Illinois

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

Chicago's top law enforcement officer says an Illinois Senate proposal to increase prison sentences for repeat gun offenders would help stanch the city's rampant gun violence.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Thursday told the Criminal Law Committee the legislation would create a ``culture of accountability.'' Chicago recorded 767 homicides last year.

Governor Bruce Rauner says three of Illinois’ leading Democrats are conspiring to shut down state government.

Rauner made the accusation Wednesday in response to legal disagreements he’s had with Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

RAUNER: “Comptroller Mendoza takes her orders from Speaker Madigan, and they are working together to create a crisis and shut down the government.”

MENDOZA: “For the record: The only person who tells me what to do is my mother.”

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A lawyer for a sexual abuse victim of Dennis Hastert says she'll depose the former U.S. House speaker after he's released from federal custody.

Kristi Browne represents a former Yorkville High School athlete who is suing Hastert for breach of contract in the hush-money pact that led to the Illinois Republican's downfall.

Browne said Wednesday no settlement has been discussed.

"Wheelchair" by Flickr User zeevveez / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is frustrating state senators by refusing to answer questions about where agencies could tighten their belts.

Several Senate committees grilled agency directors Tuesday about spending cuts to deal with a multibillion-dollar deficit. The Democratic-controlled committees teamed up to put Rauner on the spot.  They blame him for scuttling the Senate's negotiated budget compromise last week.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's urged Republican state senators to keep negotiating for a budget compromise that's ``a good deal for taxpayers.''

The Illinois Senate has been working for months to pass a so-called ``grand bargain'' that could resolve a nearly two-year state budget impasse.

After a deal fell apart last week, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton blamed the Republican governor for sabotaging it. He says Rauner peeled off GOP votes that had been lined up to support an income tax increase, property tax freeze and other measures.

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