Illinois Senate

The State Senator representing the Dixon area has announced that he will not run for re-election.

Republican Tim Bivins was appointed to the post in 2008 and is up for re-election next year. His only comments on the decision came in a news release, where Bivins said it "was time to come home."

Illinois Senate Democrats made another attempt Friday to satisfy the demands of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s economic agenda.

The Republican governor has said the expense of workers' compensation insurance has driven businesses out of the state.

Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, sponsored legislation meant to bring costs down.

"I know workers' comp. I’ve practiced workers' comp on behalf of employers," he said during debate. "This, if implemented right, will save employers money, and I urge an aye vote."

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois House Democrats are taking their time in considering the state budget plan sent them this week by the Senate.

Chicago Rep. Greg Harris is the Democrats' budget negotiator. He says lawmakers' first goal is to review the $39.7 billion spending plan and put it in a form the public can understand. 

The House plans hearings to solicit public input despite the looming May 31 scheduled adjournment date for the General Assembly. 

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

With only a week to go before the scheduled end of the spring session, Democrats in the Illinois Senate passed a new $37.3 billion budget package Tuesday that would raise the state income tax by $5 billion and cut some spending.

But it got no Republican support, and its future is uncertain.

The Senate voted on a different budget proposal last week, and it failed. So, Democrats tabled their negotiations with Republicans and went for a plan that matches the spending level of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s own budget proposal from earlier in the year.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The Senate has approved a $36.5 billion budget that was initiated by minority Republicans. But it turned down authority to implement it.

The Democratic-controlled chamber voted 31-21 to approve the proposed outlay for the year that begins July 1.

The vote looked like a breakthrough after five months of wrangling over the so-called "grand bargain" budget compromise.

But it was quickly followed by a vote on authority to implement the budget. It failed by three votes, 27-24.

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