Illinois legislature

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has a familiar wish list for the legislative session that begins this week.

Rauner has several items that he’s been asking for since he first ran for office, but his top priority this year, he said, is the budget. He said it’s time to get it right.

“Let’s get a revenue estimate that we agree on, as the law calls for," he said, "and then do a balanced budget that lives within our means for a full year, not a partial -- and that calls for no new taxes.”

Then, Rauner said, he wants to start work on his next priority.

Two Area GOP Representatives Not Seeking Re-Election

Jul 31, 2017

Republican State Representatives Bob Pritchard of Hinckley and Barbara Wheeler of Crystal Lake announced on Monday that they will not seek re-election next term.

According to a news release, Pritchard said some state challenges result from representatives serving too long and not being open to compromise on difficult issues. 

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.

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