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Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been released from prison in Minnesota and transferred to a Chicago re-entry facility.

Hastert is nearing the end of a 15-month sentence that a federal judge gave him in April 2016 in a case that revealed accusations that he had sexually abused teenagers while he coached wrestling at Yorkville High School.

Jenna Dooley

The Illinois Senate took action Tuesday meant to end a two-year budget stalemate. 

After two years of no budget and under threat of “junk bond” status, Democrats finally convinced enough Republican lawmakers to break with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

What would be the state’s first full budget in years includes an unpopular income tax increase.

Dale Righter of Mattoon is the only Republican senator who was persuaded to vote for it.

Jenna Dooley

The Illinois Senate is expected to vote on a full budget today.

That’s after the House passed a spending plan and a tax increase over the weekend to try and end the two-year long impasse.

In the House, 15 Republicans went against Gov. Bruce Rauner and voted yes.

But it’s not a given that the Senate has the votes to pass it.

Senate Democrats already passed a budget. It included more spending than the plan they’re set to consider today.

Senate Republicans opposed that budget - and the question now is whether they’ll oppose this one too.

@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.

State of Illinois

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said Democrats are finalizing a proposed state budget plan and could present it to minority Republicans as soon as Tuesday.

Madigan and fellow Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris would not discuss details but said they're devising a spending plan and revenue to pay for it. It might be ready for discussion at Tuesday's meeting of the four legislative leaders. 

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