Government and Legislature

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Heroin users in one northwestern Illinois county are finding an unusual ally when they’re ready to give up drugs…their local police.

Five months into operating without a state budget, Illinois Democrats and Republicans came together Tuesday to pass a budget bill. But it was a relatively minor one; a full agreement is sure to be a ways off.

This is something that hasn't been said much this session, at least by a Republican to a Democrat, when it comes anything having to do with the budget:

"I plan to vote for your bill today, and I've also encouraged my caucus to vote for your bill as well," Republican House GOP Leader Jim Durkin said.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is standing by his decision to backtrack on cuts to a low-income daycare program. 

That comes even as Democrats in the Illinois House failed to pass legislation that would have forced Rauner to undo his changes to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.

The program is meant to help parents out of poverty by subsidizing daycare, so they can work or go to school.

President Obama last week rejected a permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline would have carried oil from Canadian tar sands. 

Rauner And Labor Agree On Jobless Benefit Changes

Nov 10, 2015



Gov. Bruce Rauner said his administration has reached an agreement with business groups and unions on a framework for changes to Illinois' unemployment insurance system.


The agreement would deny benefits to laid-off workers in certain cases such as providing false information on an employment application and damaging an employer's property through gross negligence.

Efforts To Double Property Tax Break Continue

Nov 10, 2015
Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

There are efforts at the State capitol to double a property tax break for Illinois homeowners. 

The push comes from Chicago’s mayor and would double the homestead exemption across the state. For homeowners, it would increase their deduction for taxes they pay on their residence. 

It comes at a time when Gov. Bruce Rauner calls for a property tax freeze. 

Mike Klemens is a consultant who does research for a taxpayer interest group. He says property taxes got a lot of attention in Illinois in the ‘80s and ‘90s … but not so much lately.

Thousands of low-income families would once again be able to get state help paying for child care under a compromise deal introduced Monday by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner had been responsible for changes that cut the families off from the program in the first place. He unilaterally raised eligibility standards so a parent making minimum wage no longer qualified.

After a months-long ruckus, the Republican governor says he'll expand eligibility once again. 

Today’s the day for many medical marijuana patients in Illinois. As many as eight dispensaries around the state are scheduled to open as the next chapter of legalizing medical marijuana begins.

Only around 33-hundred people have been granted medical cannabis licenses by state regulators. That’s one reason people in the industry have been coordinating informational meetings about how to apply. Last Wednesday, one such forum was held in Rockford.

No pictures, please.

Advocates for senior citizens and people with disabilities are assessing how action today by the Republican governor affects services they say they depend on.

Early this year, Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled a plan to save money, by making it harder for the elderly and disabled individuals to qualify for government aid.

People not deemed needy enough would no longer receive state-provided home care workers, or state-paid nursing home care.

The legislature didn't like that idea, and passed a measure that would require eligibility remain at the status quo.

Federal prosecutors handed former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock a second subpoena for financial records, texts and emails. That’s part of a grand jury probe into spending by the Peoria Republican.

The new subpoena was disclosed as prosecutor Timothy Bass appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough. Bass says it's “utter nonsense” Schock hasn't fully complied with a grand jury request issued months ago.

Prosecutors also object to claims of privilege that Schock's attorneys made over some documents being reviewed by Myerscough.