Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage are gearing up for another push in the Illinois Legislature.
Supporters are planning a march and rally in Springfield on Tuesday, the first day of the Legislature's fall session. Gov. Pat Quinn and other lawmakers who support legislation legalizing same-sex marriage are expected to participate.
Advocates pass out fliers promoting it during the Pride Parade in Chicago over the summer; despite an intense campaign to legalize same sex marriage in Illinois, the legislation's sponsor remains tight-lipped about whether he has the 60 votes needed for it to pass in the House.
For the first time since a brief special session in July,legislators will begin making their way en masse to Springfield this week, for the fall veto session. The agenda before them is relatively light. The General Assembly will likely debate some budget matters. And there's a hearing on a new type of health care coverage for retired state employees. Amanda Vinicky previews what else is ahead.
Mike Lawrence spent years as a journalist covering state government and politics before eventually working as the Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. In between, he served as press secretary and senior policy advisor to former Governor Jim Edgar.
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.
Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to leading Democrats in September as he seeks the state party's endorsement in his campaign for re-election; critics say the governor has been concerned about politics, rather than policy, when it comes to pensions -- for example by stripping legislators of their salaries as punishment for not passing a bill, even as he was absent from negotiations.
Governor Pat Quinn went months without meeting with members of the special legislative committee formed to draft a new pension plan, but this month he has begun to reach out.
It was Quinn's idea to form a conference committee, to bridge differences between the House and Senate over how to reduce Illinois' $100 billion pension debt.
But the ten members of that panel say other than phone calls welcoming them to the committee, he was absent from their talks from June on, leading to criticisms like this, from Rep. Jil Tracy, a Republican from Quincy.
The ten members of the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee formed to come up with a pension package gather in Chicago in July, for one of the panel's few public meetings. Gov. Pat Quinn did not attend.
Gov. Pat Quinn says if the federal government shutdown continues the state will have to lay off more workers whose paychecks come from federal funding.
Illinois has already issued nearly 100 such temporary layoffs. They include employees with the state Department of Military Affairs, economic analysts at the Illinois Department of Employment Security and employees with the Labor Department who handle workplace safety inspections.
When lawmakers return to Springfield for their fall session later this month, they'll be weighing requests from several international companies that want tax breaks for keeping their headquarters in Illinois. But Gov. Pat Quinn is throwing cold water on that idea.
This week's topics include a court decision preventing Governor Quinn from blocking Illinois lawmakers' pay, the Illinois Democratic Party's official endorsement of Pat Quinn in the next gubernatorial race, and new reports indicating that conditions in the state's juvenile detention facilities are not improving.
Many of Illinois' top Democrats met in Springfield Sunday to pick a slate of statewide candidates. Although several politicians had considered challenging Gov. Pat Quinn in next year's primary, they all backed off by the time of Sunday's meeting.
From the tone at Sunday's meeting, you'd never know a week before, Quinn was facing a tough primary fight. But then Bill Daley dropped out.
You'd also never know Quinn has spent months berating state lawmakers over guns and pensions.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks at a previous meeting of leading Democrats - the party's county chairmen - in Springfield this summer. Durbin, who's running for re-election, is expected to attend Sunday's meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee in Springfield. He faces no primary challenge.
Illinois' leading Democrats will meet in Springfield on Sunday. They're supposed to decide endorse candidates for next year's primary election ... even though there are no longer any competitive races.
Democrats have rarely slated candidates in recent years.
But this time - with incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn facing a primary challenge from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley - the state party was going to consider picking a favorite.