Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

Donald Trump
Gerald Herbert / AP

President Donald Trump has long been a divisive figure in national politics. Now, he has become one within the Republican Party.


The former communications chair of the McLean County Democrats will now serve as party chair, filling the position vacated by Nikita Richards in November

crowd pushing police barrier outside U.S. Capitol
Julio Cortez / AP

The head of the McLean County Republican Party says Democrats should have focused more on unifying the country in President Donald Trump's final days in office, rather than pursing a second impeachment.

Josh Hawley
Kevin Dietsch / AP

Many large U.S. companies have suspended donations to members of Congress in the wake of last week’s riot on Capitol Hill. State Farm’s employee political action committee is joining them.

Bill Brady
BIll Brady / Courtesy

The 44th State Senate District will have a new senator by the end of the month, after Bill Brady’s resignation at the end of last year triggered an appointment process involving Republican chairs from the five counties that make up the district.

Governor Weighs In On Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Jan 12, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Gov. JB Pritzker took questions on a massive criminal justice omnibus bill backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on Monday, noting he was generally “in favor of the process and the work that the Black Caucus has done overall.”

When pressed on specific provisions in the bill that have been seen as controversial, especially as it relates to changes in how policing is done in the state, Pritzker said he would wait until the final version of the bill is presented to him.

Don Knapp
Eric Stock / WGLT

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors said they feel blindsided by a massive criminal justice reform bill introduced by the Black Democratic Caucus in the Illinois House, with police saying they are shocked and surprised at the timing and sweeping scope of the measure.

Mike Madigan raising right arm
Seth Perlman / AP

In what could become one of the biggest shifts of political power in Illinois in decades, Mike Madigan  announced Monday he's suspending his campaign for Illinois House Speaker.

Chapin Rose
Chapin Rose / Courtesy

UPDATED 11:16 a.m. | An education reform bill would force schools to test children even before they enter kindergarten. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spearheaded the measure, which passed through both houses of the General Assembly on Monday.

Exterior of a bank
Google Maps

Commerce Bank says its employee-funded political action committee (PAC) will no longer give money to members of Congress who have "impeded the peaceful transfer of power."

Mollie Ward speaks

As Willie Halbert watched scenes of chaos unfold at the U.S. Capitol, she said she was neither shocked nor surprised.

Davis and LaHood
Staff / WGLT

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood voted late Wednesday to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, though he says he still has “concerns about irregularities in the presidential election.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he blames President Trump for the violence that desecrated the temple to democracy that is the U.S. Capitol.

During Wednesday's ebate over objections to the electoral college vote, the Illinois Democrat said Trump wanted the mob to disrupt the constitutional process.


A candidate for Normal Town Council participated in the events that became an insurrection and riot at the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

Rioters at the capitol
Jose Luis Magana / AP

Illinois lawmakers of both parties are condemning insurrection after pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Congress should immediately impeach and remove President Donald Trump from office.

Rendering of a proposed apartment building.
Town of Normal

A union-backed development group is moving forward with a $9 million affordable senior housing project that would use the old TB Sanatorium in Normal.

Updated at 2:06 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats are hopeful about possibly taking total control of Washington after the Associated Press projected that the party had picked up one of two Georgia Senate seats early Wednesday morning.

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday were set to decide which party will hold the majority in the upper chamber, with Democrats already winning the presidency and holding a slim House majority.

Dan Brady
Staff / WGLT

The Illinois House Republican leader said Monday his caucus is open to the idea of doing government work remotely as the General Assembly convenes for a lame duck session Friday.

Bill Brady
Seth Perlman / AP

State Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, who ran for governor three times and led Republicans in the Illinois Senate, has resigned.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday he believes the issue of direct pandemic relief aid for states, cities, and small units of government will come back, after it was not included in the $900 billion package Congress just approved.

The Illinois Democrat said during an online news conference the Biden camp has a different position than the Trump administration on that aid.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington Liquor Commissioner and Mayor Tari Renner issued a $600 fine against Joe’s Pub for a violation of Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order banning indoor service to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

JB Pritzker closeup
Rex Arbogast / AP

State employees could see furlough days as a way to help the state of Illinois balance its budget. That's according to a plan Gov. JB Pritzker has laid out to cut $700 million from the budget.

Joe Biden
John Minchillo / AP

Main Street Republicans in Bloomington-Normal look ahead to a Joe Biden administration with a combination of fear and optimism. Several GOP members consulted by WGLT, who are not office holders and not involved in political activity, all affirmed traditional values of the party.

Man on Zoom screen with small gallery of viewers on top.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Americans have rarely been as polarized as they are today, but Brad McMillan, chief of staff for former Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, believes the country can return to a new era of civility and compromise.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield in January, staring down a change in House leadership, the economic fallout of the pandemic and unfinished business interrupted by COVID-19.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner is isolating at home after receiving a positive test for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Renner said he immediately sought a test after his son tested positive.

Renner told WGLT in an interview Tuesday evening he "sort of lost his voice" the day before Thanksgiving and had some upper respiratory symptoms six days later.

The Bloomington City Council voted Monday night to approve a property tax levy for the 2020 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $25.6 million that will result in no change in the property tax rate. 

The levy includes financing for both the city and the Bloomington Public Library. 

The tax rate is expected to remain $1.090 per $100 assessed valuation.

Rodney Davis
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said Monday he is “pretty pessimistic” that a deal on more coronavirus relief is imminent, though if it happens he wants assistance for small businesses and airlines to be front and center.

County Board oath of office
Emily Bollinger

McLean County swore in three new County Board members and reelected John McIntyre as chairman during a special meeting on Monday.