Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

Rep. Davis Reacts To Democratic Sit-in

Jun 23, 2016

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis said the Democratic protest in the US House was a "publicity stunt." The nearly 26-hour sit-in by House Democrats ended earlier today, but the group vows to come back after a congressional recess "more determined than ever before."

Mike Miletich / WGLT

With just over a week left before the start of the 2017 Fiscal Year, Illinois' Comptroller is warning that hardships caused by the state's budget impasse will grow significantly without further action in Springfield.

While court orders, consent decrees and statutory authorization of some payments will continue, Munger said that $23 billion in existing spending for schools, 911 call centers, domestic violence shelters, federally-funded social and human services and higher education will stop next month without new legislation.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr

The Bloomington City Council will continue its discussion and make a decision on charging up to $500 per gambling machine at businesses in the city.

Michael Vadon / Flickr

While he's not endorsing his opponent in the Democratic presidential race just yet, Bernie Sanders has a lot of work to do between now and the convention. That's according to Illinois State University political scientist Kerri Milita.

She said Sanders needs to find a way to persuade the 15 to 25 percent of his supporters who say they'll vote for Donald Trump over Sanders' party rival Hillary Clinton.


Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has returned to the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time since his resignation.

Staff / WGLT

Discussion of establishing a sales tax sharing agreement for Bloomington and Normal will slow down over the next couple of weeks, according to Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos.

"Bloomington council has been very clear. They want to have a public discussion at either the 13th or 20th  meetings (of June)," said Koos.

Staff / WGLT

If schools don't open in the fall because of a lack of state funding, children will be hungry. That's according to school superintendents reacting to Governor Bruce Rauner's speech in Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After a speech to school superintendents at the regional alternative school in Bloomington, Governor Bruce Rauner told one of them "hang on, it's going to get rocky." Rauner was referring to the lack of authorized school funding, something he used in the speech to blast House Speaker Mike Madigan. Rauner several times remarked he refused to bail out Chicago Schools


U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has unendorsed presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump. This follows a series of controversial statements from Trump including a comment widely considered racist about a judge from Indiana of Mexican descent who is hearing a case involving Trump.

The Republican Kirk is considered a vulnerable target as he seeks re-election in November against Democratic Candidate Tammy Duckworth.

Creative Commons

New court documents provide a window into how the Independent Maps Coalition is trying to fend off a legal challenge. A lawsuit scuttled a similar redistricting effort two years ago.


The question of the moment among some political observers is does the rise of Donald Trump signal a new fascism in development. For an Illinois Wesleyan University political scientist the answer is no. Kathleen Montgomery tells GLT’s Charlie Schlenker Fascism is a full ideology that Donald Trump does not have. 

Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The economic impact of the potential closure of the Clinton Nuclear plant begins now, not in a year when the plant actually shuts down. Plant Spokesman Brett Nauman says the announcement also means the end of infrastructure improvements and outside work, which involves a significant workforce in the community.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

The Illinois legislature has sent the governor legislation amending the state law that decides when doctors can object to caring for a patient based on moral principle.

Downtown SF building
Staff / WGLT

More than 12 years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast, a fraud case involving State Farm Insurance will go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices have agreed to hear arguments in the Bloomington-based company's appeal of 758,000 dollars in damages.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corp. says it will shut two Illinois nuclear plants after the Illinois Legislature declined to act on its request for financial support. The company said Thursday it will close the Clinton Power Station in Clinton on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova on June 1, 2018.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he is really disappointed lawmakers have failed to approve a budget for the second consecutive year. The spring session of the General Assembly ended Tuesday night without any viable spending plan. Dietz said this has been bad news for eleven months.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is spending Wednesday and Thursday taking his budget message on the road.  The legislature finished its spring session Tuesday evening without sending him a spending plan. 

Tannen Maury / EPA

An Illinois lawmaker is pushing legislation to take away former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's taxpayer-funded state pension following his conviction in a hush-money case.  

Hastert receives a $28,000 annual pension from Illinois' General Assembly Retirement System from his service in the Legislature. Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant's bill introduced Tuesday would revoke pensions for lawmakers who commit a felony against a student or other victim.  

Charlie Schlenker

The McLean County Republican Party has slated Scott Murphy in the District Two County Board race. urphy is already serving on the board after he was appointed following the resignation of Matt Sorensen.


School Districts are reviewing their disciplinary codes this summer to prepare for the effect of a new law going into effect with the new school year in the fall.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

You wouldn't have to be sick, to take a sick day under legislation approved Tuesday by the Illinois House.      

Transit Board Approves Routes, Schedule Changes

May 24, 2016
Staff / WGLT

New routes and schedules for buses in the Twin Cities were approved by the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The changes include more frequent service, Sunday service, and more transfer locations. General Manager Andrew Johnson said, as a result of the changes, the yearly operating costs will go up to $14.5 million, which is about $3 million higher than current operating costs.


Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Several months ago the Bloomington based social service agency Providing Access To Help kept its doors open and made payroll after much searching and stress about searching for a loan. 

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The Illinois Secretary of State's office says a plan to issue driver's licenses and state identification cards in Illinois that are more secure won't require additional state funding. 

Kelly Taylor / Creative Commons

A plan allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois is advancing through the Legislature despite concerns from the leading state election authority that would have to implement it. 

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Illinois' top political leaders remain divided.  As of Tuesday there will be only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal.

Bloomington Council To Hear Traffic Light Options

May 22, 2016
Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will consider looking into improving traffic flow throughout the city. One system helps emergency vehicles, snow plows, and city buses get a green light to make traffic easier to navigate. Another would help vehicles move through Bloomington more efficiently after events or during heavy traffic.

Mid Central Community Action

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Many human service agencies were forced to react immediately at the end of last June when Governor Bruce Rauner and Lawmakers chose not to agree on a state budget. Among them was Mid Central Community Action in Bloomington.

Soda Tax May Bubble Up In Springfield

May 18, 2016
Rex Sorgatz / Creative Commons

Lawmakers scrambling to find money to fix Illinois' multi-billion dollar deficit are looking to sugary drinks as one potential source of revenue.

Jerry Harcharik

An estimated eight thousand union members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda.