Politics & Elections

Five Democratic candidates for governor gathered in a small conference room in downtown Chicago on Thursday to explain their strategy and seek a key endorsement.

Two Illinois Congressmen held a rare bipartisan community meeting Saturday.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, a Republican, discussed health care policy with the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield.

Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury, from the Chicago suburb of Highwood, is entering the race for Illinois governor.

Updated 7:45 p.m. May 22  with number of bills filed Monday – On the eve of his first legislative special session, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his allied nonprofit group are attacking one of the pivotal legislators  needed to win approval of the governor’s favored bill.

The nonprofit group is called A New Missouri and can collect unlimited donations from unidentified donors. It is targeting state Sen. Doug Libla, a Republican whose southeast Missouri district includes the now-closed aluminum smelting plant that Greitens hopes to reopen, along with a possible steel mill.

Libla says he supports the projects. But the senator questions some provisions in the expected special-session bill that he says could reduce state oversight over Ameren, which provides electricity to much of eastern Missouri.

The State Board of Elections says hackers gained access to the information of 80,000 Illinois voters — including their social security numbers and driver’s licenses.

Elections officials say hackers had access to Illinois’ system for nearly three weeks before they were detected. They did get access to personal information, but officials say that’s about it.

It's a sentiment shared by Democratic politicians and liberal pundits: disgust over how Republicans drew up favorable (for them) legislative districts after the 2010 Census.

People
U.S. House of Representatives

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville).

You can watch the entire special WSIU InFocus from WSIU TV here.

WSIU Television

Every day, Illinois adds another 11 million dollars in new debt.  In a state that has not had a full budget for almost two years it looks like lawmakers will work past the May 31st adjournment date.  Interim director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Jak Tichenor says that not since the great depression has a state gone this far without a budget.  He says it won’t be a quick fix, because of all of the moving parts involved.  Tichenor says, for example, IF the Affordable Care Act is repealed in the future, Illinois will have to pick up the tab for those extra  650-thousand residents

People
Illinois General Assembly

Members of the SIUC Campus community got a chance to hear from their two state senators Thursday.

People
Jim Meadows, WILL

J.B. Pritzker brought his campaign for governor to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Monday.  The billionaire venture capitalist is trying to establish himself as the progressive choice for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

People
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with GWU Professor John Sides about his Morton-Kenney Lecture, "Donald Trump: How did he win, and what does it mean?" 

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin greeted about 500 central Illinois residents at a town hall meeting in Bloomington Friday with the words, "There was good news from Washington today."

Durbin was referring to the failure of the U.S. House to pass a Republican-backed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss says he's running for Illinois governor in 2018.

People
Monica Tichenor / WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Interim Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director and Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about expectations for the 2017 State of the State Address.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) as the Illinois General Assembly begins its 100th session.

In the second part of the interview, Bryant goes on to say she's optimistic a compromise can be found on the state's budget crisis. She says she's encouraged by discussions on potential workers compensation reform, among others.

Building
Franklin County

Franklin County voters will get a chance to decide if they want a sales tax increase to build a new courthouse.

The county's Board of Commissioners approved placing a one percent sales tax increase on the April 4th ballot.

People
chicago47.org

A Chicago alderman says he's running for Illinois governor.

Ameya Pawar anounced his candidacy Tuesday.

While Hillary Clinton won the presidential race in the State of Illinois, a lot of voters chose "none of the above."  

People
Jennifer Fuller/WSIU

Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth made a stop in Carbondale Thursday, hoping to get more insight on her new committee assignments before heading to Washington next week.

People
Associated Press

With Monday's meeting of the Electoral College, Illinois was NOT among the states where there was a concern about so-called faithless electors.

The presidential election highlighted a divide that is so deep, citizens in Illinois and across the country can’t even agree on the same set of facts.

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are honored to welcome U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to the program.

The Illinois Democrat serves as the Senate minority whip, making him the second most powerful member of his party next to the minority leader. He recently won another term in office in the 2014 election cycle.

Exactly how much money did candidates running for office during the November general election spend?

Recent data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics shows that just those trying to win state House and Senate seats raised more than $95 million this election cycle. Illinois ranks second nationally in money raised for state legislative races.

Several long-serving lawmakers are retiring from the General Assembly when their terms end in January.  

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the time they spent as legislators.

ELECTION 2016: Local Coverage and Results

Nov 8, 2016
Jennifer Fuller / WSIU

It was a big night for Republicans in southern Illinois.

Sen. Kirk Loses Endorsements Over Comments About Rep. Duckworth

Nov 2, 2016
People
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says it's "disappointing" two groups have withdrawn endorsements.

He's trying to fight off a challenge from Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.