Politics

Political news

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

A published report says roughly one-third of Republican legislators haven't cashed checks given to them from Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign fund in the waning days of the legislative session.

The first-term Republican gave about $400,000 to all 67 Republican House and Senate members in May. Several Republicans say they felt it was inappropriate while issues were being debated.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports that as of last week 22 lawmakers hadn't cashed the checks totaling about $119,000.

Illinois Issues / WUIS

Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner pushes for legislators to authorize a new way of drawing the state’s political map, a citizen-driven initiative is underway.

As part of the bargain Rauner is trying to make with Democrats, he wants the legislature to agree to give up control for drawing district boundaries.

Cindi Canary isn’t waiting around.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

The Wisconsin State Assembly has passed a bill banning non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

The Republican-controlled chamber approved the bill 61-34 Thursday. The Senate passed the measure in June. It now goes to Governor Scott Walker, who has said he will sign it into law. 

Under the proposal, doctors who perform a non-emergency abortion after 20 weeks could be punished by up to $10,000 in fines and 3 1/2 years in prison. The bill doesn't provide exceptions for pregnancies resulting from sexual assault or incest.  

House Approves Temporary Budget; Senate OK Needed

Jul 9, 2015
state of Illinois

A stopgap Illinois budget padded with guaranteed state-employee paychecks for July has won House approval, but the change delays its delivery to the governor.  

The $2.3 billion plan that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes was endorsed 71-19 Thursday.

The previous version included just emergency expenses, so the current bill must return to the Senate for concurrence because of the pay provision. The Senate is not scheduled to convene until 4 p.m. next Tuesday.

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

Several attorneys are vowing to appeal a judge’s decision that would force the state to pay Illinois workers minimum wage instead of their normal salary.

A Cook County judge ruled that if state lawmakers can’t agree on a spending plan - then the person who signs the paychecks lacks the authority to do her job.

That would be Comptroller Leslie Munger, and her office is appealing the ruling.

The agency that processes pay says it’ll take up to a year to change all the employees’ salaries in the state’s outdated computer accounting systems.

It turns out, the State of Illinois has limited spending authority even without a budget; a pair of judges said so in separate rulings.

In one case, a federal judge ruled the Department of Children and Family Services must continue to serve abused and neglected kids who've been removed from their homes -- despite the deadlock between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders of the General Assembly.

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

A Cook County judge has ruled Illinois may not continue to pay state workers in full during an ongoing budget impasse. Now the state comptroller says she will appeal the decision.

Today, voters in Illinois' 18th Congressional District choose a Democrat and a Republican for the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.

Only a small number of voters will go to the polls, according to Matt Streb, who chairs the political science department at Northern Illinois University.

DCFS

UPDATE, 11:15 am

A federal judge says Illinois must keep funding child-protection services while the governor and lawmakers haggle over the budget. The ACLU went to court to ask the judge to keep money available for for the Department of Children and Family Services, regardless of the ruling on paychecks for other state employees.

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Two key court hearings are happening in Chicago today that could shape how the Illinois state government shutdown plays out. 

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

State employees can expect to get paychecks through July. That's for work performed before the new fiscal year began.

After that, will they get paid if a budget impasse continues? A court hearing this morning could help decide.

Talk to Illinois' Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, and it sounds simple. Without a budget, Illinois has lost much of its authority to spend money.

"In order for all employees to be paid their full amount of pay, a budget needs to be passed by the legislature and approved by the governor,” Madigan said.

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