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Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ News

Two northern Illinois members of Congress are gearing up for the November elections.  

16th District Republican Adam Kinzinger and 17th District Democrat Cheri Bustos are fighting to keep their seats this fall.  Kinzinger is facing off against Rockford lawyer Sara Dady, and says there is energy on both sides.  

 

"I feel very strongly about holding the Senate, maybe gaining some seats, and I think the House is certainly in play."

University of Illinois

 

In his first major political speech since leaving office, former President Barack Obama took aim at the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress — blaming them for inciting division and stoking fears in the country.

Obama delivered the address at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, where he also accepted the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Rockford Public Schools

 

 

lllinois is in the grips of a severe teacher shortage, but late last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation to raise their wages. The bill would’ve ramped up the minimum salary to $40,000 by the year 2022. In a message explaining his veto, Rauner called that an “unfunded mandate.”

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

White House counsel Don McGahn is resigning this autumn after a tumultuous stretch as President Trump's in-house lawyer.

Trump announced the departure on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

One likely candidate to replace McGahn is Emmet Flood, who joined the president's legal team in May to focus on the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday morning that Trump likes McGahn and that they have a "good relationship. There's not really a lot to add here."

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner brought his re-election campaign to the McDonough County Republican headquarters, where he said he wants to make more state  funding available for higher education. 

Rauner told the crowd of a few dozen people that Illinois is his home and he wants a better future for all of the state's children. He said that K-12 education is now being funded properly. The state has implemented a new funding formula designed to make state funding more equitable among school districts.

Thousands of Illinois Democrats met Thursday in Springfield for the party’s annual state fair brunch.

Candidates repeated familiar attacks on Republicans. But some say they need to do more.

Governor Bruce Rauner on Facebook

Illinois Republicans are converging on Springfield and the Illinois State Fair for Governor's Day.

The annual festivities Wednesday draw a focus on the crucial November balloting. Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to win re-election along with a slate of statewide and congressional candidates.

Republican regulars meet early Wednesday in downtown Springfield before GOP faithful hit the fairgrounds for an old-fashioned campaign rally at noon.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

At a bill signing event in Springfield, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner continued to say House Speaker Michael Madigan should be prosecuted. 

Last week the governor said he would help fund the campaign of Republican attorney general nominee Erika Harold, hoping she could prosecute Madigan. But, for days, the Republican governor has not said what he thinks Madigan has done wrong. 

That's until now – sort of. 

Flickr User Brad Hagan / (CC X 2.0)

Activists are organizing a "March to the Polls 2018" as a follow up to the Women's March in January.

Women's March Chicago has announced the event for Oct. 13 to celebrate the opening of early voting in Illinois. Organizers describe it as a "critical next step in voter engagement" as women show that they are "changing outcomes at the ballot box to protect a fragile democracy."

Victoria Lunacek

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate J.B. Pritzker stopped in DeKalb on Sunday to rally support from local Democrats. He also unveiled a new campaign office. He says the goal is to further expand campaign efforts beyond Chicago and the collar counties.  Pritzker also framed his campaign as a challenge to Washington.

"I decided to run for governor because everything we care about, and I really mean everything, is under siege right now by a racist misogynist in Washington, and his local silent partner Governor Bruce Rauner," he said.

Willie Wilson/Facebook

The Illinois attorney general's office is looking at a Chicago mayoral candidate's charitable foundation after he's handed out more than $300,000 in cash and checks to local residents.

The Dr. Willie Wilson Foundation calls the office's action an investigation that's politically motivated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's allies.

Lawsuit Prompts Emergency DACA Workshops

Aug 8, 2018
Sarah Jesmer

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is in legislative limbo. Seven states are suing the federal government in an effort to end the program.

A Texas district judge will hear this lawsuit Wednesday, August 8th.  The hearing, led by Judge Andrew S.  Hanen, could lead to DACA’s suspension.

Two emergency workshops took place this week in Aurora. Organizers are trying to get as many renewal applications filed before the hearing takes place.

Facebook / Kash Jackson for Governor

The Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor, who's campaigned against the state's child-support system, engaged in a shouting match with a judge about money he owes his ex-wife and access to child visitation.

Flickr user Daniel X. O'Neil / (CC x 2.0)

Former governor Pat Quinn wants to limit Chicago mayors to two terms.Credit Flickr User Daniel X. O'Neil / (CC x 2.0)Edit | Remove

Organizers of a petition drive to impose term limits for Chicago mayors say they have enough signatures to put the question before voters.

Former Illinois governor Pat Quinn on Monday filed 86,481 signatures to get a binding referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot. That is 33,962 signatures above the legal requirement.

Tammy Duckworth

  

Senator Tammy Duckworth was one of 23 lawmakers to introduce legislation earlier this week that would block the sale of blueprints for 3D-printed firearms. 

Speaking on The 21st show, the Illinois Democrat says she hopes to prevent the spread of 3-D printed firearms by blocking the online instructions to create them.

“They're dangerous not just for the potential victims but also for the shooters, they, these guns also tend to blow up.”

www.facebook.com/joebiden/

A planned visit to Springfield, Illinois, later this month by former Vice President Joe Biden, is proving to be a bigger attraction than expected.

Biden's visit on Aug. 16 is proving so popular that plans have changed to accommodate more people. He is keynoting the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch at a Springfield hotel. The brunch kicks off the Illinois State Fair's Democrat Day.

Kinzinger Visits DeKalb On Regional Tour

Aug 1, 2018
Sarah Jesmer

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is touring parts of his district this week. That included a stop at Northern Illinois University on Tuesday.

The 16th District Republican visited a new lab that recently opened at NIU. Officials hope the hands-on experience for students and researchers will prepare people for labs like Batavia’s Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL.

Kinzinger is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said he wanted to meet people who interact with federal funding and STEM programs.

cityofchicago.org

A federal judge ruled Friday that the U.S. Justice Department does not have the authority to withhold grants from the city of Chicago because of its policies that provide sanctuary to immigrants.

The city sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions last August after the Justice Department ordered Chicago and other sanctuary cities to give 48-hours' notice before releasing from custody immigrants who entered the country illegally. The Justice Department also sought access to jails by federal agents and the sharing of citizenship information.

Liberty Justice Center

The Illinois worker behind the lawsuit that led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated fees paid by nonmembers of public employee unions is joining the group that oversaw his case.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services employee Mark Janus is joining the Illinois Policy Institute and its Liberty Justice Center on Aug. 1 as a "senior fellow."

Willie Wilson/Facebook

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday he didn't know a candidate for Chicago mayor planned to hand out $200,000 to churchgoers at a service where the governor also spoke, a scene that prompted opponents to accuse the Republican of trying to buy votes for his own re-election.

Rauner, who's facing a tough fight for a second term this fall, said he learned "after the fact" that Willie Wilson distributed the cash and checks at an African-American church Sunday morning and was "pretty upset" about it.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Last fall, JB Pritzker spoke to reporters after getting the nod from the Illinois Democratic County Chairs in Springfield. He told the crowd what his campaign was about.

"It's a lot about beating Bruce Rauner. But it isn't just about beating Bruce Rauner," the Hyatt Hotel heir and billionaire said. "It's about electing every Democrat, everywhere in this state. It's about building the biggest, strongest tent in Illinois politics. It's about being ready to win up and down the ballot."

Sarah Jesmer

Farm Bill negotiations have begun between the U.S. House and Senate.

The Farm Bill is a multi-year law that governs food programs and agricultural policy. It’s renewed roughly every five years. The last Farm Bill was drafted in 2014.

The House and Senate will have to agree on a final version before the current bill expires at the end of September.

Illinois is home to more than 70,000 farms, which will be affected by this bill in some way.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he does not agree with President Trump’s initial statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump on Monday seemed to accept Russian denials about interfering in the 2016 election. That's despite American intelligence agencies concluding numerous hacks were a Russian government operation.

“We should not be defending (the) Russians’ behavior,” Rauner says. “Putin is a brutal dictator. The Russians are not our friends.”

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have gotten the state out of the controversial Crosscheck voter identification program.

The Interstate Crosscheck System is meant to identify voters who are double registered.

But an analysis by academics at Stanford, Harvard and Microsoft found one Crosscheck purging strategy would eliminate 300 legitimate voters for every one double voter.

Groups Focus On #MeToo In Campaign Workplaces

Jul 9, 2018

A panel is traveling across Illinois to hear about what it’s like to be a female in politics. The Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel is hosting listening sessions to hear about sexual harassment in the political workplace.

The non-partisan panel is led by Comptroller Susana Mendoza, State Sen. Melinda Bush, and State Rep. Carol Ammons. 

Becky Carroll is Communications Director for the group. She says their findings on workplace sexual harassment can apply to all political races, not just in Illinois.

courtesy Bob Pritchard / Facebook

A state representative from northern Illinois is leaving the legislature six months early. 

Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, announced last year that he wouldn’t run for re-election, but he planned to continue representing the DeKalb area until his replacement is sworn in in January. That plan changed this week.

"I’ve been appointed to a board by the governor," said Pritchard. "As such, I had to resign from my legislative position. And that is all taking place on July 1."

FLICKR User Victoria Pickering

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. marching arm-in-arm with other civil rights activists. Cesar Chavez hoisting a picket sign in a farm workers' strike. Gloria Steinem rallying other feminists for equal rights.

 

During the 1960s and into the 1970s, amid the turbulence of protests for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, every movement seemed to have a famous face — someone at a podium or at the front of a march who possessed a charismatic style, soaring oratory and an inspiring message.

Not so today.

WILL

Behavioral health service providers in Illinois would see a slight rate increase under the budget passed by the General Assembly Thursday.

 

Sara Howe, CEO of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, said the budget comes with a three percent rate increase for substance use treatment. It also makes permanent a three percent rate increase for mental health services that was implemented last year.

But Howe said the increases are small relative to the costs of providing the care.

WBEZ

The Illinois Senate has sent the governor legislation allowing courts to temporarily confiscate guns from people threatening violence.

 

The Senate voted 43-11 today. Democratic Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield is the sponsor of what is meant to be a step toward preventing gun violence.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

President Trump has called off a highly anticipated June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting," Trump wrote in a letter to Kim.

Trump's decision comes hours after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, in remarks carried on the country's official KCNA news service, said it would not "beg the U.S. for dialogue" and warned that it could make Washington "taste an appalling tragedy."

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