In this June 9, 2015 photo, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees protest outside the in Chicago.
Christian K. Lee/Associated Press
January 13, 2017

AFSCME Members To Vote On Strike Authorization In Illinois

The largest public-employee union in Illinois will ask its members this month whether they'd support a strike in a contract dispute with Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration. The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees told members Friday that they'll vote on authorizing the union's bargaining committee to call a strike.

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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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The Urbana City Building
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
December 11, 2016

Urbana City Council To Vote On Sanctuary City Resolution

Urbana aldermen will have their first opportunity Monday to consider making the community a "sanctuary city," protecting undocumented residents. Alderman Eric Jakobsson says he's behind the idea, but is opposed to the measure on the agenda for Monday night's City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, calling it "rhetoric" that doesn't address any real issues. Jakobsson says he instead favors an earlier draft resolution put together by a member of the city staff.

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State Board of Education Deputy Superintendent Jason Helfer leads the last meeting of the statewide ESSA listening tour at Decatur's Eisenhauer High School Thursday.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
December 08, 2016

State Board Of Ed Wraps Up Listening Tour On New Education Law

Illinois’ State Board of Education has wrapped up three rounds of listening tours as the state and country prepares to replace the No Child Left Behind Law with legislation signed by President Obama a year ago. About 40 administrators, teachers, librarians, and others in education were among those at the last stop in the tour in Decatur Thursday, providing feedback on Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan, or ESSA.

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Exelon Corp. logo
Wikimedia Commons
December 07, 2016

Gov. Rauner Signs Bill Providing Subsidies To Exelon

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation providing billions of dollars in subsidies to Exelon to save two struggling nuclear plants saving 1400 jobs at the two facilities. The Future Energy Jobs Bill provides a $235 million annual subsidy to Exelon, and ensures the plants will stay open the next ten years.

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103rd District State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana)
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
December 02, 2016

Ammons Disappointed In AVR Reversal In House

State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) hopes to see another attempt at passing Illinois' automatic voter registration measure when House lawmakers return to Springfield early next month. Her chamber fell four votes shy of overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of that measure this week.

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Exelon's nuclear power plant in Clinton, which is currently slated to close in June 2017.
Wikimedia Commons
December 01, 2016

Last-Minute Exelon Subsidy Plan Goes To Illinois House Floor

An Illinois House committee has endorsed a late-hour compromise on a monstrous energy plan originally designed to keep two unprofitable nuclear plants open, potentially saving 14-hundred jobs in Clinton and the Quad Cities. A House vote is expected Thursday, the last day of the fall veto session. Sen. Chapin Rose of Mahomet credits Gov. Bruce Rauner with becoming part of the talks with energy officials.

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Logo for the American Federal of State County and Municipal Workers
November 30, 2016

Lawmakers Ask Gov. Rauner To Resume Contract Talks

Nearly three dozen Illinois legislators of both political stripes are asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to resume contract negotiations with the state's largest public-employee union. Most were Democrats, but a couple of Republicans joined in.  A state labor board sided with Rauner this month that talks were at "impasse', meaning the governor can impose his terms. He did that a second time Wednesday in announcing an employee drug and alcohol testing plan.

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Republican State Rep. Adam Brown of Champaign, who did not run for re-election in 2016.
Illinois General Assembly
November 28, 2016

GOP Rep. Brown Hopes For Budget Compromise

It’s the final week of the fall veto session - and the last few days in office for State Representative Adam Brown of Champaign. The three-term House Republican, who did not run for re-election this year, says it’s a "shame" that the state budget hasn’t gotten more attention since lawmakers returned to Springfield two weeks ago.

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