Gov. Bruce Rauner

Members of the Illinois House passed legislation today that would require state agencies to buy American products, even if they’re not the cheapest.

Democratic Representative Jay Hoffman of Swansea is sponsoring the proposal. He says it aligns with President Donald Trump’s focus on American manufacturing.

“I could just reference your president’s executive order regarding ‘Buy American.’ This is saying our state taxpayer dollars should put our people to work and we should use the buying power of our state to create jobs and economic opportunity.”

Kurt Summers Passes on Bid for Governor in 2018

4 hours ago

Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers says he will NOT run for Illinois governor. Instead - he’s endorsing one of the Democrats hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner.

Summers went so far as to ask Cook County Democratic Party leaders for their endorsement. But today - Summers said he’s not running for governor, without really explaining why.

He endorsed billionaire venture capitalist JB Pritzker, saying Pritzker would best serve the African-American community as governor.

The campaign to restore the governor's mansion in Illinois is getting close to its $15 million goal less than two years after private fundraising began as an alternative to traditional appropriations for state construction.
 
Gov. Bruce Rauner says private donors have raised about $14 million for the Illinois Executive Mansion. He says he expects to reach another million "in the next couple of weeks."
 
The goal is to complete restoration of the 162-year-old mansion in time for the August 2018 bicentennial of Illinois statehood.
 

An abortion-rights group says Gov. Bruce Rauner broke a campaign promise when he pledged last week to veto legislation to expand coverage for abortion and ensure the procedure remains legal in Illinois.
 
Personal PAC on Wednesday made public a questionnaire the Republican completed as a candidate for governor in 2014.
 
In it, Rauner said that if elected he would sign legislation to ensure access to abortion if federal law allowing it is overturned. Rauner also said Illinois should cover abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients.
 

Tanya Koonce

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured Getz Fire Equipment Company in Peoria Monday where he praised the 60 year-old business. He also reiterated his standard remarks about growing Illinois’ economy and his pro-business agenda. 

Minimum Wage an Issue in Governor’s Race

Apr 14, 2017

Raising Illinois’ minimum wage is shaping up to be another issue in the governor’s race.  The state’s current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour.  Incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner says he is in favor of a higher minimum wage on the condition that other pro-business items are also approved.

Flickr Creative Commons/Charlotte Cooper

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is opposing legislation that would allow the state to cover abortions for its employees and Medicaid recipients.  Eleni Demertzis is Rauner's spokeswoman. She says the governor is committed to protecting women's rights under current law but recognizes the sharp divisions of opinion on taxpayer-funded abortion coverage. 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has granted four new petitions for clemency, acted again on a previous case and denied 140 others. The first-term Republican first granted Neil Hebert clemency in 2015. He was convicted in 1992 of theft in Champaign County. However, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board says it was unclear whether the first granted petition would've allowed Hebert gun ownership rights. Friday's action does. 

Illinois lawmakers from both political parties seem to be gathering behind a new school funding plan called the "evidence-based model." Versions of the plan have been filed in both the House and Senate. The House iteration passed out of committee with bipartisan support.

Flickr Creative Commons/ttarasiuk

Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced that the Anti-Defamation League will develop a program with the Illinois State Police to train police officers in identifying and investigating hate crimes.  Rauner says the plan is the fourth part of a program he laid out two weeks ago to battle crimes against people due to of race, religion or national origin. 

Former Chicago Public Schools head Paul Vallas has been named to an interim administrator post at Chicago State University.  Vallas was one of four trustees appointed to the board in January by Gov. Bruce Rauner. He resigned earlier this month to pursue the administrative position.

Seventeen school superintendents sued the state of Illinois today. They're asking Governor Bruce Rauner and the state board of education to come up with a funding formula that would help schools meet the state's learning standards.

The Illinois Supreme Court has declined a request to bypass a lower court and immediately take up Gov. Bruce Rauner's case for imposing pay and working conditions on members of the state's largest public employees' union. 

illinois.gov

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order making the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a separate state agency.  The order means that the Springfield museum will no longer fall under the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The agency's remaining functions will be assigned to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

It’s been two years since Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner unveiled his Republican “Turnaround Agenda.” Today, a group of rank-and-file Democratic legislators responded with their own “Comeback Agenda.”

State Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, says the agenda grew out of frustration with the fighting and lack of progress in Springfield.

“We wanted to be for something. We wanted to outline a vision of where Illinois could go.”

Georgia Democrats / Flickr/Creative Commons

There are six Democrats considering a run for Illinois Governor and the chance go mano-e-mano with Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner.  On Monday, Cook County Democratic Party bosses heard from each of them in turn as they asked for the party’s endorsement.

Flickr Creative Commons/Wrenux

Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking the Illinois Legislature to allow work to start on Interstate 55 in the Chicago area via a public-private partnership.  Rauner, the state transportation secretary and Republican House Leader Jim Durkin, made the push at a news conference. They say the Illinois Legislature needs to pass a resolution supporting the project by the end of the month. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation to overhaul a Chicago public employee pension program.  He says it creates a fiscal cliff that will boost taxes beginning in 2023. 

The governor's office says about 1.4 million Illinois job seekers are affected after one of the state's employment security agency vendors was hacked.  Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says the Illinois Department of Employment Security notified the Illinois General Assembly about the hack. 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to replace guards in prison watchtowers with security cameras. It's an effort to cut down on overtime costs for the cash-strapped state.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says officials expect to save $4 million annually. She says no security officers will be laid off.

Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis says savings will come from reduced overtime and "more efficient management."

Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says he’s frustrated with the Trump Administration’s lack of transparency on medical marijuana.

Frerichs says he’s written the president twice since US Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the drug ‘dangerous’… but didn’t further explain if he was referring to medicinal, or recreational use. He says he’s still waiting for a response … and that’s hurting financial institutions, which federal law currently bans from processing money used in the medical cannabis industry:

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has unveiled a broad-based cybersecurity plan. He says cybersecurity is one of the most pressing issues facing the nation and Illinois. The plan outlines goals to protect state information systems. 

Two state workers who joined Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's lawsuit arguing labor unions shouldn't be allowed to collect fees from non-members say they're appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling that allowed unions to collect the "fair share" fees from workers covered by collective bargaining agreements. 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration says it plans to lay off state prison nurses to streamline medical services and coordinate them with the current health care vendor.  Rauner's office informed the Illinois Nurses Association that in June it will lay off 124 nurses at 12 prisons. Their jobs would be privatized. 

A feud between Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Susana Mendoza is escalating over spending priorities during the state's unprecedented budget standoff.  Mendoza is a Democrat in charge of paying Illinois' bills. In a speech she accused Rauner of being a terrible governor and paying consultants from a health care fund, among other things.   

The Illinois Supreme Court won't immediately consider Attorney General Lisa Madigan's appeal of a circuit court ruling that state workers must be paid during the state budget impasse.  Justices denied Madigan's request to bypass the appellate court and take the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

A new poll says Illinois voters are divided on what to do about the state’s financial problems.

The poll puts Illinois' deficit at $10 billion, and gives voters three choices for how to fix it: raise taxes, cut "waste and inefficiency," or both.

Cuts were the most popular answer at 45 percent. Just 11 percent favored only raising taxes; about a third said do both.

Paradoxically, when you ask voters about specific areas to cut, most are rejected. Support was strongest for spending on education, poor people, and individuals with disabilities.

As Illinois remains mired in gridlock and nearing two years without a full budget, voters are pinning the blame on state leaders.

NEIU Students Rally to Protest Budget Cuts

Mar 16, 2017

Students at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago rallied today ahead of a week-long university shutdown.

Northeastern is requiring its employees take five unpaid days off next week during Spring Break. It’s another money-saving measure in a string of budget cuts the university has made during the nearly 2-year-long state budget impasse.

Students like senior Patricia Burchfield primarily blamed Governor Bruce Rauner, saying she shouldn’t have to be protesting.

Bernard Thomas / AP Photo

Immigrant and refugee groups were pushing their legislative agenda today in the Illinois Capitol. They want the state to restore adult English classes and limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

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