Political news

Yes For Independent Maps / independentmaps.org

Supporters of a drive to change how Illinois’ political maps are drawn are celebrating Monday’s Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can remove partisan politics from redistricting. The justices upheld the constitutionality of Arizona’s independent redistricting commission: Arizona and California have created the commissions by voter referendum. They are independent groups tasked with redrawing Congressional boundaries, a job usually left to the political party in charge in each state.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Even as Illinois heads toward a partial government shutdown, Governor Bruce Rauner has largely stayed out of the public eye.

If you watch TV at all, it probably doesn't seem like it's been a long time since you heard from Gov. Rauner.

He's got a campaign-style ad running statewide.

"With your help, I'm going to keep fightin' to grow our economy and fix our broken state government," Rauner said in his ad.

In Rauner’s opinion piece within the Chicago Tribune, he updated what he wants legislators to do before he'll negotiate on revenue for the state budget.

Gov. Rauner Outlines What He Wants In Negotiations

Jun 29, 2015
Rachel Otwell

Illinois begins this week without a new budget --- though one is due by Wednesday.

Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner revised his plan. He's now offering Chicago and other municipalities some pension relief.

The Illinois House rejected a plan to let Chicago Public Schools wait 40 days to make a $634 million pension payment for teachers due next week. Now, Rauner proposed a swap, or having the state start paying the costs of Chicago teacher pensions going forward, in a Chicago Tribune editorial.

Flickr user Brad Flickinger / "student_ipad_school - 038" (CC BY 2.0)

Virtual learning days -- that's what snow days could turn into for three Illinois school districts if Gov. Bruce Rauner signs a bill to begin that trial program. 

The measure passed both state legislative houses but, even if Gov. Rauner signs the bill this week, the virtual learning test run would not begin for the three districts until the 2017-2018 school year.

Illinois Reacts To Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Jun 26, 2015
Credit Elsie esq / Flickr/Creative Commons

Chicago's Pride Parade wasn't until Sunday, but crowds turned out before then to celebrate the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel got emotional while addressing a crowd and thanking them for speaking up and speaking out over the years. Emanuel calls the decision a "victory for America's true values of treating everyone equally under the law.''

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage is "another step in the march toward equal rights.''

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF State Health

Following Thursday's ruling  from the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois residents who bought health insurance under the Affordable Care Act -- also known as "Obamacare" -- will get to keep tax credits that cut the cost of their plans. 

The question before the court was whether federal subsidies could be given out in states, including Illinois, that did not build their own online marketplaces. 


Tuesday is "deadline day" for state government.  But one deadline is being given a month-long extension.

Tuesday is the final day of the fiscal year; after that, the current budget expires. It's also the final day of the state's contract with its largest public employees union, AFSCME.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the union have met at the bargaining table, but AFSCME leadership has described the two sides are far apart.


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.