Illinois Senate

Jaclyn Driscoll

Women in the Illinois Senate plan to advance their voices in leadership with the creation of their own caucus. Women on both sides of the aisle say they’ve had a significant role in crafting policy, but may not always get the credit they deserve. 

“I think the style of women is very different," says State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood. "We don’t have to have the pissing contest.”

Chicago Democrat Ira Silverstein is resigning his leadership position in the Illinois Senate following accusations he sexually harassed an advocate working with him on a bill. 

Silverstein represents Lincolnwood and parts of other towns in the northern Chicago suburbs. 

Lobbyist Denise Rotheimer publicly accused him of harassing her last year.

Jenna Dooley

The Illinois Senate is expected to vote on a full budget today.

That’s after the House passed a spending plan and a tax increase over the weekend to try and end the two-year long impasse.

In the House, 15 Republicans went against Gov. Bruce Rauner and voted yes.

But it’s not a given that the Senate has the votes to pass it.

Senate Democrats already passed a budget. It included more spending than the plan they’re set to consider today.

Senate Republicans opposed that budget - and the question now is whether they’ll oppose this one too.

@Bill_Brady / Twitter

A day after Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno announced she was stepping down, the caucus has chosen a new leader.

Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, will be the next Senate minority leader.

Radogno says the ultimate decision was unanimous, though Brady did initially have competition.

Brady emerged as an ally of Gov. Bruce Rauner this spring. He took an active role in pushing for more concessions from Democrats in the so-called “grand bargain" negotiations.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno is stepping down, effective Saturday. That’s the first day of the new Illinois budget year -- which would be the third without a real budget unless she and other legislative leaders cut a deal.

Radogno was behind the secret bipartisan attempt at compromise that became known as the “grand bargain.” She says she’d hoped to be able to resign after getting it passed.