Illinois House

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The Illinois House and Senate approved $700 million to partially finance various human service programs that have gone without state funding since last summer because there's no budget.


A House committee on Wednesday unanimously advanced the bill to the full chamber. The measure would use $450 million from a fund dedicated to human services and $250 million from other special funds.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris says the bill is intended to be a stop-gap measure until lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner agree on a full budget.


The Illinois House passed legislation today requiring health insurance plans to cover birth control.

Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook says this is already federal law, but the proposal's aim is to ensure women in Illinois have access by allowing a 12-month prescription. 

The measure had significant pushback from representatives who oppose abortion because it includes emergency contraception. 

​Republican Rep. Dwight Kay, of Glen Carbon, says the legislation is burdensome to businesses.

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The Illinois Senate today moved swiftly to approve a spending plan the House passed yesterday.

It authorizes spending nearly 4 billion dollars on higher education and social services -- two areas that have been caught without funding during a prolonged political fight. But Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says it doesn't mean universities or programs would actually get money. 

Radogno says the state has none to give.

"If you vote for this, you're voting for a hollow promise,” Radogno said. “Let's look at the bills that have funding." 

State of Illinois

For the first time in three weeks, state representatives will convene Thursday in Springfield.

Not much has changed in those three weeks. There's still no agreement between Democratic legislators and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on a state budget.

But representatives are back anyway, and they do have some budget measures on the table.

For one, they're set to discuss Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to exempt some middle-class homeowners from paying higher property taxes.

State of Illinois

State legislators are done with their work until Republican Bruce Rauner becomes governor next month. Members of the House finished their work Wednesday, and after a morning of debate, the Senate adjourned yesterday afternoon.  The General Assembly meets over a two year cycle.  This one is coming to a somewhat lackluster close. Though the House declared itself totally done, Senate President John Cullerton is leaving open the possibility of calling legislators back to Springfield. "But it's not anticipated we'll be having any more action.