House Speaker Mike Madigan

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is forming a panel to pick up where a recent commission left off revamping the state's outdated public school funding formula.

The Chicago Democrat announced the panel Thursday. He says the group will address questions left unanswered by a funding reform commission convened by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.

That commission reported its findings earlier this month. It concluded Illinois must change how it funds schools to ensure all students are properly educated. But it produced no legislative proposals.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says a committee will consider a plan to sell the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. 

The building houses state government offices, but Governor Bruce Rauner renewed a call to dispose of the property during his budget address.   

"The JRTC occupies an entire city block of prime real estate of the Chicago Loop," he said. "For years, the state has failed to properly maintain the building. We now face deferred maintenance costs of hundreds of millions of dollars."  

Leaders in the Illinois Senate are pressuring members to vote this week on a massive compromise. It would include a state budget.

llinois state legislators opened a new two-year session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. Amid the ceremonies and celebrations, the focus remains on the political stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget for more than 18 months.

Democrats remain in firm control of the General Assembly, so it's not surprising Michael Madigan was re-elected speaker of the House for a 17th time. That's despite a Republican Party campaign to pressure Democrats into dropping him.

Details of a massive, bipartisan compromise meant to end Illinois' budget stalemate emerged Monday in the Illinois Senate, but the plan has been put on hold.

Top leaders at first seemed eager to push the package through during the lame duck session, but now say they'll wait until new legislators are sworn in on Wednesday.

The Illinois Senate moved legislation to the floor that would address the long-running state budget stalemate.

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