Senate President John Cullerton

Peoria Public Radio

The spending plan Democrats approved is broken into 20 different bills ... and most  have yet to be sent on to Governor Bruce Rauner.

That means Rauner is not yet able to sign them into law ... or reject them.

Senate President John Cullerton says Democrats held the bills back so Rauner would have time to think ... rather than veto them right away.

Republican Representative Eddie Sullivan, of Mundelein, says he's ready for Democrats to hurry things along.

Cullerton says budget stalemate can be resolved

Jun 17, 2015

The President of the Illinois Senate says he's optimistic the budget showdown can be resolved before state services are affected.  Illinois' current spending plan expires at the end of this month, but there's no deal on a new one.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is still pushing his agenda, which includes pro-business laws and forcing legislators to limit their terms in office. The Republican's ideas have landed with a thud in the Democratic-led General Assembly.

Despite their differences, Senate President John Cullerton says progress is being made. 

Illinois legislators are back in session today as they look toward a May 31st adjournment date. Governor Bruce Rauner recently sent a direct, and public, message to them about how he wants things to go.

Peoria Public Radio

Illinois’ top Senate Democrat is criticizing the way the Republican governor is handling budget negotiations. 

The Democratic leader of the Illinois Senate says Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget is "as unworkable as it is unconscionable."

Illinois' new governor has his first opportunity to determine the fate of legislation. Bruce Rauner's decision could affect how much you're paying for electricity. 

State Senate President John Cullerton says Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget hurts working families and Illinois' most vulnerable residents.

Cullerton opposing Rauner union proposal

Feb 2, 2015

One of Illinois’ top Democratic leaders is pushing back on one of the first ideas from the new governor. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to ban unions from giving campaign contributions to politicians.

Peoria Public Radio

The top senator in Springfield predicts the crowded race for Chicago mayor will go to a run-off. 

Peoria Public Radio

The top Democrat in Illinois’ state senate is preparing for a divide between his chamber and the new Republican governor. 

Illinois' new Republican governor says he held a "very productive" Tuesday afternoon meeting with state legislative leaders.

Illinois lawmakers are reconvening for a special session called by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn. They're expected to consider a proposal that would establish a 2016 special election to replace late Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka as well as other constitutional office vacancies that arise in the future.

Gov. Pat Quinn enters his final week in office with a speech and special session on the agenda, but it's unclear how hard lawmakers and leaders will work with the Democrat on a possible special election or other issues. 

From dealing with a rush of job-seekers to a leaky roof and hard feelings among opponents he now needs, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has been busily preparing to take over Illinois. His plans include staging a "big party" to celebrate "our great state" at his inauguration, even as he struggles to get a handle on the state's "horrible" budget situation.

Cullerton plans possible pension steps

Nov 24, 2014

Some Illinois lawmakers are already making plans for a new way to tackle the state’s unfunded retirement liabilities. That’s because their previous plan was struck down by a judge last week.  

Rauner already having issues with Democrats

Nov 6, 2014
Peoria Public Radio

Illinois’ Governor-elect is already having trouble with top Democrats in Springfield. 

The credit rating agency Moody's is criticizing the Illinois state budget passed last week. As IPR's Brian Mackey reports, this is not a surprise to government officials.

Moody's says because Illinois did not extend higher income tax rates, it could have to rely on what it calls "credit negative" practices. Illinois already has the lowest credit rating of any state in the country. Moody's isn't lowering it further, at least not for now.

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday to begin the final two weeks of the spring legislative session. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, the big question remains whether Democratic leaders can convince enough rank-and-file lawmakers to make a higher income tax rate permanent.

Although Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, and House Speaker Michael Madigan all support making the temporary 5-percent income tax rate permanent, Madigan in particular has had a hard time getting fellow House Democrats to go along.

Gov. Quinn says pension shortfall is a crisis

Oct 23, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn is disputing a fellow top Democrat's statements that Illinois' nearly 100-billion-dollar pension shortfall is not a crisis. Senate President John Cullerton has said that the pension shortfall is not an imminent crisis, but finding a solution can keep the state's income taxes down. 

Political scientist says Gov. needs a win on pension reform

Jun 11, 2013

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn “Desperately needs a win” on pension reform. That’s the conclusion of political scientist Kent Redfield. The U of I Springfield professor spoke ahead of next week’s special session on pensions, which Quinn ordered. Redfield says the Governor repeatedly blamed pension costs for the state's budget problems. If no agreement is reached, Redfield says, Quinn will look weak going into next year’s primary election:

Senate votes down pension measure

May 31, 2013

It's the final day of the legislative session, and the foremost issue that has plagued lawmakers all year remains unresolved. There's a chance yesterday's actions may have deepened a divide between the House and Senate over what to do about the state's massive pension debt. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky explains. 

Gov. Pat Quinn is asking the state senate to reconsider its vote, after the chamber quashed a pension measure that would cut state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits. Quinn says the Senate's action lets down the people of Illinois, whom he says are paying $17 million every day the current pension system stays in place. 

Pension talks to continue today

May 30, 2013

A solution for dealing with Illinois' 100 billion dollars of pension debt continues to elude legislators, even as the spring session rapidly approaches its end. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Friday. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky reports.

Lawmakers have taken votes to deal with the pension debt. Problem is the House passed a plan that Speaker Mike Madigan says will save more money. And the Senate passed a different plan that his fellow Democrat, President John Cullerton, says is better because it's more likely to be upheld by the courts.

Analysis: little savings in union-backed pension overhaul proposal

May 22, 2013

A state pension overhaul backed by government employee unions may save only half of what advocates had promised.  That underscores an ongoing battle between the House and Senate over pensions, with only ten days left in the legislative session.  IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports. 

There's general agreement on this much: that Illinois' public pension systems have $100 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities.  That's a fancy word that *basically* means "debt." It's a big number that's getting Illinois in trouble with bond houses and eating into the state's budget. And the House and Senate have different plans on how to drive that number down.

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