General Assembly

Rauner Speaks on Legislative Redistricting

Nov 13, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner continues to support legislative redistricting reforms that take politicians out of the process. But the Republican governor laughed off a reporter’s question on whether he’d recuse himself from redistricting, if elected to a second term.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is downplaying defeats in the just-ended legislative session where lawmakers voted to nix most of the Rauner vetoes they attempted to override.

The House has approved a measure aimed at making it easier to claim life insurance benefits when a policyholder dies. 

Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills hadn't even been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will call lawmakers into special session to deal with public school funding if they don't send him legislation on the issue by Monday.

Chicago Public Schools officials are promising that school will open on time regardless of whether a critical funding law is enacted. 

The state treasurer says Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner must go to New York to talk bond-rating houses out of knocking the state's creditworthiness into "junk" status.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a $36 billion budget plan that includes a $5 billion income tax increase. 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has called a “special session” of the General Assembly scheduled for next week.

Paul Coussens

Illinois school chiefs are pressing lawmakers to pass a budget that fully funds schools before the legislative session draws to a close this week.  School district superintendents from across the state will convene at the state Capitol on the General Assembly's Wednesday deadline to urge lawmakers to produce the state's first complete budget in two years. 

Paul Coussens

Illinois House Democrats are taking their time in considering the state budget plan sent them this week by the Senate.  Chicago Rep. Greg Harris is the Democrats' budget negotiator. He says lawmakers' first goal is to review the $39.7 billion spending plan and put it in a form the public can understand. 

The state treasurer says not enough people realize Illinois’ credit could soon be rated “junk.” That’s if lawmakers and the governor don’t agree on a budget by the end of this month.  Treasurer Mike Frerichs has mostly avoided the political fight surrounding the state’s budget crisis. But he says if former Republican Governor Jim Edgar can criticize the current governor, piling on isn’t political.

School funding is one of the key issues in the General Assembly’s budget debate. Everyone agrees the current funding formula needs to change, but there’s less agreement on how to fix it. A bipartisan effort is poised for a floor vote in the House, but in the Senate, compromise appears to have fallen apart.

Rauner Visits QC

Apr 11, 2017

Hoping to bring pressure on the General Assembly to solve the budget crisis, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has started a two-day tour across the state.

Milkweed could become the Illinois state wildflower under legislation pending in the General assembly. The proposal would also prohibit local governments from treating it as a noxious weed.


 


Donald Trump’s presidency has Illinois lawmakers weighing an issue not usually given as much attention in the General Assembly: abortion.

Politicians of all parties often sidestep awkward questions.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner followed that tradition during a stop at Heartland Community College in Normal on Wednesday.

Paul Coussens

After 19 months without a state budget, Illinois senators today were not yet ready to move forward on a compromise plan intended to end the impasse.  Democrats and Republicans spent hours behind closed doors, arguing about whether the deal negotiated by their leaders was good enough to end Illinois’ unprecedented budget fight.

A state representative from Chicago is trying to bring the spirit of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign to Illinois. His idea? Free tuition at Illinois’ public universities.

daveseverin.com

State Representative Dave Severin is among the brand new class of legislators sworn into the 100th General Assembly in Springfield today.  He also represents one of six districts that flipped from Democrat to Republican in last November’s election.  The businessman from Benton says people in his district are eager for a fresh approach to solve the historic troubles in Springfield.

The presidential race is capturing most voters' attention. But here in Illinois, there's record-breaking spending going into races for the General Assembly. Hanging in the balance is the state of Illinois, or at least its budget, anyway.

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday issued an opinion striking down a law that cut civil juries in half. The law would also have hiked juror pay.

When they passed it during veto session in late 2014, legislators argued that having fewer jurors made the higher pay affordable.

That, they said, was good for justice: People may be more willing to serve if they got paid $25 versus as little as $4.

Anxious legislators will once again see a deposit from the state of Illinois in their bank accounts. They’re getting paid Tuesday for the first time since July, when their April paychecks came through.

There's intense pressure on Illinois lawmakers to pass a budget before Friday, when a new fiscal year begins. Gov. Bruce Rauner spent hours meeting with legislative leaders Wednesday morning, and negotiations are expected to continue on and off throughout the day. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Matt Turner

Illinois' governor has invited the legislative leaders to a meeting early this evening at the capitol. It'll be an opportunity for them to hash out budget options ahead of the legislature's return to Springfield tomorrow. But the chances for a bipartisan agreement remain grim as ever.

The flow of cash to local 911 centers and some state health services will stop this week if Illinois enters another year without a budget.  Not approving a spending plan by Friday's start of a new fiscal year also sets in motion other dire scenarios: Schools won't know whether they'll stay open through the year, and vendors that have provided services without payments could file lawsuits to get paid.

Legislators will be back in Springfield next week, on Wednesday just days before the new fiscal year begins on July first.  The House and Senate will both be in session.  It'll be the first meeting of the General Assembly since lawmakers recessed at the end of May without passing next year's budget.  They never passed one for the fiscal year that's ending, either.

Illinois government has been stuck in a rut for going on 18 months now, and much of the attention has centered on the fight between Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic leaders in the General Assembly.

Flickr Creative Commons/Daniel X. O'Neil

The Illinois House again has canceled plans to convene for a weekly session on Wednesday.  House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement saying that rank-and-file groups of lawmakers continue to make progress on negotiations toward a budget deal. 

Illinois legislators today approved stopgap funding for human services.  After ten months without state funding, after-school programs, local health departments and substance abuse treatment centers are in critical condition.  Democratic Representative Greg Harris says it would pay social service organizations just under half of what they're owed.

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