Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar

Institute for Government and Public Affairs, U of Illinois

About 75 people attended last night’s Illinois Issues forum on the state budget at the I-Hotel in Champaign. The event was hosted by Illinois Public Media and NPR Illinois, and sponsored by AARP. The panel discussion included former Illinois governor Jim Edgar, University of Illinois president Tim Killeen, Director of the U of I Institute of Government & Public Affairs Chris Mooney, and President of Illinois AARP Rosanna Marquez.

The panel took questions from audience members for about 90 minutes, and heard from two Champaign-Urbana social service providers who have been affected by the nearly two-year budget impasse.  Courage Connection Executive Director Isak Griffiths spoke about the impact on her agency, the only service provider to domestic violence victims in Champaign-Urbana.

The state of Illinois owes Courage Connection more than $300,000 dollars, and they’re trying to raise funds to help make up the shortfall.  You can find more information at

Looking for Diversity in the Illinois RNC Delegation

Jul 22, 2016
Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The GOP been talking for years about the need to do more minority outreach. Illinois leaders like former Governor Jim Edgar said at the Republican National Convention in 2008 that it should be a goal. And the RNC autopsy of the 2012 election recommended a dedicated campaign for black, Hispanics and Asian voters. Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky did a diversity check with this year’s delegation in Cleveland.


Former Gov. Jim Edgar expressed a dim view of stopgap funding measures during an appearance Tuesday on the public radio program The 21st. He also shared his views on whether current Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic supermajorities in the legislature will ever come to terms on the anti-union aspects of the governor’s "Turnaround Agenda."

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is sloughing off critical comments made by his a pair of his predecessors. 

Former Gov. Jim Edgar's still a popular figure within the Illinois GOP, which is why the harsh nature of his recent remarks garnered a lot of attention.

Edgar scolded Rauner for putting his pro-business agenda ahead of the budget.

Then another Republican Governor from the past - James Thompson -- also said that Illinois' is in the worst position it's ever been.

Here's what Rauner had to say in response:

CHICAGO (AP) - Former Gov. Jim Edgar says Gov. Bruce Rauner shouldn't "hold the budget hostage" while calling for other state government reforms. Edgar was governor in the 1990s. The Republican was also an adviser on Rauner's transition team. He spoke about Rauner's first term during a lecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as a newspaper interview last week. Edgar says state government looks like it's in the worst shape it's been in during his 47 year career. Rauner and legislative Democrats are at an impasse over the July 1 fiscal year budget.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar says he doesn't see a way out of Illinois' budget standoff any time soon. A continued fight between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has brought Illinois into its sixth week operating without a budget.

But it hasn't been an all-out government shutdown. Edgar, a Republican, says that would've hastened a budget compromise.

Federal records show that Illinois television stations will begin to air ads Tuesday, paid for by Governor Bruce Rauner's political action committee. 

When the depths of the dispute between Republican Gov. Rauner and the General Assembly's Democratic leaders really became public at the end of last month, Senate President John Cullerton said the governor had warned a media blitz was on the way.

John H. White. / National Archives

Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker died early Wednesday morning in California. He was 92.  Walker, the state's 36th governor, served for one term from 1973 to 1977. In the run-up to office Walker made news by walking some 1,100 miles across Illinois. He narrowly defeated then-Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon in the Democratic primary. 

Walker's political career had wrapped up by 1987 when he pleaded guilty to bank fraud and other charges, and later spent time in federal prison for illegal activities after leaving office.  

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says he's all in for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.