Chicago businessman Chris Kennedy, poses for a portrait in his office Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in Chicago. Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., says he will run for Illinois governor in 2018.
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
February 08, 2017

Kennedy To Run For Governor In 2018

Chicago businessman and former University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chairman Chris Kennedy will join the Democratic race for Illinois Governor, and will file paperwork with the state later Wednesday. Kennedy made the announcement with a campaign website and annoucement on YouTube. The son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy says in a statement that he loves Illinois and the state has "never been in worse shape.'' He says state government needs "fundamental change.''

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The Illinois Statehouse in Springfield
(Wikipedia)
January 11, 2017

New Legislature, Same Old Problem In Illinois: No Budget

The 100th Illinois General Assembly is being sworn in on Wednesday, taking over efforts to resolve the state's 18-month-old financial crisis. The key players in the battle over the state's budget stalemate remain the same: the conservative businessman-turned-governor Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan, the old-school Democratic House speaker whose decades at the helm has made him a Capitol institution.  

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In this Nov. 30, 2016 file photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks to reporters in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman/Assocated Press
January 10, 2017

When Republicans Voted For Speaker Madigan

State Rep. Michael Madigan on Wednesday will seek his 17th term as speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. He's not expected to have any trouble winning. Gov. Bruce Rauner and his fellow Republicans have spent years vilifying Madigan. But lately the party has gone further, trying to sway House Democrats away from re-electing Madigan as their leader.

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From left: President-elect Donald Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner, and House Speaker Michael Madigan
Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr, Rauner and Madigan by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois
December 30, 2016

Voices In the News 2016

As we get ready to welcome 2017, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another tough year in Illinois government and politics. We heard Republicans struggling to reckon with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, Democrats and Republicans engaging in another year of war over the soul of Illinois policy, and a growing list of everyday people being crushed by the budget standoff. Here now are some of the voices that made news in 2016.

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Senator Scott Bennett (D) and Republican Urbana Alderman Mike Madigan debate during Wednesday's forum at the Champaign City Building.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
October 06, 2016

Bennett, Madigan Seek Solutions To Illinois' Financial Woes

52nd District Senate incumbent Democrat Scott Bennett of Champaign and Republican challenger Mike Madigan found a few areas to agree on during Wednesday's candidate forum in Champaign, but Madigan also endorsed a number of business reforms touted by Governor Bruce Rauner in recent months. The two also looked at where they would make cuts in government operations, and where they stand on pensions.

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Christopher Kennedy's introduction to the media as a potential candidate for Illinois governor in 2018 got off to a rocky start at the Democratic National Convention.
WBEZ
July 26, 2016

Chris Kennedy Bickers With Press As He Considers Run For Illinois Governor

Chris Kennedy’s introduction to the media as a potential candidate for Illinois governor in 2018 got off to a rocky start at the Democratic National Convention. After a speech in which he criticized Governor Bruce Rauner, the former chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees attempted to rush past reporters, and would not answer questions about possibly running for governor himself in 2018.

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters in his office at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
June 21, 2016

Madigan Cancels Session, Urges 'Working Groups' On Budget

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Rauner says he won't call lawmakers into special session, even though the fiscal year ends in 10 days. Rauner he'll "evaluate options" in the coming days to avoid the shutdown of ongoing projects and delays to the opening of public schools. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has cancelled Wednesday's House session, saying working groups are making progress.

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