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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Illinois Senate President John Cullerton speaks to reporters
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
February 07, 2017

Illinois Senate Discusses Budget Privately, Takes No Vote

The Illinois Senate passed another day in Springfield without a vote on its much-anticipated budget compromise. Democrats and Republicans discussed the plan separately in private meetings lasting hours
Tuesday. But there were no votes on the plan. Leaders have been discussing for weeks ways to break a nearly two-year budget stalemate.

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Illinois Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, left, speaks to reporters, while Illinois Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, right, looks on, during a news conference at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
February 02, 2017

Lawmakers Draft Plans To Keep Illinois Paychecks Flowing

Illinois lawmakers are preparing legislation to ensure state employees continue receiving paychecks if a judge agrees with the attorney general's argument to halt paychecks during the budget impasse. Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) introduced similar measures on Wednesday to keep paychecks flowing in response to a motion filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan last week.

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Senate President John Cullerton and Republican Leader Christine Radogno speak to reporters earlier this month.
Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois
January 26, 2017

Senate Leaders: Not Backing Off 'Grand Bargain'

The Illinois Senate left Springfield Thursday without voting on a bipartisan effort to end Illinois' budget stalemate. But hope springs eternal. The so-called grand bargain - devised earlier this month by the Senate's top leadership - was like a chili recipe where the cooks keep swapping ingredients. The latest version would increase the income tax by one-and-a-quarter percentage points, and further decrease government pensions.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media
January 25, 2017

Gov. Rauner To Take Optimistic Tone In State Of The State Address

Gov. Bruce Rauner will strike an optimistic tone in his State of the State address, while acknowledging Illinois faces ``significant challenges.''

The Republican's Wednesday speech comes as he gears up for a 2018 re-election bid. 

WILL AM 580 and WILL-TV will carry live coverage of the governor’s speech, beginning at 12 PM Central Time. WILL AM 580 streams at www.will.illinois.edu.

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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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Alma Mater Statue
University of Illinois Public Affairs
January 09, 2017

U Of I To Freeze In-State Tuition For Third Straight Year

University of Illinois leaders are recommending no increase in tuition for in-state students for the third straight year. If approved by university Trustees at their meeting in Chicago next week, this proposal would mark the 3-campus system’s longest rate freeze in 40 years. Tuition would go up 1.8 percent for graduate students, and out-of-state and international students.

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Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger begins a news conference on the state budget Thursday, July 14, 2016, in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
December 02, 2016

Munger: Lawmakers Suing Over Pay Are 'Cowards'

Half-a-dozen Democratic state representatives have sued the Illinois comptroller for holding up their paychecks during the state budget mess. On her last day in office, Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger called the legislators "cowards." Democrat Susanna Mendoza takes over Monday and has pledged to continue withholding paychecks.

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