Illinois Democrats

Biden Cancels Illinois State Fair Trip

Aug 15, 2018


SPRINGFIELD - A trip by former Vice President Joe Biden to Springfield, Illinois, has been called off because of illness.

CHICAGO (AP) - A growing number of Illinois Democrats are calling for an independent investigation of misconduct within longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan's political and state operations.
Madigan, who's also chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, has dismissed two campaign workers in recent days following complaints of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.
Several Democratic lawmakers and candidates say they have questions about how Madigan handled the complaints.

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Democrats in the Illinois Senate are preparing to go it alone on a budget plan. On Tues. morning, they’re set to consider both spending cuts and tax increases. 

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Radio


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.

It’s been two years since Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner unveiled his Republican “Turnaround Agenda.” Today, a group of rank-and-file Democratic legislators responded with their own “Comeback Agenda.”

State Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, says the agenda grew out of frustration with the fighting and lack of progress in Springfield.

“We wanted to be for something. We wanted to outline a vision of where Illinois could go.”

  Governor Bruce Rauner is criticizing parts of a grand budget compromise Illinois Senate leaders are working on.


Democrats roundly dismissed the budget Rauner presented Wednesday.

In the speech, the Republican governor criticized the only budget negotiations going on right now. He said the Senate’s grand compromise should include a permanent freeze of property taxes in towns across the state...rather than a temporary freeze.


Democrats are questioning whether Gov. Bruce Rauner's plans will produce a balanced budget to help the state dig itself out of a multibillion dollar deficit.

Illinois House Democratic budget negotiator Rep. Greg Harris says the Republican governor shouldn't count on as-yet-unauthorized savings from pension reform, health care cuts and the sale of property to make ends meet.

Partisan gridlock has caused Illinois to run without a full budget for more than a year-and-a-half. But there's one area Democrats and Republicans ARE working together.

It's one of the rare bright spots in Springfield: Members of both parties have been coming together to improve the criminal justice system.

"I think that's right. In fact, in the bill that you just called me about ... there was very strong bipartisan support."

Flickr Creative Commons/Matt Turner

After record-breaking spending on state legislative races… Democrats will retain control of both the Illinois House and Senate.  That’s even after Republicans picked up at least seven seats.  In the Senate, Republicans flipped two seats, including the one long held by Democrat Gary Forby in far southern Illinois.  Senate Democrats, however, will maintain their veto-proof majority.

Illinois Democrats are working hard to promote awareness of the Republican presidential nominee.  Donald Trump polls far behind Hillary Clinton in Illinois.  Many local Republicans are keeping their distance, but Democrats want to push them back together.  

As Illinois Democrats rallied in Springfield today, one name was on everyone’s lips.  At a morning meeting, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was the first in a long parade of Democrats who delighted in taunting the other party.

Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan took on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Democrats' Day at the Illinois State Fair.  Madigan called on Democrats to come together against what he called Rauner and Trump's "extremism."

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has clashed with Illinois Democrats on big issues like the state budget during his first term in office. But he recently he bucked the party line on legislation the GOP has fervently opposed: Expanding birth control coverage and access to abortions.
Not a single Republican voted in favor of either bill, but Rauner signed both measures last week in a move that angered conservative groups and surprised some legislators in his party.

Labor's Ire for Rauner On Display at the DNC

Jul 28, 2016

There’s been one theme that’s come up day-after-day at the Illinois delegation’s morning events this week in Philadelphia: Bruce Rauner’s stance on unions.

The Illinois governor has advocated for a number of policies in the legislature, in court, and in contract negotiations - that labor unions see as a threat to their very existence.


And this week - Illinois Democrats have heard about that fight over and over. Tony Arnold reports.



Illinois Democratic delegates have heard from - by my count - 20 union leaders during breakfasts this week.


And I can’t play you just one clip from one of these speakers to give you an idea of what they’ve been saying all-week-long about Governor Bruce Rauner. There’s just too much to pick from.

As the Illinois government budget stalemate continues, Democrats are thinking about who might challenge Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018.   Among the Democrats who might be interested are former governor Pat Quinn.  He lost all but one of Illinois' 102 counties to Rauner two years ago, but has lately made a public push to get back into politics. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Mark Goebel

Illinois Republican leaders say they're encouraged by Democrats' willingness to negotiate a deal to end an 11-month budget stalemate despite House Democrats passing a spending plan the day before that prompted boos from the GOP.   The Republican leaders spoke after meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. 

Illinois Democrats are proposing $700 million to partially finance various human service programs that have gone without state funding since last summer because there's no budget.   A House committee unanimously advanced the bill to the full chamber. The measure would use $450 million from a fund dedicated to human services and $250 million from other special funds. 

The Democratic-led Illinois House passed legislation to allocate nearly $3.7 billion for colleges and various human service programs amid criticism from Republicans who called it a pre-primary sham because the state has no money. 

Senator urges Democrats to pass a state budget

Feb 17, 2016

Republican State Senator Chapin Rose says Democrats in the legislature have the numbers to pass a budget, and need to act soon.  The Champaign County lawmaker says Governor Rauner’s budget address offered Democrats two paths to a budget agreement... either work with him and accept at least part of his reform agenda, or pass legislation that expands the governor’s authority to amend whatever budget they send him. 

The Illinois Democrats running for U.S. Senate will face off in three debates before the March 15th primary.  U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, state Sen. Napoleon Harris and former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp are seeking the Democratic nomination. 

As Illinois edges toward the end of a fourth month without a budget, lawmakers will return to the capitol.  Partisan fighting has made a deal evasive. In tomorrow's  session, expect a lot of talk about the state budget but not a lot of action.

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner says a partial state government shutdown is worth the pain if it brings fundamental change to business and politics in Illinois.     The Republican told reporters Tuesday morning that "change is hard" ... but he says the state needs to it.

The Illinois Legislature could give final approval to parts of a $36.3 billion budget as lawmakers head toward the end of their spring session. Democrats who control the Legislature are advancing a 2016 budget that's more than $3 billion short of anticipated revenues. Republicans have criticized the spending plan as irresponsible. The Legislature is approaching its Sunday deadline for adjournment with the two parties deeply divided. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants Democrats to pass some of his pro-business agenda.

Democratic leaders and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner remain far apart on how to bridge a $6 billion revenue gap as they turn to the 2016 state budget.  

Madigan budget plan heads to executive committee

Mar 24, 2015

Illinois state lawmakers are set to take up a plan today to close a 1 point 6 billion dollar hole in this year’s state budget. Illinois Public Radio's Patrick Smith reports.

Democrats who control the legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner have been negotiating for weeks over the budget gap. And several programs are set to run out of money at the end of this month unless a deal can be reached.


Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair brought out Democratic leaders from across the state ... including those counties where Democrats seem few and far between. In these heavily Republican counties, momentum for Democratic candidates can be hard to come by. Compound that with lower Democratic voter turnout in non-presidential election years, and the fight to "keep Illinois blue" gets even more difficult. 

The city of Chicago had a setback in Springfield Thursday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing to increase prison sentences for people convicted of gun crimes. But on the last day of the Illinois legislature's fall veto session, a group of African-American legislators used a parliamentary maneuver to block him. 

Il Dems to endorse candidates for primary

Sep 19, 2013

Illinois' leading Democrats will meet in Springfield on Sunday. They're supposed to endorse candidates for next year's primary election even though there are no longer any competitive races. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky wondered why?

Democrats have rarely slated candidates in recent years. But this time, with incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn facing a primary challenge from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, the state party was going to consider picking a favorite.

Illinois Democrats meet, Madigan not present

Aug 14, 2013

Illinois Democrats gathered in Springfield Wednesday to rally behind their candidates ahead of next year’s election. But they met among a backdrop of party infighting, lawsuits - and without the presence of the state’s party chairman. From Springfield - IPR’s Tony Arnold reports: