Illinois Politics | WGLT

Illinois Politics


A battle of words has broken out between Illinois' former and current comptrollers after Democrat Susana Mendoza said her new offices felt ``looted.''  

Mendoza tells WLS-AM radio on Sunday's ``Connected to Chicago'' show that when she took over for Republican Leslie Munger this month there was furniture removed, documents missing and keys that didn't match locks. Mendoza defeated Munger in the November general election.  

Mendoza said she couldn't make a ``definitive statement'' on if ``pilfering'' was involved.  

Staff / WGLT

ISU Faculty and staff will see more in their paychecks next year.

University President Larry Dietz has announced raises up to two percent will begin in January.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corporation says it is hiring more than 200 people at the Clinton nuclear power plant, a significant number of them permanent positions.

The company had held off on a number of capital projects and on hiring as plant jobs came open from resignations or retirements for much of the last year.

A man and woman marching in parade holding a banner for Democratic Party
Courtesy of McLean County Democrats Facebook page

Leaders in the McLean County Democratic Party are gathering tonight for what they’re calling a re-organization meeting and they're putting out an open call for anyone interested.  They hope to capitalize on the anger and interest so many people have following Hillary Clinton’s loss in the presidential election.

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.


Public colleges and universities in Illinois may soon be able to furlough employees for up to three weeks.

The ongoing budget impasse has taken a toll on higher education. Regular state funding has dried up, replaced by a mere trickle of stop-gap money.

Matt Turner / Flickr

Illinois’ constitution has been amended for the 14th time since it was adopted in 1970.

Voters overwhelmingly approved what’s known as a “lockbox” for transportation dollars.

A well-funded alliance of business and labor organizations waged a campaign for the amendment, after lawmakers skimmed millions from Illinois’ road fund to pay for other needs.

Mike Sturino is the CEO of The Illinois Road and Transportation Builders.

Suspicous Voters Skip Local Machine Demos

Nov 1, 2016
Vendor shows how touch screen voting machines operate
Courtesy of McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael

Amped up accusations of a rigged election, promoted heavily by Donald Trump and his supporters, have left local election officials investigating complaints and offering reality checks.  In one case, a voter reported he thought a tabulation machine  shredded his paper ballot once it was inserted when he voted in the March primary.  To ally concerns and to comply with the law, Bloomington Election Commission Director Paul Shannon publicly showed off how touch screens work and votes are tabulated.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Illinois State University leaders are concerned about an effort to grant a community college the authority to offer bachelor's degrees in nursing.

The measure pushed by State Senator Andy Manar is billed as a way to address a nursing shortage.

Michael Bentley / Flickr

The major party candidates running for Illinois comptroller are set to square off in their only televised debate.

Republican incumbent Leslie Munger and Democrat Susana Mendoza are scheduled to appear together Tuesday evening on Chicago's WTTW.

Munger, a businesswoman, was appointed to the post last year after Republican Judy Baar Topinka died shortly after her 2014 re-election. Mendoza, a former state lawmaker, is Chicago's city clerk.

The winner of the Nov. 8 election will finish out the last half of the four-year term.

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.

Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The leader of Illinois' largest utility is appealing to lawmakers’ competitive spirits to get them on board with overhauling energy regulations.

Com-Ed CEO Ann Pramaggiore says many Fortune 500 companies have committed to meeting sustainable energy goals.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A new state law that took effect in July has the potential to make life more difficult for County Boards across the state.

McLean County Civil Assistant State's Attorney Don Knapp said the law covers budget adjustments and makes it tougher to change the spending plan.

Senator McCann

A state senator who staved off a primary fight is now also free from a complaint that he misused campaign contributions.

But, perhaps he’s not free for long.


Summer is always a quieter time on college campuses. Most students go home for a summer job or take an internship elsewhere. Faculty and staff typically have less to do on campus. Some might even leave town for a vacation. 

For three months of the year, the local businesses and industries that profit from the needs and wants of the university community adjust.

Katherine Johnson / Creative Commons

You’ve probably heard of a “one-party state,” but what about a "one-man party"?

One man setting the agenda. One man calling the shots. And perhaps most importantly - one man - writing the checks.

Michael Hill / WGLT

A life insurance company asked to participate in a series of statewide task force meetings with the Illinois State Treasurer said in a statement they were given less than a day’s notice to respond to the invite.

Frerichs' Life Insurance Task Force Touring Illinois

Aug 17, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Some Illinois residents are speaking out in support of a bill to make it easier for people to receive life insurance benefits.

Former Opponent Sues Speaker Madigan

Aug 8, 2016

Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is being sued by one of his opponent’s in this year’s Democratic primary.

Jason Gonzales lost to Speaker Madigan in the March primary, receiving 27 percent of the votes.

Opponent Urges Rep. LaHood to Dump Trump Support

Aug 3, 2016
Candidate Junius Rodriguez in front of VFW Hall
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

While high-level Republicans are blasting Donald Trump daily on national TV, a candidate for the 18th Congressional District wonders why U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) isn’t doing the same.

Chris Koos
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Chris Koos says he will run for his fourth full term as Mayor of the Town of Normal. The 68-year old Koos also served a portion of a term when former Mayor Kent Karraker resigned.

Eight years ago Koos said he probably wouldn't run again. Four years ago, Mayor Koos said he would not run again and would make an effort during the term to mentor potential successors.

State Rep. Ron Sandack Abruptly Quits

Jul 25, 2016
Ron Sandack /

Top-ranking Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack from suburban Chicago has resigned from the Illinois House, citing ``cyber security issues.''  

The House Republican floor leader from Downers Grove issued a statement late Sunday that said he began to ``re-evaluate his continued public service'' his role ``after some cyber security issues arose.''

LBJ Library / Creative Commons

The Reverend Jesse Jackson says it is a crisis that leaked emails show the Democratic National Committee may have favored Hillary Clinton.

But Jackson told reporters at the party convention that Democrats will move past it. 

Senator Raoul

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has already said he plans to run for re-election in two years.

Democrats don’t have a single obvious candidate for governor. But there’s a lot of talk at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia about the possibilities.

Jim Browne / WGLT

An Illinois State University Professor of Economics does not support a move by the McLean County Board last week that prevented a change to the wind farm siting ordinance, sending the proposal back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review.

David Gill

The State Board of Elections has ruled independent 13th District Congressional candidate David Gill does not have enough petition signatures to get on the November 8th ballot.

The Bloomington Physician collected nearly 8,600 signatures, but that's still 2,000 fewer than he needed.

Amanda Vinicky / IPR

Republican officials who’ve been holding out on endorsing Donald Trump are moving to his corner, albeit reluctantly.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Channahon said walked a tight political line Tuesday when asked directly about his stance on Trump.

Independent Maps Case Heads To Appeal

Jul 20, 2016
Creative Commons

A judge has ruled that a voter referendum seeking to change the way Illinois draws its political boundaries is unconstitutional for the November ballot.

It's the second time that such an attempt has been blocked in the courts.


Illinois' General Assembly has two new members. And both are in their twenties.

Omar Aquino won a Democratic primary, but didn't have to wait to win the general election to become a state senator. He was sworn in earlier this month to replace Senator William Delgado, who retired.

Aquino is a 29-year-old Latino from Chicago.

"I think what it does it shows to other Millennials and other young people, that look, you can be part of the system, you can be part of that change," he said.

Henry Lawford / Creative Commons

The stopgap spending measure approved by lawmakers and the Governor at the end of last month did nothing to fix the structural deficit or the backlog of bills State government owes in Illinois. Take dentists for instance.

There are about 18,000 dentists in Illinois. The state owes them 150 million dollars.