A pair of Libertarian political candidates are suing the state of Illinois. The state's medical marijuana law prohibits campaign donations from companies that grow or dispense cannabis.

Benjamin Barr is a lawyer with the Pillar of Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He says he filed the lawsuit because his clients favor legalization of drugs and should be able to seek support from like-minded businesses.

Kankakee Community College

Many public Illinois colleges and universities are hard-hit by the budget stalemate. The state isn’t mandated to fund higher education the way it must pay for kindergarten through high school.

Kankakee Community College made cuts earlier in the year due to a continued decline in enrollment. Officials cut down on its award-winning sustainability program and decided to stop operating its public radio station.

Flickr user Teemu008 / "Executive Mansion" (Creative Commons)

The initial phase of repairs to the run-down governor's mansion in Springfield is just about complete.

Architect Jeff Evans, who's coordinating the project as a volunteer , says it was in bad shape.

"The roof has been replaced. We've got about a week's worth of work to finish up odds and ends,” Evans said. “The leaks have stopped. There's no more water infiltration. The next thing will be just to complete the rest of the rehabilitation."

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to meet with Syrian refugee families.

“These are poor people who are trying to escape ISIS,” Durbin said. “If the governor would just take a few moments, his idea about these refugees might change.” 

Rauner last week said the state should temporarily stop accepting refugees following the terrorist attacks in Paris. A spokesman for the governor says Rauner is frustrated over the federal government’s refusal to address specific security concerns and requests for information.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois is in uncharted territory. It will soon begin its sixth month without a budget. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who dominate the legislature continue to spar about what the future of Illinois should look like.

Rauner wants to rein in unions; Democrats say that's akin to bolstering business tycoons at the expense of the middle class.

How long can it go on?

If you're someone who reports on government and politics, like I do, there's one question you've asked a lot lately: "When is Illinois going to get a budget?"

WNIJ’s Gas Price Monday: Nov. 23, 2015

Nov 23, 2015
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

South Carolina no longer has the lowest gas price average, and Illinois prices declined by at least a dime from last week.

According to AAA, a gallon of regular gas in the Rockford area costs $2.03 on average. That’s 14 cents less than last week but about 85 cents less than last year.

Chicago prices are at $2.41 per gallon. That's 16 cents less than a week ago and about 80 cents less than a year ago.

City of DeKalb

The DeKalb City Council is debating whether its members should get a pay raise.

The Daily Chronicle reports Alderman Dave Baker wants to increase council members' pay from $5,400 per year to at least $12,000. He says paying more would encourage more candidates to run for the positions.

The council is expected to discuss the proposal at its meeting Monday.

flickr user / Michael Coghlan "Prison Bars" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The number of Illinois inmates released on parole has increased as lawmakers look to reduce the prison population.

But funding to help parolees stay out of trouble has dropped dramatically because of the state budget crisis.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the number of parolees has grown 14 percent in the past four years, to more than 28,000.

The newspaper reports the largest concentration of parolees is living on Chicago's west side.

Bobby Rush Running For Re-Election

Nov 23, 2015
U.S. Democrats

Bobby Rush is running for re-election and says he won’t be resigning any time soon.

In his re-election announcement Friday, Rush made it biblical.

“Truly, I feel like Moses,” Rush said.

Rush says Pharoh’s army was chasing Moses. Rush says he’s being chased by people who want his Congressional seat.

And in front of Moses was the Red Sea, which Rush says is like the issues facing Chicago.

“The Red Sea of police brutality and murder,” Rush said. “The Red Sea of indifference of our issues. I intend to go forward into the Red Sea.”

Illinois General Assembly

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary.

State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, confirmed he will not run. That means Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza will have no opposition in the Democratic primary next March.

Candidates can begin filing paperwork today to run for state office. They have until the end of the month.

But Biss says he won't turn in his petitions at all.