House Speaker Michael Madigan

Democrats aren't planning on having a rally at this year's Illinois State Fair, foregoing a decades-long tradition.

The Illinois Senate has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a $36 billion budget plan and $5 billion income tax increase. 

Senate President John Cullerton says his chamber has previously accomplished everything Gov. Bruce Rauner has outlined on a special session agenda called to force a budget deal. 


The former assistant U.S. attorney from the Chicago suburb of Highwood announced his 2018 bid in a news release. 

Paul Coussens

Gov. Bruce Rauner says lawmakers' inability to create a budget plan he'll accept for the third straight year is a "dereliction of duty."  Democratic Illinois House leaders announced Wednesday they would not take a vote on the budget the Senate sent because they don't trust the Republican governor's actions. 

The Illinois House has signed off on a workers' compensation measure that Democrats say addresses reforms requested by Gov. Bruce Rauner as part of a budget deal.
The measure headed to the Republican governor's desk after the House approved it 64-51 on Wednesday. But Rauner has already indicated that it doesn't go far enough.  
The proposal requires insurance companies to get state approval for the rates they charge.

The Illinois General Assembly is once again ending its annual legislative session without passing a budget.
Although Senate Democrats this month passed both a budget bill and a variety of tax hikes to pay for it, House Democrats cannot agree on what to do.
Try to meet Governor Bruce Rauner’s demands, as the Senate tried and failed to do with the so-called grand bargain? Or go it alone, as the Senate ended up doing.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says his fellow Democrats are concerned about how they saw Rauner working with the Senate.

Flickr Creative Commons/Chicago Architecture Today

The Illinois House has approved a plan aimed at initiating the sale of a downtown Chicago building housing about 2,200 state employees. The Democrat-majority House voted 67-48 in favor of a proposal to advance the sale of the James R. Thompson Center. 



The Illinois Senate passed a budget package Tuesday after a similar plan failed last week. The difference was several new “yes” votes from liberal Democrats. No Republicans supported either plan.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan met briefly to discuss what has been a two-year budget stalemate.  Madigan noted after the meeting that there's a growing cry from school superintendents, human services providers and credit-rating houses to adopt a full year state budget. 

Rauner Blames Grand Bargain Failure on Democrats

Apr 14, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner is now accusing Illinois House Democrats of killing a deal to end the budget impasse. When the so-called grand bargain failed last month - Senate Democrats said it was because Rauner had pulled Republican votes away from the compromise. 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration contends Attorney General Lisa Madigan's attempt to stop state employee paychecks amid the budget crisis is ill-timed and ill-conceived.  The Republican governor's lawyers filed a brief with an appellate court arguing that Democrat Madigan should have acted sooner.

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

Illinois House members are picking up education funding reform where they say a commission convened by the governor left off.
Lawmakers gathered Tuesday to discuss proposals to revise the way Illinois finances its public schools. They plan this spring to write legislation to overhaul what many say is an outdated education funding model.

Democrats are questioning whether Gov. Bruce Rauner's plans will produce a balanced budget to help the state dig itself out of a multibillion dollar deficit.

Illinois House Democratic budget negotiator Rep. Greg Harris says the Republican governor shouldn't count on as-yet-unauthorized savings from pension reform, health care cuts and the sale of property to make ends meet.

Rauner Brings in Mediator to Help Strike a Deal

Feb 10, 2017

Bruce Rauner says an undisclosed third party tried to help strike a budget deal between the Illinois governor and his main political rival - House Speaker Michael Madigan.  Governor Rauner was asked this morning whether he’s tried a mediator with Democratic House Speaker Madigan.  Rauner says he did bring in someone who...

Illinois state legislators opened a new two-year session of the Illinois General Assembly today. Amid the ceremonies and celebrations, the focus remains on the political stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget for more than 18 months.

Democrats remain in firm control of the General Assembly, so it's not surprising Michael Madigan was re-elected speaker of the House for a 17th time. That's despite a Republican Party campaign to pressure Democrats into dropping him.

Meanwhile, over in the Senate:

"The state needs a budget. Period." (applause)

Governor Bruce Rauner and his fellow Republicans have spent years vilifying House Speaker Michael Madigan. Lately, the party has gone further… trying to sway House Democrats away from re-electing Madigan as their leader. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'll meet with legislative leaders to negotiate a budget deal, and he's willing to include money he vetoed for Chicago Public Schools if it's part of a "comprehensive package."

Flickr Creative Commons/Matt Turner

New state legislators won't be able to cast votes until they're inaugurated in mid-January.  But 20 of them are spending this week at the capitol anyway, for new member orientation.

It's been 1 year, 4 months and 14 days since the state of Illinois had a regular budget. Today Republicans staged a news event intended to make their Democratic colleagues look bad. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he hopes lawmakers don't just focus on overriding vetoes when they return to Springfield for a brief session next week and instead work on trying to end an epic budget impasse.  The Republican governor says he wants to meet with legislative leaders Monday to discuss how to proceed, but Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan hasn't responded.  Madigan's spokesman didn't immediately respond to calls for comment.

We’re just over a month away from the election of 2016. It’s a season of campaign advertising, speeches, debates, and of course polling.

Every election cycle, Illinois voters are asked their opinions on a range of issues by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale.

This year, they weighed in on elections for president and U.S. Senate, the popularity state government leaders, and whether Illinois ought to amend its constitution to lock in road-building money.

Governor Bruce Rauner has gotten a lot of traction with his push for term limits. Voters seem to love the idea just as much as legislators hate it, even if the governor's plan doesn't seem all that practical. 

The candidates for Illinois comptroller, Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger and Democratic Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, are working to show their independence from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. 

Governor Bruce Rauner is making another high-profile pitch for term limits.  The longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan has an opposite view on the idea … as he told Amanda Vinicky at the Democratic National Convention.

Madigan’s been House speaker for a long time (nearly uninterrupted since 1983), and during that time, he’s amassed a lot of power.

That’s a big asset for Democrats trying to fend off the governor’s agenda, Madigan says.

Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan addressed his party for the first time all week today in Philadelphia. The crowd of Illinois Democrats gave Madigan a 15-second standing ovation.

The longtime state party chairman thanked the crowd for their cooperation this week.

Sanders Delegate Wants Party To Be More Welcoming

Jul 27, 2016
Lee Milner, WUIS

An Illinois delegate for Bernie Sanders says he wishes leaders of the Democratic party would be kinder to Sanders supporters.

Sanders delegate Michael Harrington says he’s loved talking to other delegates in Philadelphia who are regular folk, as he calls them. But when it comes to Illinois party leaders he says he and other Sanders supporters have been getting the cold shoulder.

Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois Michael Madigan says he knows nothing about abrupt resignation of one of his vocal critics.

Republican State Representative Ron Sandack of Downers Grove suddenly stepped down earlier this week.

Madigan -- in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention -- had little to say about the scandal.

Chris Kennedy mulls bid for Governor at the DNC

Jul 26, 2016
University of Illinois

Chris Kennedy - of the famous political family - is entertaining the idea of running for Illinois governor.

Kennedy is the son of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy - addressed the Illinois Democratic delegation in Philadelphia. He admits he’s introducing himself to a lot of Illinois Democrats - as he considers running for office, including governor.

In his speech - Kennedy pivoted from talking about the American criticizing incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner for prioritizing his Turnaround Agenda.