Top News

Judge slaps down Illinois Election Day voter registration system, saying it dilutes rural citizens' rights

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 27, 2016, 5:25pm

A federal judge has prohibited Illinois’ most populated counties from continuing to register voters at polling places on Election Day, saying the way the system is currently set up in the state violates the rights of people voting in Illinois’ more rural regions.

Two SIU retirees among top 400 pensioners in the state, report says

Karen Kidd Jul. 8, 2016, 9:42am

Two Edwardsville pensioners, whose combined annual pension is almost $476,000, made the top 400 in Tax Payers United of America's 10th Annual Report of Illinois State Pensions.

Group connected to Madigan, Emanuel sues to block redistricting amendment from ballot

Jonathan Bilyk May 13, 2016, 9:07am

An attorney connected to powerful Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan has filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court to block a referendum from landing on the ballot, which would ask Illinois voters to reform the way Illinois creates the legislative districts from which state lawmakers are elected.

No exit strategy from Illinois budget standoff

The Madison County Record Apr. 14, 2016, 7:28am

Taxpayers must be vigilant in holding members of the Illinois General Assembly accountable, especially at this unprecedented time without a state budget and as we approach the new fiscal year. Now is the time that legislators could propose the most dangerous solutions to the state’s financial crises, including hiking the state income tax or imposing a new, devastating income tax on retirement benefits.

Rauner’s proposed bill would give the governor the ability to balance the state’s budget

Jacob Huebert Mar. 22, 2016, 8:54am

In his recent budget proposal, Gov. Bruce Rauner asked the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Unbalanced Budget Response Act, a bill that would temporarily allow the governor to reduce certain state spending and transfer certain state funds to balance the budget.

Haine and Haida among top IMRF beneficiaries in state; Though adequately funded, critic says pension system 'just as efficient at stealing taxpayer wealth'

Ann Maher Mar. 9, 2016, 8:51am

The top Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) beneficiaries in Madison and St. Clair counties are among the state's highest paid. And both of them - a lawmaker and a judge - are accruing benefits in other pension systems that will provide even more tax payer-supported income for life when they retire a second time.

Government-worker pensions take away funding meant for students

Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 29, 2016, 12:55pm

Illinois’ growing pension costs – not the state budget gridlock – are taking away funding for essential government services, such as education.

Obama calls for building better politics; GOP focuses on his remarks on redistricting

Mark Fitton, Illinois News Network Feb. 11, 2016, 7:27am

SPRINGFIELD — Democrats and Republicans alike found things to cheer about, usually separately but occasionally together, in an hour-long Statehouse speech by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Obama's General Assembly visit likely to be about budget impasse and legacy, supporter Coleman says

Karen Kidd Feb. 8, 2016, 6:20am

As a long-time supporter of the current U.S. president, Ray Coleman of East St. Louis said that Barack Obama will have plenty to reflect upon during his speech before the Illinois General Assembly this week. 

Judge slaps restraining order on access to Topinka campaign money amid lawsuit by late comptroller's son

Scott Holland Jan. 25, 2016, 4:50pm

The campaign funds of the late Judy Baar Topinka are now formally frozen, thanks to an order issued Jan. 22 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Obama calls on state lawmakers to end partisan politics and make room for real change

Emma Gallimore Jan. 14, 2016, 7:46am

Obama Speech President Barack Obama called for an end to partisan politics during a speech to the Illinois General Assembly on Feb 10.

Illinois to issue $500M in bonds, continues to pay highest borrowing rate of all 50 states

Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 12, 2016, 7:57am

Illinois’ monthslong budget gridlock, $111 billion in government-worker pension debt, and more than a decade of unbalanced budgets have resulted in credit downgrades for Illinois and the highest borrowing costs of any state in the nation.

Rep. Kay supports consolidation concepts laid out in state report

Emma Gallimore Jan. 11, 2016, 3:31pm

Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay told the Madison County Record that he supports consolidation recommendation put forth by the state’s Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force.

Illinois law granting hospitals tax exemption struck down by appellate court as unconstitutional

Jonathan Bilyk Jan. 8, 2016, 4:15pm

A state appellate panel has struck down an Illinois law providing tax exemptions to hospitals, saying lawmakers erred under the state constitution in believing hospitals should be able to avoid paying property taxes because they may provide enough benefits to their communities to offset the millions of dollars in tax revenue lost to cities, counties, school districts and other local property tax-collecting entities. On Jan. 5, a three-justice panel of the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Cour

Pensions, salaries, pension: Illinoisans pay 2.5 times for their politicians

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner Jan. 5, 2016, 8:22am

Taxpayers pay once for state politicians’ salaries and another 1.5 times for their bankrupt pension system. In 2017, taxpayers will contribute the equivalent of nearly $123,000 for each lawmaker just to keep the General Assembly Retirement System afloat.

237 new Illinois laws take effect Jan. 1

Ellen Lloyd Jan. 2, 2016, 10:22am

237 new Illinois laws address topics that range from naming a state pie to divorce law to bobcat hunting.

DraftKings says game still on in Illinois; Attorney: Company will go to court in gaming dispute

Mark Fitton, Illinois News Network Dec. 26, 2015, 10:54am

SPRINGFIELD — Despite an opinion by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that daily fantasy sports contests such as those offered by DraftKings and FanDuel are illegal gambling under state law, one of the big providers said it intends to keep offering the games in Illinois. DraftKings’ attorney late Wednesday issued a statement saying the company disagrees with the attorney general and believes “daily fantasy sports, which Illinois residents have been playing for years, are lawful under state

House OKs $3B for locals, lottery winners; Larger state budget question remains unresolved

Mark Fitton Dec. 3, 2015, 7:02am

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois remains without an overall budget, but the Illinois House on Wednesday took action to release some money to local governments and pay lottery winners. All told, Senate Bill 2039 authorizes about $3 billion in spending.

Unemployment bill easily clears Illinois House

Mark Fitton Dec. 2, 2015, 4:38pm

SPRINGFIELD — Without rancor, the Illinois House on Wednesday passed legislation to tune up the state’s unemployment insurance program. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville, eliminates the “Social Security offset” in that it allows recently separated workers eligible for Social Security to receive full unemployment insurance benefits.

Majority of Illinois Independents in favor of government spending cuts, poll says

Vimbai Chikomo Nov. 24, 2015, 8:42am

As Illinois lawmakers strive to solve the state budget impasse, Illinoisans have spoken out loud and clear. In a recent poll released by Americans for Prosperity Illinois, 62 percent of Independents are in favor of spending cuts, while a mere 9 percent support taxes hikes.