Illinois politics

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says it’s too early to say who could come away with the GOP nomination for President.  

The Democrat and Senate Minority Whip says with the Iowa Caucuses two weeks away, he believes even most Republicans couldn’t yet answer that question.

Durbin says in his experience, voters need to wait until early March, after a few primaries and caucuses, to get a true sense of who’s leading. 

But the Senator admits surprise with Donald Trump’s high polling numbers.

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.

public domain

Dennis Hastert's lawyer says the former U.S. House Speaker had a stroke during the first week of November. He has been hospitalized since then.

Attorney Tom Green said in a statement that Hastert had a stroke, has been treated for sepsis, and had two back surgeries while in the hospital.

Also, a letter sent to the presiding federal judge in the former U.S. House Speaker's hush-money case briefly mentions a hospital stay in asking for leniency at sentencing.

Amanda Vinicky / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois lawmakers say “no” to Governor Rauner’s union opt-out plan. Well, Democrats said “no.” Republicans, except for one “no” vote, opted to vote “present.”

Democrats in the Illinois House have voted down a plan similar to Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to allow local governments to permit workers to opt out of unions. The entire Republican caucus -- with the exception of one member --- voted present because they said the vote was a “political sham.'' That's because Democrats pushed ahead with the vote, even though the Governor never even filed the bill.

Yes For Independent Maps / independentmaps.org

A non-partisan group looking to overhaul the future of politics in Illinois is picking up the pace of its campaign.  “Yes for Independent Maps” is coordinating an effort to amend the Illinois constitution: it would take the power of drawing state legislative boundaries away from lawmakers and put it in the hands of an independent panel.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Republican State Representative Kay Hatcher announced last fall she wouldn’t run for the 50th district seat she has held since 2009. It didn’t take long for four Republicans and a Democrat to come forward and announce their intentions to replace her. We continue our primary election previews with a look at the candidates in the district that covers portions of southern Kane and northern Kendall counties. 

Amanda Vinicky

Call him “House Minority Leader Durkin.” State Representative Jim Durkin was elected Thursday by his Republican colleagues as their new House leader.  

The new Republican leader is from the Cook County village of Western Springs. He’s an attorney and has served twice in the Illinois House: from 1994 to 2002, and from 2006 to today. In between, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.  

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Illinois House minority leader Tom Cross is telling his Republican colleagues today he plans to run for Illinois treasurer. 

Lisa Madigan Will Not Run For Governor

Jul 15, 2013
lisamadigan.org

Lisa Madigan will NOT run for Illinois governor next year. The state’s Attorney General announced today she has been considering a run for governor for months, but decided to stick with her current job.

state of Illinois

Illinois’ top public officials met behind closed doors today to discuss the state’s 100-billion dollar pension debt. And still - there is no clear compromise on pension reform.

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