Political news


Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s rejection of a spending plan gives Illinois lawmakers just five days to find an agreement -- and avoid a government shutdown.

But an event on Chicago’s West Side shed some light into just how far apart things remain between Rauner and Democratic legislators.

You’ve probably heard about the increasing tensions between Rauner and Democrats. And in that time, the voice and tone of Rauner’s opposition maybe hasn’t been all that dramatic.


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed the bulk of a proposed new state budget. Only funding for schools is safe.

Rauner says he had to do it because the plan approved by Democrats is out of balance and, thus, unconstitutional.

But that means Illinois in will have almost no spending authority when the new fiscal year begins next Wednesday, July 1.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Legislators' return to Springfield today failed to result in real movement toward a state budget agreement. That’s with six days remaining before the state loses its spending authority.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says Democrats are trying.

Gov. Bruce Rauner gave five conditions that must be met before he'll consider a tax hike that could balance the budget. 

Rauner, a Republican, says Illinois needs big changes, and he won't support asking taxpayers for more money without them.


The U.S. House is scheduled to take up legislation today designed to help the EPA better protect consumers from dangerous chemicals.

The bill also helps the agency pay for reviewing chemicals. The Natural Resources Defense Council says an estimated 80,000 chemicals have not been fully tested for their impact on human health and the environment.

The Toxic Substances Control Act was first passed in 1976. With it, the EPA was supposed to ensure the safety of chemicals, from their origin to their disposal. 

Susan Walsh/AP

Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is back home in Washington for the first time in almost two years. 

Jackson will serve the remaining three months of his federal prison sentence at home, followed by three years of supervised release.

The former South Side congressman was sent to prison in 2013 for spending campaign money on lavish personal items. Jackson spent about a year-and-a-half in an Alabama federal prison, and another three months in a Baltimore halfway house.


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner warns cuts are coming if there's no budget deal. Beginning July 1, that could leave some people without jobs. 

Several union members gathered to make an appeal to the Governor.

Kevin Holmes is employed as a Home Care Worker. He's a father of four.

Holmes is concerned about what will happen to his paycheck if Rauner's proposal to cut back on home care services for seniors and the disabled goes through. He says he's worried about the people he cares for.

Illinois Public Radio

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 Gov. Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

Just a few of the 20 budget bills which Democrats passed have made it to Rauner's desk, where 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.

Pill Lock Bill Awaits Gov. Rauner's Signature

Jun 19, 2015

Prescription drug overdoses have tripled since 1990. Legislation aimed at reducing that problem in Illinois is awaiting the governor’s signature.

The bill that cleared the Illinois House this week creates a one-year pilot program of locking caps on prescription opioid painkillers. The locks will be similar to common gym locks.

If Governor Bruce Rauner signs the bill, the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will supervise the program with participating pharmacies throughout the state.

The President of the Illinois Senate says he's pretty sure the budget showdown can be resolved before state services are affected. 

Illinois's current spending plan expires at the end of this month, but there's no deal on a new one. Governor Bruce Rauner is still pushing his agenda, which includes pro-business laws and forcing legislators to limit their terms in office.

The Republican's ideas were not well-received in the Democratic-led General Assembly. Despite their differences, Senate President John Cullerton says progress is being made. 

Rachel Scaman / WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner continues to meet with legislative leaders to try to hammer out a state budget before the end of the month. Meanwhile, state lawmakers continue to meet with constituents who will be most affected by budget cuts.

Rockford Democrats gathered a crowd of people at a Milestone, Inc. facility north of Rockford. Their causes ranged from breast cancer screenings to home health care assistance.