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Illinois General Assembly

Rauner and Madigan Want Surrender, Not Compromise

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.18.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

It's not healthy tension that we have now in Springfield. What we have is gridlock amid a winner-take-all battle of political philosophies.

David vs. Goliath: Mike Madigan's Primary Challenger Says He's Not Intimidated

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.11.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Jason Gonzales of Chicago says he's not intimidated by Madigan's longevity and reputation. He's challenging Madigan in the March 15, 2016, Democratic primary for Madigan's 22nd Illinois House District.

Illinois Lawmakers Who Crossed Rauner, Madigan Targeted in Primary Races

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.01.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

As of 5 p.m. Monday, the slate of candidates for the March 15 primaries is complete and the stage is set for the first elections in the Bruce Rauner era.

Will Rideshare Apps Change Springfield's Drunk Driving Culture?

Will Reynolds | Posted 11.25.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

It's true. Springfield has a drunk driving problem. The city was third in the state for DUI arrests in 2014. Although they make fewer arrests than Chicago police, the Springfield DUI arrest rate per officer is much higher.

And I'm Taking the Kids with Me...

Matt Farmer | Posted 11.13.2015 | Chicago
Matt Farmer

Do you want to rip the heart out of your ex-spouse, who also happens to share with you parental responsibilities for your two small children? Tell him or her that you've decided to move from suburban Chicago to the East Coast.

How Chicago and Illinois Are Trying to Keep Up With Explosive Growth in Ride-Sharing, Fantasy Sports

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.30.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

This week Illinois saw some examples of technology moving faster than government's ability to define and regulate it. In Chicago, the city budget add...

Busting the Myths About the Illinois Budget Impasse

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.13.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently has said the $5 billion unbalanced budget passed by Democrats last year not only was unconstitutional, but that it also has...

Madigan Says the 2014 Election Was More About Pat Quinn's Failures Than Bruce Rauner's Successes

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 08.12.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

The back and forth continued this week when Madigan and Rauner disagreed over a bill passed in the Illinois Senate that would free up about $4.8 billion in federal money that has so far been tied up due to the state's budget stalemate

Maybe Bad News Would Be Good for Illinois' Budget Crisis

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 07.09.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

That old adage about crisis begetting opportunity loses its punch when you take the crisis out of the equation. I know that Illinois politicians' chronic avoidance of painful choices got the state government into the miserable financial condition it's in now.

Did Your State Lawmaker Vote for Illinois' Temporary Budget?

Reboot Illinois | Posted 07.06.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

With Illinois' state government no-budget shutdown in full swing, House Speaker Michael Madigan proposed a temporary 30-day budget July 1 that didn't pass in the House. A separate Senate bill did pass with no support from Republicans. The Illinois News Network's Mark Fitton explained.

Gov. Rauner to Lawmakers: Pass a Budget, or No Pay Raise

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 07.02.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

The fact that the law may not be on his side here is irrelevant. The bigger question: What lawmaker right now will be willing to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit that seeks restoration of those statutorily guaranteed raises? Precedent says it will be a slam-dunk victory in a court of law. But the jury in the court of public opinion won't be so kind.

After Rauner's Ad Blitz, Madigan and Cullerton Respond

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 06.17.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Even with all the news of the budget stalemate coming out of the General Assembly, the Better Government Association's Andy Shaw wants Illinoisans to remember that not all new developments out of Springfield this spring have been bad.

This Is Not Illinois' First Budget Crisis Go-Round

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 06.09.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Illinois' current budget fight is frustrating, but it's not the first time the state has found itself in a similar situation. Former Gov. Jim Edgar spoke to Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek about his own budget brawl in 1991.

Illinois' Democrats and Republicans Have a Fundamental Misunderstanding

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 06.08.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

With Illinois' state government divided (a Republican executive and a Democratic legislature), Rich Miller of Capitol Fax wonders why, after months of being forced to work together, members of the two parties haven't been able to understand each other.

Bruce Rauner Appeals to Allies in Budget Crisis

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 06.05.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday rallied his top lieutenants and warned them to prepare for "the very real possibility that we are facing cash crisis and a major, major restructuring of the government."

Rauner Says Legislators Are Either With Him or Against Reform

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 05.27.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

On Tuesday, House Speaker Michael Madigan and his Democratic majority passed a bundle of budget bills that propose spending at least $3 billion more than the state will take in during the budget year that starts July 1.

Q&A: Illinois Rep. Terri Bryant Focuses on Education and Prisons

Reboot Illinois | Posted 05.19.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Reboot Illinois is speaking with the 22 new Illinois state legislators who joined the other General Assembly lawmakers for the body's 99th session in 2015. We would like to learn about their professional goals and more about them as people.

Illinois State Rep. Grant Wehrli: Q & A

Reboot Illinois | Posted 05.08.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Reboot Illinois is talking to the new legislators about what they hope to accomplish during their time in office, their favorite things about the state and what they want Illinoisans to know about them.

Vote a Wish

Claire Wapole | Posted 05.01.2015 | Chicago
Claire Wapole

A week ago, I had the Illinois General Assembly meeting streaming in live on my computer. I wanted to follow the life of HB306, the bill that would bestow upon Illinois parents, the legal right to speak on behalf of their children when it comes to opting out of standardized tests.

Industry Campaign Contributions Should Disqualify Rauner's Pick for Natural Resources Director

Will Reynolds | Posted 03.17.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

Foresight Energy also gave $10,000 to Rauner's campaign fund and was a top inauguration sponsor giving up to $100,000. It's looking like business as usual in the new administration.

How Do Illinoisans Feel About Stricter Gun Violation Penalties?

Reboot Illinois | Posted 01.20.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Most politicians have made their stances on gun control laws widely known. Republican Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has said he supports the rights of Illinoisans to own guns while some Democrats have expressed support for stricter gun control laws as a way to stymie violence in the state.

How Does Illinois' Income Tax Compare to the Rest of the Country?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.06.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

The Illinois income tax has been a topic of hot debate in the 2014 governor's race. Currently, Illinoisans must give 5 percent of their income to the ...

Illinois Rejects Fracking Sacrifice Zones in Latest Victory

Will Reynolds | Posted 07.29.2014 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

This victory is the first time Illinois environmentalists worked together on fracking since four Chicago-based organizations chose to support a flawed regulatory bill over the loud objection of people in potentially impacted regions.

Illinois Infrastructure: Getting Our Water Systems Up to Snuff Amidst the Climate Crush

Henry Henderson | Posted 07.09.2014 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

Across the nation, states have about $110 billion in capital available through similar water infrastructure funds, which are supported by annual federal and state appropriations. As climate impacts worsen, they are going to need to tap that cash.

How Much Fracking Will Remain Unregulated in Illinois?

Will Reynolds | Posted 06.30.2014 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

Opposition to fracking in southern Illinois continues as people learn more about the inadequacy of a law that was written behind closed doors and rushed through the legislature with very little public scrutiny.