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.
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.
Although same-sex marriage will soon be law in Illinois, the issue could remain a factor in the 2014 elections.
For most Democrats — especially those in and around Chicago — same-sex marriage is a winning political issue with core voters.
It's a lot tricker for Republicans. A majority of conservatives are opposed to legal same-sex marriage, but in a Democratic-leaning state like Illinois, Republicans need to win votes from independents, too.
A Republican candidate for governor is once again calling for Illinois to change the way it manages major facilities, like prisons and developmental centers. That includes how the state closes such facilities.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says past attempts to close prisons and other big state institutions have been haphazard. He says this has been going on for years, back at least to the administrations of former governors Ryan and Blagojevich. But it's still happening, as with this year's closure of the women's prison in Dwight.
Illinois legislators were supposed to meet this week for three days as part of the fall veto session; instead they left Springfield after only two.
Little was accomplished during that time. Despite competing rallies, the Illinois House did not vote on legalizing same-sex marriage, whether state agencies, including the state police, will receive additional money remains unsettled, and there was no action on Illinois' pensions, which are the worst-funded in the nation.
It can give the impression that legislators are not doing their jobs.
With the federal shutdown over and a government default averted, investors are breathing a sigh of relief Thursday. That includes the people responsible for investing billions of dollars on behalf of Illinois state government.
The state of Illinois has about $10 billion in investments. That money is the responsibility of Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who says about $1.2 billion of Illinois' portfolio is in the form of U.S. Treasury Bills.
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford doesn’t think he will see a backlash against Republicans in next year’s race for governor. Some recent polls have shown most Americans disapprove the way congressional Republicans handled the budget. Rutherford says he doesn’t think the conflicts in Washington, D-C will be a factor in a race closer to home - like his bid to win the Republican nomination for governor.
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.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he's monitoring the debt ceiling showdown in Washington and the impact that it could have on the state's finances.
Congress is still searching for deal that would raise the country's cap to borrow more money in order to pay its bills. The government has been partially shut down for weeks as Democrats and Republicans haggle over spending.
State Senator Kirk Dillard has selected a west-central Illinois lawmaker to join him on the ballot in his bid to be the state’s next Governor. State Representative Jil Tracy stood before a crowd of about 150 in Quincy’s Washington Park and accepted Dillard’s request to run as lieutenant governor.
The Quincy Republican says she took a close look at all of the Republican candidates for Governor before making her decision.
Though he hasn't decided who to support in the Republican primary race for governor, Niles Township committeeman Joe Hendrick is happy to pose with one of the candidates, Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) at GOP Day at the state fair. Four years ago when he was Republicans' nominee for governor, Brady didn't have any say in who his running mate would be; for the first time this election gubernatorial candidates get to choose a lieutenant governor, before the primary.
For the first time, candidates for governor in Illinois will choose their second in command. They used to get stuck with whomever primary voters choose for lieutenant governor -- whether the two got along or not. It's an opportunity for candidates to find a running mate they work well with, or perhaps someone to balance out the ticket. Still, the new selection process might have unintended consequences.
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.
The first candidate to formally announce he’s running for governor of Illinois has vowed to live in the Executive Mansion in Springfield. The refusal of recent governors to move to Springfield has become a sore spot with permanent residents of Illinois’ capital city.
Republican state Treasurer Dan Rutherford is making his long-anticipated campaign for governor official on a three-day tour of Illinois that began Sunday in — wait for it — Chicago.
Monday is day two of state Treasurer Dan Rutherford's three-day tour of Illinois. He's meeting with supporters to say he's officially running for governor. Rutherford has been laying the groundwork to run for years, making the formal announcement one of the least surprising events in Illinois politics. So we asked reporter Brian Mackey to find something about Rutherford's announcement that was surprising.