Government and Legislature

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Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell won a lot of awards during 22 years as one of the top breeders of quarter horses in the country. That was before she was found guilty of stealing nearly 54 million dollars from her hometown.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University students will rally Thursday to bring attention to the state’s budget impasse.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is the keynote speaker at the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation Dinner.

Before he takes the stage, students, staff, and other community leaders will be in the center of campus calling for awareness of cuts to MAP grants, social services, and the halt in construction of the Stevens Building.

People have been learning a lot lately about how lawmakers view Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, but what do people think back home in his district? Tim Bremel is host of “Your Talk Show” on WCLO in Janesville.

How do constituents view Congressman Ryan?

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Six Illinois universities have seen their credit ratings lowered
because of the state's ongoing budget stalemate.
 Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded ratings for Eastern Illinois,
Governors State, Northeastern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and
Western Illinois universities.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

The nation's police chiefs are calling for universal background checks for anyone trying to purchase a firearm.

At a gathering in Chicago of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the top cops agreed the checks will help keep guns from people who shouldn't carry them.

The call that such checks for all purchases and not just those from licensed gun dealers is not new.

But in the past, law enforcement officials have included such a call as part of a wider effort that included calls for longer prison sentences for those convicted of gun crimes.


Mark your calendars. A date has been set. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has called a meeting with the legislature's leaders to talk about the budget impasse for Nov. 18.

He did it in response to a request from advocacy groups. It's the latest tactic as volunteers, lobbyists and lawmakers try to nudge the state's highest officials toward a deal.

It seems like it shouldn't be news, let alone a banner headline: The governor and the leaders of the legislature having a meeting.

Members of Illinois's House Government Administration Committee hoped to grill Superintendent Tony Smith about expensive perks he gets on top of his $225,000 salary. But the invitation was declined by Board Chair James Meeks, who sent a letter to the committee saying he wanted to discuss the request with the school board. 

A day later at the state board’s meeting, Smith referred reporters to Meeks for an answer of why they didn’t show up.

"So the conversation to have with the chairman, about the choices, like how we're responding? You can ask him," Smith said.

State of Illinois

Top officials of the Illinois board of education declined to appear before a house committee yesterday to answer questions about costly perks being paid to the board’s superintendent. Tony Smith was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner and receives a stipend on top of his $225,000 salary. 

Representative Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat who chairs the committee, says their absence shows disrespect and a lack of transparency.

Illinois Budget Breakthrough? Not Tuesday

Oct 21, 2015
Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

A one-day session Tuesday yielded no budget breakthroughs for Illinois lawmakers. The state's been without a spending plan for what'll soon be five months.

It was the first time legislators had been at the capitol since last month, but neither sides' position appeared to move since then.

State of Illinois

Members of the Illinois House and Senate will be in Springfield again Tuesday, but there's still no budget deal for them to vote on.

Illinois' public university presidents warned in a letter of the "irreparable damage" being caused by having to wait more than three months for state money to come their way. Now, they're taking their case to the capitol. University leaders could have audiences with the governor, and legislative leaders.