Politics

Political news

State of Illinois

State Senator Darin LaHood is expected to step down this week after winning election to Congress. That means the ten Republican Party chairs in the district have one month to review applications and pick a replacement.

Peoria County Republican Party chairwoman Katherine Coyle says four people are interested in the job so far.

“Many of those people have been making their way just to meet for coffee, meet all the county chairman, get to know them, talk to them, show them their resumes, that type of thing,” Coyle said.

Wikipedia

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is calling for sweeping restrictions on organized labor in the U.S. He says he seeks to replicate nationwide his successful effort as Wisconsin's governor to curb the power of unions.

At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas today, Walker will propose eliminating unions for federal workers and making all workplaces right-to-work … unless individual states vote otherwise.

He also wants to scrap the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices and make it more difficult for unions to organize.

senatorhaine.com

Illinois repealed capital punishment in 2011. Four years later, a state lawmaker wants to bring it back.

Senator Bill Haine, an Alton Democrat, says some acts are so evil, they call for a special response.

"The law should be a force reckoned with,” Haine said. “And part of that is to have available, to a prosecutor and to a jury, the option of asking for the death penalty -- if someone forfeits one's life if they cross that line." 

Illinois’ top four legislative leaders used to hold marathon meetings with the governor to work out their differences. But that changed this year. The state’s top leaders haven’t met in months.

When is the last time House Speaker Michael Madigan met with Gov. Bruce Rauner?

"Last meeting with the governor? I don’t recall exactly when it was."

He said that Wednesday night. A few weeks earlier, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin on the same question:

“It was a month and a half ago."

glbtq.com

A national survey conducted by the University of Illinois-Springfield shows growing positive attitudes toward the rights of transgendered people…but maybe not when it comes to their medical care.

The online survey shows 81 percent support those who are transgendered having the same rights as the rest of us. But only about half are for using public funds to help provide medical treatment for transgender people.

Teamsters Local 916 Facebook

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration says it reached tentative agreements on new labor contracts with several Teamsters Union groups representing almost five thousand workers.

The administration reached agreements with Local 916, which represents professional and technical workers at IDOT, and the negotiating committee representing highway maintenance workers.

Both groups must still vote to ratify the agreements. They call for a four-year wage freeze, continuation of a 40-hour work week before overtime is paid and a reduction in payouts for unused vacation days.

cookcountyil.gov

Candidates with political ambitions both high and low in Illinois have one thing in common today: They can start collecting signatures to get on the 2016 ballot.

Collecting signatures is the kind of thing that can end a candidacy if they aren’t valid.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin hopes to win the Democratic nomination to run against Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. He says a candidate collecting thousands of signatures has to do three things:

AFSCME

A key vote in the standoff between Gov. Bruce Rauner and labor is expected in the Illinois House this week, as early as Wednesday.

Rauner has been trying to convince legislators to let him keep his power to negotiate with the AFSCME union, even if it results in a lockout or strike -- though Rauner has vowed he won't call for the former.

At the same time, AFSCME leaders are asking state representatives to stick with them.

WCBU

Candidates seeking Illinois's 18th Congressional District seat vacated by Aaron Schock reiterated their positions during a second debate this week.  

State Senator Darin LaHood and Rob Mellon also talked about campaign finance reform.  

Mellon, a Democrat from Quincy, says the way districts are drawn helped LaHood raise $1.5 million in campaign donations.

“And so they create these very safe districts, and they’re money making schemes,” Mellon said.

That charge was dismissed by LaHood, a Peoria Republican.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

The portion of the gas tax collected when you fuel your car is supposed to be forwarded to Illinois municipalities. They use it to fill potholes, or buy road salt.

Instead, that money is trapped in the budget stalemate.

Macomb Mayor Michael Inman says this month's skipped payment is preventing cities from repairing roads.

"Mayors find themselves in a holding pattern as we wait for the state to take action,” Inman said. “Winter is fast approaching, and time is not on our side."

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