Political news


Illinois Democrats scheduled a hearing on why the governor's education secretary is being paid from the state's human services budget. 

Lawmakers are expected to discuss Beth Purvis's $250,000 salary at a hearing today in Springfield. Documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times showed the money comes from human services, even though Purvis reports to Rauner's office.

Flickr user TheeErin / "Good Read" (CC BY 2.0)

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he plans to raise eligibility levels for senior citizens in Illinois’s Community Care program. He says it’s necessary to address a budget Democrats passed without sufficient revenue. 

The program helps keep seniors out of nursing homes by providing in-home health care, which allows them to remain independent.

Gerardo Cardenas of AARP says the plan is short-sighted. He says Medicaid will be forced to cover the cost of nursing homes.  


Illinois leaders have another month to settle on a new budget plan. But, given their failure to reach a deal by Sunday's initial deadline, Gov. Bruce Rauner says he must take immediate steps to manage state spending.

Illinois will begin closing down a prison work camp in downstate Hardin County and lay off its 60 employees. A pair of youth prisons also mayclose. The Illiana Expressway won't go forward.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois law gives political candidates five days to report campaign contributions of $1,000 or more. But it's been weeks since Gov. Bruce Rauner gave Republican lawmakers four times that, and some still haven't told the state.

But they aren't breaking the law.

Rauner's campaign spread $400,000 among Republican senators and representatives on May 11, but you wouldn't know that from looking at state election records. Many legislators still haven't disclosed the money.

WUIS / Peoria Public Radio

The standoff between Illinois' new governor and the Democratic leaders of the legislature is invoking a notorious figure from years past.

Illinois's stalemate isn't just over the budget; Gov. Bruce Rauner put a bargain on the table. He's trying to force Illinois' leading Democrats to accept an agenda they don't like, in exchange for his considering a tax increase.

On WGN Radio Sunday, Madigan said some of Rauner's statements and negotiating tactics are reminiscent of a former governor who's now in prison.

Bruce Rauner Campaign

The governor refused to say whether he's going to buy T.V. time to promote his agenda as he battles with the legislature's Democratic leaders.

Rauner is allegedly planning to win over the public using commercials.

Senate President John Cullerton says the governor told him so last week.

"He made it clear that, in the next few weeks, he's going to launch a multi-million dollar negative ad campaign designed to demonize those who are standing up for the middle class," Cullerton said.

Rauner won't confirm that.           

Illinois Public Radio

Observers are beginning to wander if the Illinois governor and legislative leaders can reach a deal after failing to agree on a budget. 

The Democrat-controlled General Assembly and GOP Governor Bruce Rauner have different policy philosophies. But Republican State Representative Dan Brady says there may be one or two things Democrats can accept in return for revenue increases.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Illinois General Assembly ended its scheduled spring session Sunday without passing anything from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” – or finalizing a state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Republican governor says he’ll continue to negotiate with legislative leaders. He says he wants to pass at least some of his pro-business ideas before he’ll work with Democrats on balancing the budget.

Madigan says the House will remain in continuous session throughout the summer. 

Jenna Dooley/WNIJ

Tornado victims in and around Fairdale may be able to get low-interest federally backed loans to rebuild and recover losses if a request by Gov. Bruce Rauner is approved.

Rauner's office announced Saturday that he will request that the U.S. Small Business Administration issue a physical disaster declaration for DeKalb County to help people and businesses in Fairdale and surrounding areas recover from the April 9 tornado.

senatorbarickman.com / Peoria Public Radio

Governor Rauner spent most of the past four months traveling around Illinois, touting his so-called "Turnaround Agenda."

Some of his requests, like allowing localities to create right-to-work zones, faced an uphill battle from the beginning. But other items, like term limits, have been popular with voters since the governor ran on them last year.

Now Democrats, who control the legislature, refuse to bring a term limit proposal to a vote. They say it's a distraction from passing a state budget before the weekend's deadline.