Illinois General Assembly
Hoping to lift any possible legal hurdles to building either Barack Obama’s presidential library or filmmaker George Lucas’ proposed museum on park property, Illinois lawmakers swiftly approved legislation to make sure the Emanuel administration has the authority critics claim it lacks.
The move, signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday, digs into some of the largest piles of money in the state, including one intended to pay for highway construction, and some lesser known funds, such as ones to promote renewable energy sources and oversee the disposal of used tires.
In an early major test of Illinois’ newly divided government, the Senate passed a compromise plan Thursday to plug a $1.6 billion hole in this year’s budget and avert shutdowns of state programs and services.
Legislation proposed by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and backed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner passed the House early Tuesday afternoon with bipartisan support, including 46 of the chamber’s 47 Republicans.
The Legislature faces a fast-approaching deadline to act as money runs out for subsidized childcare programs, prisons, and court reporters.
For weeks, Beth Purvis’ role in the administration had been somewhat of a mystery. Not until after several inquiries from The Associated Press did the Rauner administration disclose that Purvis — a key member of the governor’s transition team — is now earning $250,000 a year to advise him on education policy.
Illinois Supreme Court justices asked the state’s lawyer to explain Wednesday how the government can seek extraordinary power to reduce public pension benefits in the face of a fiscal crisis when the government itself is culpable for the financial mess.
Proposed legislation to close a loophole in the state’s sex offender laws serves as testament to the persistence of a Plainfield woman who would not take no for an answer.
Delivering his first budget address since winning office last fall, Gov. Bruce Rauner said his plan would end “the irresponsible and reckless practices of the past.” He said lawmakers must be willing to make politically unpopular decisions to close a more than $6 billion budget hole next year.
Saying he wants the state to do more to keep people out of prison, Gov. Bruce Rauner has formed a commission to study possible changes to the state’s criminal justice system.
A day after outlining an ambitious agenda for his first year in office, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday was confronted with a state budget that is millions of dollars short for programs such as subsidized day care that are rapidly running out of money.
Gov. Bruce Rauner laid out a first-year agenda Wednesday he said will help Illinois better compete with its neighbors, largely by stripping power from labor unions, shrinking the size of government and making the state more attractive to companies looking to create jobs.
The Republican’s first State of the State address, scheduled for noon Wednesday before the General Assembly in Springfield, comes as some state agencies and programs already are running out of money this year and with Illinois facing an even greater budget gap next year.
House and Senate Democrats will seek to protect their own interests and constituencies in eventual negotiations with Rauner. While he speaks of the need for steep budget cuts, they’ll likely seek to protect social services, state workers and Medicaid recipients.
A conservative Republican lawmaker from Wheaton has teamed up with a liberal Democrat from Chicago in an effort to make Illinois a “right to try” state.
Recent police-caused deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City and an ongoing concern about racial sensitivity is behind a set of police reform bills sponsored by Illinois Democrats, who say measured steps are needed to address the underlying issues.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said he will propose a number of reforms to turn the state around, and indicated they would involve making Illinois more attractive to businesses while slashing spending on everything from health insurance for the poor to public-worker pensions and the state’s payroll.
Rauner’s inauguration ceremony was scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. He was set to take the oath of office along with Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, Treasurer Mike Frerichs, and Comptroller Leslie Munger.
The head of the agency that oversees children who are wards of the state told state lawmakers Wednesday that a revolving door at the top is partly to blame for abuses that have plagued the department for decades.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Monday giving Illinois’ attorney general more power to stop pension payments to convicted felons.