its tracks."

The measure is being touted as a compromise by its sponsor, Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg.

"As we all know, after years of debating this issue, it is incredibly difficult, if not darn-near impossible, to come to a middle ground on this issue," Phelps said. "Every legislator on this floor has a different opinion when it comes to concealed-carry policy."

A plan to have a form of concealed carry in Illinois is in for changes in the state Senate