Government and Legislature

A portrait of former Speaker Dennis Hastert has been removed from a hallway outside the House chamber. Just last week, the Illinois Republican pleaded guilty to breaking banking laws in a hush money scheme.  
 The portrait has hung for years in the Speaker's Lobby, a plush area just outside the chamber where lawmakers and reporters congregate. 

Spokeswoman AshLee Strong says new Speaker Paul Ryan felt it was time to ``rotate in a different portrait.''  

State of Illinois

The state of Illinois is more than $181 million behind in distributing monthly motor fuel tax revenue to municipalities, counties and other local governments amid the ongoing state budget impasse.

Records from the Illinois comptroller's office show more than $89 million is owed to municipalities and $63.6 million is owed to counties.

The State Journal-Register reports another roughly $29 million hasn't been given to smaller townships and road districts, and many rely on the funding for most of their maintenance and repair budgets.

Illinois Supreme Court

Judicial races are getting increasingly politicized. That's according to a study published Thursday surveying 2013-2014 state Supreme Court races called "Bankrolling the Bench."

Illinois sticks out when it comes to money spent to elect or keep judges on the bench. But not in a good way, according to the report's lead author Scott Greytak, who works for the nonpartisan group Justice at Stake.

Jenna Dooley

Hundreds of students representing Northern Illinois University and several other Chicago-area schools gathered Thursday night to call for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers to agree on a budget.

The students and community leaders spoke out against cuts to MAP grants, social services, and the halt in construction of the Stevens Building, which housed NIU's School of Theater and Dance.

Rauner served as the  keynote speaker at Thursday night's DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation annual fundraiser.

New Initiatives Needed To Reduce Prison Population

Oct 29, 2015
Flickr user Tim (Timothy) Pearce / "Prison cell with bed inside Alcatraz main building san francisco california" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois is making strides to reduce the inmate population by taking the initiative to address problems and discuss some possible solutions. Last week was "Sociology Week" at Northern Illinois University. It presented several opportunities to address issues about crime that cause prisons to fill up quickly.

The NIU Sociology department was co-host of the John Howard Association's "Prison Reform Illinois" presentation.

Prison Reform Discussion in DeKalb

Oct 29, 2015
U.S. Marshals Service

If you're in the market for nearly 900 trophies and plaques, the U.S. Marshals Service has a deal for you.


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.