Illinois Politics | WGLT

Illinois Politics

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Incoming Chestnut Health Systems CEO Dave Sharar said his organization faces new challenges.

A Democratic candidate for McLean County clerk is arguing for a countywide election commission.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said a looming state election cycle could hold new budget negotiations hostage.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After 16 years in the job, state Rep. Dan Brady said he wants another term.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

Two new candidates have announced election plans to try to replace retiring State Rep. Bill Mitchell of Forsyth.

Piatt County Board Chair Randy Keith said he will run for state representative as a Republican in the 101st Illinois House District that covers portions of McLean, Champaign, Piatt, Macon, and DeWitt counties.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University's Board of Trustees must vote again on the contract employing President Larry Dietz.

When the board approved the contract Aug. 6, it turns out four of them weren't trustees at all.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan
Courtesy / betsydirksenlondrigan.com

There is another entry into the Democratic race for Congress in the 13th District.

Larry Dietz speaks to crowd
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

The president of Illinois State University said Thursday's passage of a state budget is a welcome relief. Larry Dietz said more work remains to be done, but at least there is a way forward.

"It makes life a lot easier in terms of the planning. Frankly we have felt that nobody cares much about education because there has been no scheme and no plan to fund it," said Dietz.

Pat Peterson / WGLT

Democrats plan to mount a challenge next year to Republican McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael. Nikita Richards has announced she is running as a progressive.

State Sen. Bill Brady

Republicans in the Illinois Senate have elected Sen. Bill Brady to serve as the chamber's minority leader.  

The Republican from Bloomington was selected Friday to replace GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno, who announced Thursday she was stepping down. 

IPR

As Illinois’ top political leaders struggle to end a two year budget standoff, one of them has announced she’s resigning.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno is stepping down effective Saturday. That’s the first day of Illinois' new budget year, and would be the third without a real budget unless she and the other legislative leaders cut a deal.

Kennedy Slams Rauner For Intentional Damage To State

Jun 20, 2017
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

One of the Democratic Candidates for Governor is accusing Republican Governor Bruce Rauner of purposefully wrecking Illinois.

Speaking recently in Normal, Chris Kennedy said Governor Rauner intentionally used the budget deadlock to target social services.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A slew of high ranking Democrats showed up in Bloomington Normal for a letter carriers union convention at the Uptown Marriot. They included the Senate President John Cullerton, Senator Dick Durbin, and businessman and Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy.
     
Kennedy is taking aim at the state property tax system saying it's 'legalized extortion' when politically elected assessors elevate assessments and politically connected lawyers appeal them. Kennedy said this is not just a problem in Chicago, but everywhere in the state.

Staff / WGLT

In the wake of another spring legislative session that failed to produce a state budget, two ratings agencies have downgraded state universities including ISU.

Standard and Poor's recently chose not to downgrade ISU, but S and P has a rule that no public university can be more than three grades above the rating for its host state. And so when S and P downgraded Illinois, last week it also gave a technical downgrade to ISU to A minus.

David Stillman / Flickr

A nonpartisan research group said Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago said unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

The group has published an 86-page report outlining where it thinks Illinois ought to go.

Staff / WGLT

61 social service agencies suing the State of Illinois over the budget impasse got their day in court on Thursday.

An attorney for the agencies told Illinois Appellate Court judges the agencies are political hostages because of the budget impasse. Those groups are suing the state to get paid what they’re owed.

Attorney General Office

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said it's particularly appropriate to highlight the fourteenth amendment in 2017

Madigan gave a Law Day speech to the McLean County Bar Association meeting at Illinois State University in Normal.

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

An expert on the proposed revision to the school funding formula says educators are on board with the idea even if politicians aren't there yet.

LeRoy School Superintendent Gary Tipsord spoke during a recent Town Hall on school funding at Heartland Community Colege about the so-called evidence based funding model.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Two days after withdrawing his nomination to the state Board of Higher Education, Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed John Bambenek to a similar panel.
 
The governor has named the University of Illinois cybersecurity lecturer to the Illinois Community College Board.

Justin Brocke / Flickr

Illinois legislators have voted against letting people with drug-related convictions receive welfare benefits.

Supporters said when drug offenders lose welfare benefits, it punishes their children, who did nothing wrong, but still rely on public assistance. Among those supporters was State Representative Carol Ammons of Urbana.

“This bill does change eligibility for those who come out of institutions with little to no resources or support,” said Ammons.
     
Despite the growing heroin epidemic in the state, members of both parties did not buy the argument.
     
Representative David Reis is a Republican from Willow Hill.

Staff / WGLT

The McLean Count State's Attorney's Office will not represent the County Clerk in the upcoming recount of the vote in the race for Mayor of Normal.

State's Attorney Jason Chambers said he has named a special prosecutor from the Appellate Prosecutor's Office to handle the job.

Hastert To Lose Pension

Apr 26, 2017
Tannen Maury / EPA

An Illinois retirement board is terminating former U-S House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s state pension.

He’d been collecting about $28,000 a year for his service in the state legislature.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Governor Bruce Rauner indicates a key difference in competing school funding bills is a bargaining chip.

Rauner said Chicago Schools should be treated the same as other districts by the state. That came during a tour of the Beer Nuts factory in Bloomington as WGLT asked Rauner about Senator Jason Barickman's school funding formula bill.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Illinois lawmakers have returned to Springfield as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget.

Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said progressives should not get their hopes up about a single payer healthcare insurance system.

Staff / WGLT

The United Way of McLean County is dramatically reducing support for human service agencies.

ISU Credit Rating Unchanged With An Asterisk

Apr 21, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University's bond rating remains unchanged, though the Standard and Poor's agency has placed ISU on a credit watch.

That's in recognition of the state budget crisis and a lack of more than $80 million the university would regularly have received in the last two years if not for the deadlock between the governor and lawmakers.

Court Rejects Blagojevich Appeal

Apr 21, 2017
Il. Dept. Corrections / Facebook via Creative Commons

A federal court has taken just three days to reject the appeal of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich seeking a third sentencing.

The unanimous ruling Friday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago dismissed arguments that the Democrat's trial-court judge should have reduced his 14-year prison term for corruption because of his good behavior behind bars. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

One of the many Democratic candidates for governor says he is the only person that can win over Bruce Rauner.

Bob Daiber is the Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools. During a stop in Bloomington Wednesday night, Daiber said he wants to improve many areas the current administration has failed at. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

State Senator Andy Manar says everyone could benefit if Illinois has great equity among school districts. 

During a stop in Bloomington Wednesday night, the Bunker Hill Democrat said the state is harming individuals today by having the least equitable state in the country.

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