Governor Bruce Rauner | WGLT

Governor Bruce Rauner

It's Over: Illinois Has First Budget Since 2015

Jul 6, 2017
Mike Madigan walks
Seth Perlman / AP

The Illinois House voted Thursday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget package. The action gives Illinois its first annual spending plan since 2015.

State Sen. Bill Brady

Republicans in the Illinois Senate have elected Sen. Bill Brady to serve as the chamber's minority leader.  

The Republican from Bloomington was selected Friday to replace GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno, who announced Thursday she was stepping down. 


As Illinois’ top political leaders struggle to end a two year budget standoff, one of them has announced she’s resigning.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno is stepping down effective Saturday. That’s the first day of Illinois' new budget year, and would be the third without a real budget unless she and the other legislative leaders cut a deal.

Kennedy Slams Rauner For Intentional Damage To State

Jun 20, 2017
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

One of the Democratic Candidates for Governor is accusing Republican Governor Bruce Rauner of purposefully wrecking Illinois.

Speaking recently in Normal, Chris Kennedy said Governor Rauner intentionally used the budget deadlock to target social services.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A slew of high ranking Democrats showed up in Bloomington Normal for a letter carriers union convention at the Uptown Marriot. They included the Senate President John Cullerton, Senator Dick Durbin, and businessman and Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy.
Kennedy is taking aim at the state property tax system saying it's 'legalized extortion' when politically elected assessors elevate assessments and politically connected lawyers appeal them. Kennedy said this is not just a problem in Chicago, but everywhere in the state.

NCHS teacher Patrick Lawler

A group of Normal Community High School students has tried their hands at breaking the budget deadlock.

A group led by Social Studies teacher Patrick Lawler drove to Springfield to meet with General Assembly members.

David Stillman / Flickr

A nonpartisan research group said Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago said unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

The group has published an 86-page report outlining where it thinks Illinois ought to go.

Staff / WGLT

61 social service agencies suing the State of Illinois over the budget impasse got their day in court on Thursday.

An attorney for the agencies told Illinois Appellate Court judges the agencies are political hostages because of the budget impasse. Those groups are suing the state to get paid what they’re owed.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Governor Bruce Rauner indicates a key difference in competing school funding bills is a bargaining chip.

Rauner said Chicago Schools should be treated the same as other districts by the state. That came during a tour of the Beer Nuts factory in Bloomington as WGLT asked Rauner about Senator Jason Barickman's school funding formula bill.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Illinois lawmakers have returned to Springfield as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget.

Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner was in the Chicago suburbs Monday pushing to add toll-lanes to Interstate 55. He also took the opportunity to attack Illinois Democrats.

Meagan Davis / Flickr

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking her case over state employee pay to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Madigan is asking the justices to review a lower court order that has kept state workers getting paid during the 20-month budget stalemate.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is still concerned that a growing number of people are leaving the state.

During a stop in Normal Wednesday, Rauner said lower property taxes and more jobs could help keep people in Illinois. 

Staff / WGLT

The first of two Democrats to announce a formal campaign for governor says he wants a "new deal" for Illinois. Ameya Pawar visited Normal and talked about his vision for the state in a Sound Ideas interview.

182nd Airlift Wing / Flickr

Several months after first being mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Illinois, U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos has decided against it.

The congresswoman from East Moline and the 17th District said she will run for re-election next year instead.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register/Pool

Governor Bruce Rauner is finally weighing in on a bipartisan deal meant to end Illinois’ budget stalemate. Rauner shot down a key component of the compromise during his budget speech.

Rauner was kept out of the Senate negotiations from the start. He has since praised them in general but refused to get into specifics until now. In his budget speech to the General Assembly Rauner said he does support expanding the sales tax to cover more services but he opposes taxing groceries and drugs.

JWolff-STL / Flickr

Next week a downstate judge is scheduled to hear arguments whether Illinois state workers should be paid if there’s still no budget. The result could shut down state government.

Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan says if a judge rules employees cannot get paid, the threat of a shutdown could force a budget agreement.

Rauner Madigan Mediator Failed

Feb 10, 2017
Dave Gray / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner says an undisclosed third party tried to help strike a budget deal between the Illinois governor and his main political rival, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The Governor was asked on Chicago Public Radio whether he has tried a mediator with Democratic House Speaker Madigan.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Politicians of all parties often sidestep awkward questions.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner followed that tradition during a stop at Heartland Community College in Normal on Wednesday.

Tazwood Center For Wellness

Editors Note: During our interview series Stretched Thin, we reported on the impact of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies   That was in spring of 2016. There's still no budget. In our new series Stretched Thinner, we check back in with those social social service agencies.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Gov. Bruce Rauner said he is "deeply optimistic" about the future of Illinois despite the state's problems. He addressed a joint session of the General Assembly with his third State of the State address.

The Republican said he is frustrated by the "slow pace of change."

Illinois State University

Governor Bruce Rauner has filled three vacancies on the Illinois State University Board of Trustees. All three new trustees are ISU graduates.

Julie Jones, Sharon Rossmark, and John Rauschenberger will replace the three board members whose terms expired last week.

Jim Meadows / IPR

One of the goals of Governor Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda is to reduce the number of local units of government.

Illinois has more of those than any other state. 

Matt Turner / Flickr

Illinois legislators' fall veto session is getting underway, and already a bipartisan split is festering.

Sunday, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said a conflict prevented him from accepting an invitation to meet with the governor Monday.

Gov. Rauner's Income Triples In 2015

Nov 11, 2016
Illinois Lawmakers / Illinois Public Media

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made $188 million last year. That’s according to tax returns released Friday.

Rauner’s income this year was more than 3 times the $58 million he made last year. He earned his fortune as a venture capitalist before taking office in 2014. When he became governor, he put his investments in a so-called blind trust. His 2015 tax returns show Rauner and his wife paid more than $50 million in federal and state taxes.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr/Creative Commons

About 260,000 low-income Illinois residents were in danger of losing food stamp priveleges early next year.

The administration of Governor Bruce Rauner has applied for a federal waiver to continue access through 2017.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr/Creative Commons

The budget standoff in Illinois may be contributing to the same voter anger that gave rise to Donald Trump's campaign.

That's according to State Senator Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democrat.

Brian Mackey / IPR

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he condemns sexual assault ``in the strongest possible way'' after women alleged Donald Trump groped them, but the Illinois Republican refuses to say whether he'll vote for the GOP presidential nominee.  

Rauner did not mention Trump's name during his remarks Thursday and reiterated that he has not made an endorsement in the presidential race.  

In March, Rauner said he would ``support the Republican Party's nominee for president.'' Trump was the front-runner then, but not yet the nominee.  


Illinois voters this fall will have a chance to amend the state constitution. The governor refuses to say whether he supports the change. 

Illinois has gotten into the habit of using money that was supposed to be used to fill pot holes, and instead using it to fill holes in the budget.

Road contractors and construction workers got sick of it, so they came up with an idea.  Put road money in a sort of "lock box."  Amend the constitution so it has to be used on transportation needs, and nothing else.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Governor Bruce Rauner came into office as a big advocate of charters schools. He promoted the idea again this week during a Facebook live forum, when he seemed to tie school choice to  the state budget.