Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he is optimistic that lawmakers will pass a budget by the end of the month. 

The Republican chief executive recently canceled a meeting with Democratic leaders, but he says the back-up plan is to pass a temporary budget. Rauner says Democrats also would have to pass at least two of his policy items. 

"Every reform that we’re pushing has strong bipartisan support," the governor said. "That’s why I’m optimistic in the end that members of the Democratic caucus in the General Assembly will come around and vote for some of these reforms."


Governor Pat Quinn granted clemency to 126 people Wednesday. Some of the crimes of those pardoned date back to the 1970s.

A number of them have been waiting for a decision for nearly a decade. A backlog of clemency requests built up under ex-governor Rod Blagojevich, who acted on very few appeals.

Ken Tupy serves with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. He says the board makes recommendations on each case, but the governor doesn't have to follow it.

photo: wikipedia

Former governor Rod Blagojevich made his last public speech Wednesday before heading off to federal prison. He may want to change his tune if he’s looking to get out of prison before his 14 year sentence is completed. That’s according to P.S.  Ruckman, a Rock Valley College political science professor and expert on presidential pardons.