Political news


During his campaign, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continually blamed "union bosses" for contributing to the state's financial woes. 

Now he's making direct appeals to workers. 

It wasn't just the campaign; during his inaugural address, Rauner touched again on what labor leaders consider an anti-union theme. He said Illinois has an ethical crisis because taxpayers “see government union bosses negotiating sweetheart deals across the table from governors they've spent tens of millions of dollars to help elect."

Illinois Youth Voter Turnout Remains Static

Jan 19, 2015
Illinois State Board of Elections

Youth voter turnout didn’t see any huge changes in northern Illinois...for the most part. 

Youth voters between ages 18 and 35 typically make up about 10 to 13 percent of the ballots cast in the U.S. Those statistics still apply within the northern part of the state for the last general election in November. DeKalb County’s youth voters made up about 15 percent of the total ballots cast in the county. Winnebago County’s young voters made up only about one percent of the total.

state of Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner stepped directly into a big budget hole when he was sworn in this week. The state’s about halfway through its fiscal year. 

Illinois' fiscal year goes through June. But before Rauner took over, state agencies had sent signals, they were already running short on cash.

All eyes on are the new governor to see how he deals with what the administration says is a $1.6 billion mid-year hole.

Chicago Magazine

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner reversed the appointments of more than a hundred people from the previous governor. That’s leading to uncertainty about who will head several state groups.

The governor gets to appoint people to lead state agencies, like those that control the highways. And he can appoint people to state boards - like those that control whether or not Chicago gets a casino.

Hundreds of people could be out of those jobs, even though Rauner could end up putting them right back where they were.

Caveman 92223 / Flickr

The sponsor of Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program is unsure of its future. Governor Pat Quinn left office without approving licenses for people to sell and grow marijuana. 

Democratic Representative Lou Lang says he worked for five years to create the program, so residents could have relief from debilitating and painful conditions.

state of Illinois

The Illinois Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer and appointed Comptroller used their post-inaugural remarks to highlighted the accomplishments and goals after Gov. Bruce Rauner's inauguration Monday.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she speaks for families and communities and helps them fight against identity theft and data breaches. The Democrat said trying to fight for equality for Illinois citizens is why she takes the oath of office.

Quinn Issues Three Executive Orders

Jan 13, 2015

Right before leaving the governorship, Pat Quinn quietly issued three executive orders on the minimum wage, tax returns and public access to data.

Quinn's office didn't publicly announce the orders yesterday, but they were posted online later.

One order requires state vendors and subcontractors to pay a $10 minimum wage, which is more than the state's $8.25 rate. Another requires governors to make income tax returns public on or before May every year. The third requires the state to make data from agencies publicly available through an online portal.


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.

Rauner Inauguration Aired Live Today

Jan 12, 2015

Republican Bruce Rauner will take office today as Illinois' 42nd governor. 

There will be a morning prayer service followed by the swearing in of constitutional officers.

Rauner beat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November's election and will be the first GOP governor since George Ryan left in 2003. There will be an open house at the Old State Capitol and a dinner, capped off by a concert featuring country star Toby Keith.

A special election for the office of Illinois comptroller is almost surely on the horizon. Democratic members of the Illinois General Assembly hurried today to pass a measure setting the election up, and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign it into law.                                                                                      

It goes back to last month, when Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka suddenly died. She was about to begin a new, four-year term.