Illinois General Assembly

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

State Rep. David Harris is the latest in a growing list of Illinois lawmakers who say they’re not running for re-election.

Harris, R-Arlington Heights, has been attacked for breaking with his party to raise taxes and end the state's two-year budget impasse.

“The fact that we now have a budget, I think, is a good thing," Harris said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "It prevented the state from going to the status of junk bonds, which would have been disastrous."

Harris said he’s worried the Republican Party has become too divided.

courtesy Bob Pritchard / Facebook

About a dozen Illinois lawmakers have announced they are quitting or not running for re-election. That includes Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, State Sen. Tim Bivins of Dixon, and State Rep. Bob Pritchard, who has represented the DeKalb area for 14 years. For this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens caught up with Pritchard while he was doing what he calls the best part of his job: hanging around with his constituents.

Schools are scheduled to receive their first payment from the state for the coming school year in just three days, but that can’t happen until the Illinois legislature approves a new evidence-based funding model.

Lawmakers have several choices:

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

The top Democrats and Republicans of the Illinois General Assembly met Sunday for the first time this year, and there are some signs of progress.

House Speaker Michael Madigan has consistently objected to Gov. Bruce Rauner making his political and economic agenda a prerequisite for passing a budget. At Sunday's meeting, Madigan said Republicans were still talking about what he calls “off-budget” issues. That, he said, “prompted me to add items to the off-budget list.”

Flickr user / Victor "Handcuffs" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois General Assembly has approved legislation intended to make it easier to hold drug dealers accountable when their customers overdose.

After eight years in the Army, Evan Rushing had PTSD. One day last year, he drove to St. Louis to buy heroin. It was a bad batch; he overdosed and died.

Evan’s mother, Janice, said police identified the dealer who sold the drugs. Prosecutors couldn’t charge him with drug-induced homicide though, because Rushing bought the heroin in Missouri.

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