Illinois legislature

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Governor Bruce Rauner today is approving a compromise between Republicans and Democrats that sends emergency money to public universities.


But that compromise doesn’t mean the two parties are getting along any better.

This state money is coming just as Chicago State University had said it would close its doors Friday.

The top House Republican Jim Durkin says it took Chicago State’s closing to get Democrats and House Speaker Michael Madigan to quit playing games.

Illinois General Assembly

Illinois lawmakers are considering adding protections for people with disabilities who are victims of crime.

The legislation is sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison of Deerfield.  

She says it would allow people with mental impairments who have been physically or sexually assaulted to have someone like a caregiver testify on their behalf in court. Morrison says current law doesn't go far enough. 

"It fails to protect the vulnerable victim who may have a higher IQ but who also suffers from cognitive impairments or developmental disabilities," she said.  

Amanda Vinicky / Illinois Public Radio

It'll be 2016 before Illinois' top political leaders meet again, as a historic stalemate grinds on.

If it wasn't obvious before that Illinois' political impasse wasn't going to end this year, it is now. "With the holidays now and, you know, kids on vacation, and travel, we may not be able to meet in the next two weeks," Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday morning, after touring a Chicago high school.

Rauner says he expects he and the legislative leaders will next meet in early January. No date is set, but Rauner predicts it'll be around Jan. 3-5.

Illinois leaders aren't in agreement on a new state budget, even as the current one nears its July expiration date. Democrats passed their own version, but Governor Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

Just a few of the budget bills Democrats passed have made it to Gov. Rauner's desk. He has the ability to sign them into law, reject them entirely, or cut down the levels of spending.

The rest are still on hold.

Senate President John Cullerton says Democrats did that for a reason.

Police Body Cameras On Lawmakers' List

May 25, 2015
Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio

In the wake of officer-involved deaths in Ferguson, Baltimore and New York City, Illinois lawmakers are looking at how to change state laws regarding police officers.

In the final days of the General Assembly's session, Rep. Elgie Sims, Jr., D-Chicago, says he'll sponsor legislation that would require police to wear body cameras. He says the package also would ban law enforcement officers from using chokeholds.