Attorney Mike Kasper stands at the podium, as House Speaker and Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael Madigan looks on, at a recent Party meeting in Springfield. Kasper, a Madigan ally, has been hired by a group of taxpayers seeking to dismiss two citizen's initiatives.
A lawsuit seeking to keep two citizen's initiatives from ever coming before voters has been filed. Although the case makes no mention of how it will affect minority voters' rights, sources say organizers took pains to reach out to ethnic groups.
Two potential constitutional changes are at issue: one limiting how long legislators can be in office, the other stripping them of the power to draw their own districts.
The suit challenging them was filed by Mike Kasper, an attorney closely aligned with House Speaker Mike Madigan; the powerful Democrat is against both plans.
Plenty can, and will, happen before voters go to the polls in November to chose their next governor. But a central theme of the campaign emerged Wednesday, when Gov. Pat Quinn proposed making permanent what was supposed to have been a temporary hike in the state's income tax. His Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, favors letting the increase lapse. Their competing visions mean a lot is at stake ahead of the upcoming election, as well as for the state's future.
House Speaker Michael Madigan readies to introduce a pension overhaul bill denounced by public employee unions, who say Illinois should instead close corporate tax loopholes. Madigan today (12/11) issued a statement saying Illinois lawmakers "must resist the temptation to cave to corporate officials' demands every time they impose a deadline for payment in exchange for remaining in Illinois."
A day after Office Depot announced it would stay in Florida rather than move to Illinois, the speaker of the House says Illinois needs to end its practice of offering tax incentives on a case-by-case basis.
The Illinois House is getting flak for adjourning earlier this month without voting on tax breaks approved by the Senate -- deals meant to lure the newly-merged Office Depot to Illinois, and to convince Archer Daniels Midland to keep its global headquarters in-state.
Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, is the sponsor of a Senate bill to give ADM a tax credit in exchange for creating new jobs in Chicago and Decatur, if the company moves its global headquarters from Decatur to Chicago.
While much of the attention was focused on pensions, state legislators yesterday also dealt with measures intended to get a trio of companies to call Illinois home. But they only got halfway there.
Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland is shopping for a new world headquarters. The agribusiness giant may well choose Chicago; but it wants a tax break from Illinois, like in a measure approved by the Senate.
House Speaker Michael Madigan talked to reporters about pensions during the end of the spring legislative session; he and Senate President John Cullerton were at odds then over how to deal with the state's underfunded retirement systems.
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.
It's the first time the four leaders of the House and Senate have come together on a plan dealing with the state's pensions, which are the worst-funded in the nation. Details are forthcoming, but House Speaker Michael Madigan came out of a meeting in Chicago saying it will save $160 billion.
The Director's lawn on the fairgrounds is usually full on Governor's Day, when Democrats traditionally rally; instead it was largely empty on Gov. Pat Quinn's revised version, which featured multiple bands.
Illinois Democrats put on happy faces Wednesday in Springfield for one of the party's biggest annual gatherings. 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.
A state fair is a place for tradition: carnival rides, corn dogs, barnyard animals. And politicians.
Doug Whitley, President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says the state's underfunded pension systems are wreaking havoc in other areas. He says the growing cost of pension payments is forcing Illinois government to spend less on areas like education and infrastructure.
Lawmakers are being called back to Springfield to consider Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed changes on a concealed carry bill. House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown said Tuesday the House will convene in regular session July 9. Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says senators will join them. That's the day Illinois must meet a court-mandated deadline to legalize concealed carry. Quinn used his amendatory veto power Tuesday to make significant changes. But the bill's sponsor intends to call for an override.
Governor Pat Quinn is giving legislators less than three weeks to come together on a pension overhaul. So far the formation of a rare “conference committee” is the only result of the special legislative session Quinn called to deal with the state’s pension problem.
While many people across Illinois had Monday off from work for Memorial Day, the members of the Illinois General Assembly were meeting in Springfield. Just four days remain until lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn for the summer. The last week of session is a time for individual legislators to shine — or stumble — as months of hard work on legislation culminates in long-awaited votes. We took a look at some of this week's key players in Springfield.
Illinois lawmakers remain at odds over how to handle the state's $100 billion of pension debt. But there's a chance that this spring the General Assembly may finally do something about it. After years of no major action, there are not one, but two major packages designed to reign in Illinois' retirement costs. The House and Senate passed competing plans. Both of them seek to save Illinois money by cutting current and retired government workers' benefits. But one important group of government workers are being left out of both deals - judges.
The Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday approved a massive overhaul of state pensions. It's the first time the House has passed such a plan after more than a year of negotiating and many failed attempts.
Its also the first time Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, put his full support behind a specific proposal.