An Illinois lawmaker who represents a large number of state employees is once again challenging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to personally negotiate with AFSCME, the state’s largest government union.

The union members will vote this month on authorizing a strike. AFSCME and the Rauner Administration have failed to reach agreement on a new contract. 

Democratic state senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says the governor needs to take steps to avoid a strike or a lockout.  

"Faucet Drip 1" by Flickr User Eric Norris / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois elementary schools and day care centers will have to test drinking water sources for lead under legislation that Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed.

Rauner signed the measure Monday with civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson in attendance. Rauner says the new law "is a step in protecting our children from the devastating effects of lead exposure." Jackson called it a "life-saving bill."

The largest public-employee union in Illinois will ask its members this month whether they'd support a strike in a contract dispute with Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees told members Friday that they'll vote on authorizing the union's bargaining committee to call a strike. Such a vote would not guarantee a strike.

Rauner's office issued a statement condemning the move, saying it puts ``Illinois residents at risk.'' 

Illinois Governor Unveils Official Bicentennial Logo

Jan 13, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner held the first meeting of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.

The navy and gold design with 21 gold stars represents Illinois as the 21st state to enter the union. The colors are an acknowledgment to the State of Illinois’ official seal.

Rauner said at the meeting his administration is still "deeply rooted and invested in our children's education." 

The group Serve Illinois is calling Martin Luther King Jr. Day "a day on, not a day off."

They say Illinois is one of the highest ranking states for people who give time; about a quarter of the population volunteers.

The group is encouraging residents to volunteer during the upcoming holiday to boost the numbers. 

Scott McFarland, with Serve Illinois, says there are creative opportunities to contribute your time.