Political news

Komen.org / Susan G. Komen For The Cure

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget includes cuts to a program that allows uninsured women to receive access to cancer screenings.

Cuts to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program could mean about 14,000 uninsured women will lose access to free cancer screenings.

Doris Garrett from “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” says 27,000 women in Illinois received screenings last year, but that number will plummet if Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to cut nearly $10 million makes it into the budget.

Leslie Munger/twitter

Illinois' bill backlog is growing once again as the state's budget for the current fiscal year runs out of money.

Though state money is supposed to last through July 1, funding for programs like subsidized childcare, prison guard salaries and court reporters began drying up last month. 

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says her office is doing what it can to normalize funding to these programs. That includes ballooning the backlog back up to $8 billion.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois congressman Aaron Schock built his personal wealth off of extensive business dealings with campaign contributors. 

That’s according to an AP review. The Republican was under scrutiny for lavishly redecorating his Capitol Hill office and flying aboard private planes owned by donors. 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the Democrats aren’t making a serious effort to solve the state’s budget woes. 

A Democratic proposal to sweep money from several state accounts and use it to fund daycare subsidies and other programs that are running out of money has passed out of committee in the state legislature.

But Rauner says the measure is a distraction, not an answer to the problem.

Sarah Mittermeier / CC by NC 2.0

The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a right-to-work bill on a straight party-line vote.

The bill passed Friday on a 62-35 vote, with all Republicans in support and all Democrats against. The Senate passed it 17-15 Feb. 25 following eight hours of debate.

It now heads to Gov. Scott Walker, who has said he plans to sign it Monday.

Democrats hoped to convince 14 Republicans to join with them in rejecting the bill. Ultimately, all Republicans voted for it.

Debate went for 19 hours straight, ending shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, as both sides agreed it would.

Northern Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) reimbursed the federal government more than $1,200 for a flight to a Chicago Bears football game last November.

The Peoria Republican had charged the private air travel to his House office account, which is funded by taxpayers. A spokesman says Schock wrote a check to cover the costs of the trip.

Newly released congressional reports show Schock charged more than $14,000 in private air travel last fall. Those costs add to a list of flights he took on planes owned by donors.

Chicago Mayor Faces Runoff In April

Feb 25, 2015

Chicago’s race for mayor is going to a runoff.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn’t get enough votes to win Tuesday’s race. 

Emanuel faced four challengers and now he’s running against Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the April seventh election. 

President Obama made a last minute campaign stop in Chicago for his former White House aide, but Emanuel got about 45% of the vote in his run for a second term.  That fell short of the more than 50% needed to win Tuesday’s election.  Garcia received almost 34%. 

Lucas Koprowski / The Courier

Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will present his budget for the financially struggling state this week. Many Democrats are concerned he will propose big cuts to social service agencies. 

Greg Harris is a Chicago-based state Representative. He heads a committee that appropriates money to agencies that manage public health, child welfare, and mental health programs.

"All that takes revenue and right now the state is facing a $6 billion dollar loss of revenue next year and I just don’t think that’s sustainable."

Flickr user Marcin Wichary / "...and this time we mean it" (CC BY 2.0)

Some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to ban red-light cameras across the state. 

Towns carry the cameras as a way to make intersections safer, but opponents say the cameras are easy money-makers for communities and can cause more crashes in some cases with shortened yellow light times. 

Another measure introduced by state Representative La Shawn Ford would halt Chicago’s red-light camera system until officials submit a report to the General Assembly. It would detail how Congress would address red light safety problems, including shortened yellow light times.

A new plan to change the school funding formula is emerging in the legislature. Jason Barickman, a Republican state senator from Bloomington, plans to introduce a bill, which he believes will be supported by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“Think about something else he said yesterday, in the context of his criminal justice reforms. In announcing those reforms, the governor embraced an evidence-based model, and that’s what this is.”