Gov. Bruce Rauner

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Suburban Chicago mayors are stepping into the statewide debate over freezing local property taxes.

The proposal is a key element of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's agenda. He has insisted on the freeze before agreeing to a state budget.

Leaders representing more than 150 cities and villages surrounding Chicago say a freeze would handicap local government and do nothing to address the Illinois budget problems.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hosts a statewide school visit Thursday … but maybe not in the way you think.

Gov. Rauner invited school classrooms across Illinois to join him during his visit. This time around, though, his visit will be through a Facebook Live stream.

"170 - Typing" by Flickr User Hillary / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's information technology chief has contracted to spend $208,000 in tax dollars for two professional memberships despite the budget crisis, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Hardik Bhatt is Republican Rauner's $145,000-a-year secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology. He has a $50,000 membership and $29,000 subscription to councils within the Virginia-based executive-assistance firm CEB Inc.

Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza has held up some payments, but the state is obligated to pay.

State of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are returning to the Capitol this week to resume work on trying to end the budget stalemate that has eluded them for almost two years.

The State Journal-Register reports that, just before lawmakers' two-week spring break, the House approved another stopgap spending bill that would give more than $800 million to human-services programs and higher education.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he no longer supports expanding abortion coverage for state workers and Medicaid recipients because it's too controversial, and Illinois needs to focus on other issues such as creating jobs.

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