John Cullerton

Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan: A DNC Interview

Aug 1, 2016

As Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan ran the show for Illinois’ delegation at the Democratic National Convention last week.  As events would down, he took some time to sit down with Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and WBBM's Craig Dellimore.

They touch on everything from term limits and Donald Trump, to the state budget and November election.

On Bernie Sanders: "I  think that Bernie Sanders and the Sanders campaign have a done a great serviced for the Democratic Party in America.”


  Illinois' leaders are divided over school funding, even as superintendents worry it will get caught in the political stalemate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to increase how much Illinois sends schools overall, by $120 million.

Even then, some districts -- including the financially beleaguered Chicago Public Schools -- would see their state funding drop. Senate President John Cullerton nixed that as a viable option Monday.

There's still a half a billion dollar hole in the Chicago public schools budget. It could mean thousands of layoffs in the middle of the school year.

A top Chicago Democrat says there is a solution, but some of the people standing in the way are the very people he wants to help.

Chicago Public Schools has had round after round of layoffs in the past couple years. Thousands of employees are gone and district officials say we're in the midst of even more financial pressure.

Illinois leaders aren't in agreement on a new state budget, even as the current one nears its July expiration date. Democrats passed their own version, but Governor Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

Just a few of the budget bills Democrats passed have made it to Gov. Rauner's desk. He has the ability to sign them into law, reject them entirely, or cut down the levels of spending.

The rest are still on hold.

Senate President John Cullerton says Democrats did that for a reason.

The president of the Illinois Senate is continuing to withhold a piece of legislation from Gov. Pat Quinn.

At the tail end of its session, the General Assembly rushed to pass a measure that makes it easier for Illinois' big utilities--Ameren and Commonwealth Edison--to charge more for delivering power.

The companies say it's necessary so they can continue to improve the electric grid. But legislators' quick action came to an abrupt halt when Senate President John Cullerton used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the measure from going to Gov. Quinn.