Government and Legislature

state of Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court has opened its doors for a special evening session tonight. The justices want Gov. Bruce Rauner and other legislators to meet and watch as they hear a case. 

Chief Justice Rita Garman says in a news release that she wants to give lawmakers a window into the system's essential checks and balances. 

Rauner's office announced that he will attend the session, beginning at 6:20 p.m.

Illinois residents surprised by a tax penalty for being uninsured will get another chance to sign up for coverage.

A special enrollment period under President Barack Obama's health care law starts Sunday and runs through April 30th.

Officials say it's the last chance for those who do not have coverage to avoid paying an even bigger fine when they file their taxes next year.

Protestors filled the Illinois capitol yesterday and staged a small sit-in in front of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office. They're trying to pressure Rauner and legislators to come up with money for a program that helps low-income families afford daycare. 

Valena Mulonzi works at Steps to the Future daycare in Calumet City. She says lawmakers should listen to parents' pleas.

Illinois legislators will hold a hearing today on a proposal to eliminate a benefit for state university employees.

The children of those workers can receive a 50 percent tuition waiver at any state school. Employees must work at a university seven years before they’re eligible.

State Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, says the program could be used as a bargaining chip to avoid other proposed cuts involving higher education.

state of Illinois

Lawmakers will have nearly two billion dollars less to work with as they craft next year's budget.

There's one big reason Illinois isn't going to have that $1.9 billion to spend on assets like education, health care, foster care and long-term care.

Illinois Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments On Pension Law

Mar 11, 2015
state of Illinois

It's been more than a year since Illinois passed a major overhaul of government-employee pensions. Today, the law goes before the state Supreme Court. 

The law being challenged does away with retirees' compounded cost-of-living raises and increases the retirement age for younger workers. It also gives employees a small break on how much of their paycheck automatically goes toward their future pension.

Back when he signed it in 2013, then-Gov. Pat Quinn called the reform a bipartisan victory.

"Everyday people, I think, will benefit from this reform," Quinn said.

An Illinois lawmaker announced he will receive treatment for cancer.

State Rep. Frank Mautino of Spring Valley says his doctor found a mass in his esophagus during a routine physical in January. The Democrat says he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer after a biopsy in February.  

Brian Mackey

A legal battle over union fees is brewing in Illinois between the Republican governor and Democratic attorney general.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Gov. Bruce Rauner had no authority to bring a fight over union dues to federal court. She's trying to dismiss the case.

Rauner is trying to get rid of so-called "fair share" dues on two fronts: Earlier this year, he ordered state agencies to stop collecting them, and he's suing in federal court to toss out the underlying state law that requires them.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Illinois taxpayers are waiting longer than usual for their state income tax refunds. 

Terry Horstman of the Illinois revenue department says the agency is working to fix the problem.

The new state treasurer is in the middle of an extensive review of how the office is managed.

Democrat Mike Frerichs says he brought in “outside eyes” to make sure the office is operating efficiently.