Politics

WUIS

On the state's 113th day without a budget, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner sloughed off critical comments Thursday made by his a pair of his predecessors.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar's still a popular figure within the Illinois GOP, which is why the harsh nature of his recent remarks garnered a lot of attention. Edgar scolded Rauner for putting his pro-business agenda ahead of the budget.

Then another Republican Governor from the past - James Thompson -- also said that Illinois is in the worst position it's ever been.

A lower-profile lawsuit against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert continues to move through the court system.

A judge says he will privately assess records of phone calls between the FBI and one of Hastert’s former business associates. J. David John sued Hastert in 2013, alleging the Yorkville Republican used a publicly funded office to do private business after leaving Congress. 

Hastert’s lawyers want to see the phone records from 2011: the judge says he’ll decide whether he’ll allow that after he reviews them.

Group Trying Again To Reform Illinois Redistricting

Oct 21, 2015
mapamendment.org

A group pushing for redistricting reform in the state of Illinois is trying for a second time to get an initiative on the ballot. 

Brian Moline talked with Cindi Canary, the Executive Director of Independent Maps.

In Illinois, redistricting is currently done by the state legislature, with the governor having the opportunity to veto. 

Canary said that when one party is in power, the process becomes overly partisan.

Illinois General Assembly

A Chicago Democrat is now calling Republican Governor Bruce Rauner “a gentleman.”

That’s after invoking slavery to illustrate what he says are extreme policies from Rauner.

Kwame Raoul is an African-American state senator representing Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Reporters asked him about meeting Governor Rauner halfway during this budget impasse.

“It depends on what the premise of what he wants,” Raoul said. “He could say he wants to put me in slavery, right? Should I meet him halfway?”

State of Illinois

The Illinois budget gridlock continues four months into the fiscal year. Downstate Republicans are finding themselves having to balance support for the Governor with constituent concerns.

One of those lawmakers is C.D. Davidsmeyer. He says he has his theories of when the General Assembly will negotiate a state budget.

Davidsmeyer says that would likely mean it will be worked out in December at the very earliest. He says little is happening that oculd move the situation toward compromise.

College Textbooks Could Soon Get A Lot Cheaper

Oct 12, 2015
WVIK

College students could soon save thousands of dollars each year on textbooks. Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Al Franken, from Minnesota, are proposing a bill so colleges and universities can provide more textbooks online for free.

Franken says the cost of textbooks has risen 82-percent over the last decade, and the average student spends over $1,200 on books each year. And, textbooks are one of the most "overlooked costs" when it comes to college affordability.

Illinois House Democrats

Illinois Democrats started the process of choosing a replacement for the late state Rep. Esther Golar of Chicago.

Alderman Raymond Lopez says Democratic committeemen from the 6th House district will meet Monday to consider candidates to serve the remainder of Golar's term. He says he wants to make sure someone who echos Golar's values is selected.

Golar represented parts of Chicago's southwest side from 2005 until her death last month at age 71. She was known as an advocate for the poor and middle class and for breaking into song on the House floor.

WUIS

Low-income, working parents are once again fighting for help from the state for childcare.

Since July, Illinois drastically reduced who's eligible for the state's daycare assistance program. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner made the change, he says, to save money.

For nearly two hours Tuesday at a hearing in Springfield, daycare providers and parents -- like Chante Morrison -- pressed Rauner to cancel the rollbacks.

Morrison is a single mother of two girls from Galesburg.

"I wanna work; my children need to know that you have to work to succeed," Morrison said.

Chuck Weaver Picked To Fill Vacant State Senate Seat

Oct 5, 2015
WCBU

Peoria City Councilman Chuck Weaver is replacing Darin LaHood in the state senate.  

A selection committee picked Weaver to fill the vacant 37th District senate seat after LaHood won election to Congress last month.

Weaver was one of 10 applicants for the appointment. He’s served on the Peoria City Council for more than four years.

LaHood was elected to fill Aaron Schock’s seat in Congress after Schock resigned in March. That was amid spending allegations against Schock after decorating his office in the style of the television show “Downton Abbey.”

State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's approval rating among the state's voters is still falling even after his exit from the presidential race last week. 

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday, Sept. 30, shows Walker's job approval rating is 37 percent.  That is down from 39 percent in August, when he was in the midst of his failed presidential run.   62 percent said they would not like to see Walker run for a third term as governor in 2018.

State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's job approval rating dropped to record lows the month after he formally announced his run for president. A Marquette University Law School poll to be released today will assess how residents feel about Walker since he abruptly dropped out of the race last week.

Walker says he plans to refocus his energy on being governor and traveling around the state.

Walker spent little time in Wisconsin during his presidential run, which officially began on July 13th. But Walker was traveling extensively around the country all year before that.

Wikipedia

If it felt like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did not spend much time in the state after announcing his run for president…it's because he didn't.

Walker's official calendar for July was released to The Associated Press under Wisconsin's open records law. It shows Walker spent one day that month in Wisconsin on official business after launching his presidential run July 13.

That one day was to attend a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board meeting and to sign a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

WUIS

Illinois is about to enter its fourth month without a budget. One of the state's top Democrats says the problem could be resolved within days, if the governor moved off his insistence that other laws pass first.

The last time Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders all got together was when the state had no budget crisis; it was apparently in late May, before the last fiscal year was over.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would have blocked public-employee strikes and management lockouts of those workers. He vetoed the bill in part because it was based on what he called the false premise he has been unreasonable in negotiating with state workers.

The governor also complained about the measure's plan to resolve contract-negotiation impasses with binding arbitration. 

senatorjuliemorrison.com

The Illinois Senate may vote on a plan this week to create a "one-stop shop" for people wanting to set up businesses in the state.

The measure would require the state to set up a website that provides details on the costs and links to the forms and information for setting up a business in Illinois. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Illinois political leaders are remembering Judy Baar Topinka.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "heartbroken" about the death of Republican state Comptroller. Topinka's office says she died early Wednesday after suffering a stroke. Quinn called her "a trailblazer in every sense of the word" and a "force of nature."

Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican, remembered Topinka for her "magnetic, one-of-a-kind personality." He said she cared "about what was best for the people" of Illinois.

State Lawmakers 'Likely To Debate' Minimum Wage Increase

Nov 19, 2014

Thousands of workers in Illinois should earn a "livable wage," not a minimum wage. That was the message Tuesday at news conferences organized by the Raise Illinois coalition around the state.

The state minimum is now $8.25 an hour, and officials are likely to debate raising the minimum wage to $10.65 an hour.

Mike Malmstrom is director of Bridging the Gap for Homeless Veterans. He says many people who leave the military can only find minimum wage jobs. 

WNIJ and NPR will bring you live coverage of the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney Monday evening beginning at 8PM from  Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida. The debate will be on issues around the topic of American foreign policy. Our coverage will be hosted by NPR's Audie Cornish. The debate will be moderated by Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News and Moderator of Face the Nation.

Election 2012 On WNIJ

Oct 16, 2012

Election 2012 News From NPR

Follow Illinois Election 2012 for coverage of candidates in your local races.


WNIJ and NPR will bring you live coverage of the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney this evening beginning at 8PM from  Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida. The debate will be on issues around the topic of American foreign policy. Our coverage will be hosted by NPR's Audie Cornish. The debate will be moderated by Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News and Moderator of Face the Nation.

Illinois delegates find different purposes in conventions

Aug 27, 2012

Though Hurricane Isaac successfully delayed the official start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Monday, the spirit and excitement of the delegates attending the convention has not been dampened.

Some Republicans already may be thinking a couple of years beyond the event.

Also thinking ahead are Illinois Democrats, as they prepare for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

UPDATE: WNIJ's and NPR's coverage of the DNC's final night starts at 7pm. Listen and join the live online chat.

Coverage of the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, North Carolina concludes tonight.

Senator Mark Kirk is alert and talking, according to doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Illinois' junior Senator's condition has been upgraded to "fair," more than a week after he suffered a major stroke.

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