A Christmas tree and other holiday decorations bring a festive spirit to the capitol on Monday -- today the statehouse will be bustling during last-minute negotiations ahead of a landmark pension vote.
Illinois legislators will be asked today (12/3) to take what many say could be the most important vote of their careers. They've been called back to Springfield to take up a measure that would drastically alter the state's retirement plans. Doing so would have obvious ramifications for state employees, teachers and university workers whose pensions are at stake. But the impact of a vote is far more widespread. What happens could also affect everything from the state's credit rating and Illinois' next budget, to the 2014 elections. The outcome is anything but certain.
Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, says the Senate should gather all of its members, and spend a couple of days hearing from experts, as well as from state workers whose pensions would be affected by pension changes.
The four Republicans running for Illinois governor are taking diverging stances on the pension measure that's bringing the General Assembly back to Springfield tomorrow. The package drafted by the legislative leaders would cut state workers', teachers' and university employees' retirement benefits.
Whether there's enough support for the leaders' plan to pass is uncertain, but it will get Sen. Bill Brady's vote.
Seven candidates filed for governor earlier this week: four Republicans (Treasurer Dan Rutherford, whose lieutenant governor pick, Steve Kim, is pictured on the far left; Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-HInsdale, who is on the top right; Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, on the bottom right; and Bruce Rauner) and two Democrats, Gov. Pat Quinn and Tio Hardiman, of Chicago.
Gov. Pat Quinn has been surpassed as the nation's least-liked governor, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling. Pennsylvania's Pennsylvania's Republican Gov., Tom Corbett, can now claim that title. But the new poll shows Quinn could still have a hard time holding on to his seat.
It was about this time last year, that numbers from Public Policy Polling showed Democrat Pat Quinn as the most unpopular governor in the country.
A Republican candidate for Illinois governor has contributed another $500,000 to his campaign. Winnetka venture capitalist Bruce Rauner has now pumped $1.25 million of his own money into the four-way GOP primary for the right to take on Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in 2014.
Rauner filed petition signatures for a ballot position yesterday and also released three years of tax returns. They show he reported more than $53 million in income last year. He also disclosed ownership stakes in three professional sports franchises, including the Chicago Bulls.
This week, same-sex marriage legislation signed into law, the prospects for resolving the state pension crisis in a December special session, and gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's success in raising campaign funds.
Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner continues to rake in major contributions since he lifted Illinois' new campaign finance cap last week. While Rauner's opponents are freed from caps as well, he's the been the only one to get such major, and immediate, benefit.
State filings from yesterday (11/21) afternoon show Illinois' richest man, Ken Griffin, pitching in $250,000 to Rauner's campaign.
It's the second time this week Rauner received a donation worth a quarter of a million dollars.
Gov. Pat Quinn has $2.9 million in his 2014 campaign fund - more than all four of his Republican rivals combined.
Reports filed with the state late Tuesday show the Chicago Democrat raised about $813,000 during the three-month period ending Sept. 30. He has no major challenger in the March primary since Bill Daley abandoned his bid.
This week's topics include gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner's choice for his Lt. Governor running mate, the state deal with Amtrak to keep shorter-run rail lines running, and new license requirements for all-terrain-vehicles.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he does not support an opponent's proposal to amend the Illinois Constitution.
Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is not only campaigning to take Quinn's job, he's also leading an effort to change the Illinois Constitution to make it harder for lawmakers to override a governor's veto.
During Republican Day at the state fair over the summer, candidate for governor Bruce Rauner said Illinois is in a "death spiral." He repeated the phrase in an interview about his petition drive, seeking a 2014 ballot question to institute legislative term limits.
Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is drumming up his campaign for governor with a second campaign. Rauner, a Republican, is trying to get a question on the 2014 ballot that could lead to major changes in state government. He says he'll donate a sizable portion of his personal fortune into the effort. Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky spoke about it with him at length in the following interview:
Of the four Republicans running for governor, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is the only one who's never before served in government. But he's already looking to change it, and in significant ways.
Rauner is heading a petition drive to institute term limits, to make it harder for legislators to override a governor's veto, and to reduce the size of the General Assembly. His plan adds a handful of members to the Illinois House, but takes away 18 senators.
Rauner says that'll make elections more competitive.
Illinois Republicans are at a crossroads. The party has a historically small number of people in the Illinois Senate, and a small minority in the House, too. But Republicans are also hopeful about 2014, when they have the chance to win back the Illinois governor's office, ending 12 years of Democratic rule.
Party leaders and candidates rallied in Springfield Thursday at the Illinois State Fair, where the men competing for the top of the ticket each said they're uniquely qualified to revive the Illinois Republican Party.
Tuesday's declaration by Bill Daley that he was "officially" running for governor was one of the least surprising announcements of this political season. You could be forgiven for thinking he was already running in the Democratic primary. But Daley insists that until this week, he was just "exploring" a bid for governor.