Illinois Senate

@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.

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. 

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