Political news

Hannah Meisel/IPR

Gov. Bruce Rauner lit a fire under labor unions this week when he suggested local governments should be able to implement their own right-to-work laws. Yesterday, Rauner went one step further, saying government unions should be banned from contributing to political campaigns.

Rauner had largely been silent about unions since winning his primary campaign last March. In the general election, the candidate abandoned his talk of "government union bosses" who he says control contracts with the state, driving up the cost of business. But this week, that talk and phrase is back.

Rauner Criticizes School Admin Costs

Jan 30, 2015

Gov. Bruce Rauner is criticizing the number of school districts and administrators in the K-through-12 system as too costly.

Rauner is calling for what he calls "education bureaucracy" to be pared down, citing the more than 850 school districts and 13,000 administrators in the state. 

The governor said this week in Champaign that not enough of the state's tax dollars actually make it to the classroom.

Two key points in Rauner's gubernatorial campaign were letting the state's temporary income tax hike expire and promising to increase funding for schools.

state of Illinois

The Illinois House voted to pass the rules for how the legislature will run itself for the next two years. But Republicans took issue with a few of the procedures. 

Representative Ed Sullivan from Mundelein wants to extend the time period that information is posted online before legislators can debate a bill. The rules require only a one-hour notice before a hearing.

"I want to talk a little bit about the voice of the public, those that we serve, and what their voice is within the rules, and their ability to have more transparency."


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner nears the top of a national list of last year's biggest campaign contributors. 

The Center for Public Integrity gathered data on political giving to state races. It used that information to crown "sugar daddies of state politics."

Rauner and his wife, Diana, came in seventh. That's just counting the money Rauner put into his campaign committee before Election Day.

Union Reaction To Rauner's Local 'Right To Work' Option

Jan 28, 2015

Governor Bruce Rauner says workers shouldn't be forced to join a union. The Republican disclosed his right-to-work proposal yesterday during a speech in Decatur, a city with deep union roots. 

During his bid for governor, Rauner said that he's not anti-union.

He's says he's anti "government union bosses,"  who he blames for giving Illinois' previous Democratic governors big campaign checks, as down payments for favorable deals. He calls it a corrupt bargain.

New DeKalb City Clerk Announced

Jan 27, 2015
City of DeKalb

Marcia Sweigert was sworn in as DeKalb City Clerk at Monday night’s Council meeting. She was appointed by Mayor John Rey and received unanimous approval by the Council.

Sweigert starts her duties immediately, and her interim appointment will end this spring. The Clerk’s office is up for election on April 7th. Officials elected at that time will begin serving in May.


An ally of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will chair the state agency that owns the Chicago White Sox stadium, and oversaw the renovations of Soldier Field. But one of former Governor Pat Quinn's closest confidants will still retain another high-paying post. 

The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority has been home base for all sorts of political wins and losses over the years. And there's a whole roster of players.

Most recently, Quinn secured the executive director's job for his former campaign manager.  Lou Bertuca was hired without a national search.

Illinois lawmaker Kelly Cassidy is again trying to ban counseling that tries to make gay kids, straight.

Sexual orientation conversion therapy can cause depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, according to reports from psychologists. A proposal to make the therapy off limits for minors failed last year in the Illinois House. 

The CEO of the gay rights group Equality Illinois, Bernard Cherkasov, is hopeful it will pass this time. 


Almost $11,000 is unaccounted for in an internal audit of a northern Illinois sheriff’s department’s towing fund. The Ogle County Sheriff's Department expects the audit to take a couple of months. 

The forensic audit also found about $61,000 in fees were not deposited in the county's general fund as required.

The investigation began after a forensic auditor could not account for the money in the administrative tow fund, which was controlled by former Sheriff Michael Harn. An ordinance allows the sheriff's department to charge $350 to tow vehicles.


It has been about two years since 26 people, most of them young children, died in a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The shooter was 20-year-old Adam Lanza.

A report studying him was released late last year by Connecticut's child advocate office. It shows problems identifying and treating his mental illness.

"There were several missed opportunities to help Lanza," said Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan on the opening day of the new General Assembly.