Political news

WUIS/Peoria Public Radio

Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has been critical of the Democrats he’s negotiating with, saying they have profited off of insider deals.

But he hasn’t said how -- specifically.

Rauner has to negotiate with Democratic leadership in the legislature to get his agenda approved. He’s calling out House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton for personally benefitting from their positions of power.

They’re both also Chicago attorneys for separate law firms.

Regardless Of Budget, WIU Workers Get Paychecks

Jun 15, 2015
Tim Schroll/WIU

Employees of Western Illinois University will receive paychecks next month whether the state has approved a new budget or not. 

The board of trustees held its quarterly meeting on the Quad Cities campus in Moline on Friday.

The fiscal year begins July 1, and budget director Matt Bierman says WIU has enough money to get by for several months.

“We’ll be okay for most of the fall semester, because of tuition dollars,” Bierman said. “We’ll be fine through November. We’ll see how it goes after that.”

Without a budget agreement in Springfield, a possible government shutdown gets closer. And for already cash-strapped schools, it's not just state money that's at stake, but federal money, too.

Schools have three major sources of funding: Local property taxes, state money and federal dollars. Depending on how wealthy or poor an area is, those three sources vary in weight.

But schools in high-poverty areas tend to need extra educational mediation...that's where federal money comes in.

Rauner: More Cuts On The Way

Jun 15, 2015
Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Another swath of programs could get the axe. Governor Bruce Rauner released a second round of cuts Friday due to the uncertainty over a new state budget. 

There's no deal, with the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

At the start of this month, Rauner -- a Republican -- announced he's closing a downstate prison work camp, the State Museum in Springfield, and cutting off funding of a program that helps low-income people pay their electric bills.

That list has grown.

Hannah Meisel/WILL

At a stop Wednesday in Decatur, Gov. Bruce Rauner indicated he'd let the state go without a budget if Democratic leaders don't bend to his wishes...and he’ll blame it on the Democrats, too.

Last month, Democrats pushed through a budget that spends $4 billion more than the state has. Rauner says he won't sign it -- or talk revenue -- until his pro-business ideas are also passed. The governor told the crowd outside Decatur's Beach House Restaurant getting the five items on his agenda passed shouldn't be a big deal.

state of Illinois

Democrats in Illinois passed a new budget for the state that is billions of dollars out of balance.  That has GOP Governor Bruce Rauner threatening to veto it.

There's little sign of a break in the legislature versus governor stalemate.

What happens if we reach the end of the month without one?

"Nearly all payments will stop on July 1," says Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger.

Without a budget in place before the new fiscal year, the constitution takes away her ability to pay most of the state's bills. But not all of them.

There’s a movement to balance the state’s budget by bringing in more revenue instead of cutting programs. Tuesday night, local school superintendents were joined by other community leaders at a forum at Rock Valley College to hear plans on how  to “break the budget gridlock.”


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner received a mixed reception Monday during a southern Illinois stop meant to build public support for his legislative agenda.

Union protesters jeered the Republican at a Belleville farm market. It was Rauner’s last rally before the General Assembly returns to pass a budget for the fiscal year beginning next month.

Rauner reiterated his call for legislators to endorse several pro-business reforms he says are critical for the state's future before he will consider a spending plan approved by Democrats.

Hastert Pleads Not Guilty In Hush-Money Case

Jun 9, 2015

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's brief appearance in federal court Tuesday did little to answer a long list of legal questions about the case against him, and even created some new ones.

Flickr user Shannon / "Happy Hour at Scene" (CC BY 2.0)

Happy hour drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980s, but they could come back under a measure awaiting the governor's signature. 

The proposal would restrict specials to four hours a day and no happy hour deals after 10 p.m. 

Its sponsor, Democratic Representative Sara Feigenholtz from Chicago, says it modernizes the law.