Political news

Madigan Calls Rauner 'Empowerment Zones' Illegal

Mar 22, 2015

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to encourage local right-to-work zones – what he calls “empowerment zones” -- around Illinois violates federal law, according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan, a Democrat, issued an opinion on the issue at the request of State Sen. Gary Forby and State Rep. Jay Hoffman, both Democrats and both chair of the labor committee in their respective legislative bodies.

Proposed Bill Could Require Locks On Pain Pills

Mar 20, 2015

A northern Illinois lawmaker wants to require locking caps on bottles for prescription pain pills. The caps would have a combination lock that only the person prescribed the medication would know.

State Representative Rob Martwick says it would prevent people addicted to opioids from having access to the drugs.


Gun owners from around Illinois rallied in Springfield Wednesday in support of their Second Amendment rights.  

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day, or I-GOLD, involved a march to the Capitol and a rally to get the attention of the governor and legislators.

The pool of potential candidates is forming to take over the Illinois 18th District Congressional seat, just one day after U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock announced his resignation in the wake of questions about his expenses and connections to political donors.

The four-term congressman said Tuesday that he will resign effective March 31.

Illinois state Sen. Darin LaHood confirmed this morning that he will be a candidate. He is the son of Ray LaHood, who held the District 18 seat for 14 years before leaving to serve as President Barack Obama’s Transportation Secretary

Rachel Otwell

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner prepares to support the re-election of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. Rauner says he’s not familiar with a controversial letter to Iran signed by his Republican ally.

Rauner is close with Senator Kirk. He hired several of Kirk’s employees when he became governor.

Komen.org / Susan G. Komen For The Cure

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget includes cuts to a program that allows uninsured women to receive access to cancer screenings.

Cuts to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program could mean about 14,000 uninsured women will lose access to free cancer screenings.

Doris Garrett from “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” says 27,000 women in Illinois received screenings last year, but that number will plummet if Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to cut nearly $10 million makes it into the budget.

Leslie Munger/twitter

Illinois' bill backlog is growing once again as the state's budget for the current fiscal year runs out of money.

Though state money is supposed to last through July 1, funding for programs like subsidized childcare, prison guard salaries and court reporters began drying up last month. 

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says her office is doing what it can to normalize funding to these programs. That includes ballooning the backlog back up to $8 billion.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois congressman Aaron Schock built his personal wealth off of extensive business dealings with campaign contributors. 

That’s according to an AP review. The Republican was under scrutiny for lavishly redecorating his Capitol Hill office and flying aboard private planes owned by donors. 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the Democrats aren’t making a serious effort to solve the state’s budget woes. 

A Democratic proposal to sweep money from several state accounts and use it to fund daycare subsidies and other programs that are running out of money has passed out of committee in the state legislature.

But Rauner says the measure is a distraction, not an answer to the problem.

Sarah Mittermeier / CC by NC 2.0

The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a right-to-work bill on a straight party-line vote.

The bill passed Friday on a 62-35 vote, with all Republicans in support and all Democrats against. The Senate passed it 17-15 Feb. 25 following eight hours of debate.

It now heads to Gov. Scott Walker, who has said he plans to sign it Monday.

Democrats hoped to convince 14 Republicans to join with them in rejecting the bill. Ultimately, all Republicans voted for it.

Debate went for 19 hours straight, ending shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, as both sides agreed it would.