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Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Cook County Drops Suit Seeking $17M in Damages Related to Soda Tax

Cook County's new tax on sweetened drinks is sticking around, but Board President Toni Preckwinkle is dropping the county’s counter-lawsuit against the retailers who tried to get it tossed.

Comptroller Says Governor is Stalling on Bill Backlog Borrowing

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn’t used authority to borrow $6 billion to begin making a dent in the backlog of overdue bills that tripled during the budget impasse under the Republican’s watch.

When Will Schools See State Cash? Wait and See

Fresh off of a two-year budget crisis rooted in partisan tensions, Illinois is careening toward a new one – and this time, schoolchildren are left in the wake.

Rauner Issues Amendatory Veto of Education Funding Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner made generous use of his veto pen to redline money for Chicago Public Schools and to make other sweeping changes to a major revamp of education funding.

Governor Gets Education Funding Bill, But Schools’ Future Remains Hazy

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The future of school funding is now in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s hands, after Democrats finally sent him legislation he’s made a show of demanding they release. Now the question is what Rauner will do with it.

Education Funding Fight Could Prompt Special Session

Schools are caught in the crossfire between Democrats and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who said Friday he’ll call legislators back to Springfield if they don’t release Senate Bill 1 to him by noon Monday.

Heavy Rain Drenches Northern Illinois, Raises Concerns of Flooding

Heavy rainfall drenched northern Illinois Wednesday night and Thursday morning. And more is on the way. The Des Plaines and Fox Rivers have seen water levels rise and remain areas of concern.

What Does It Cost to Run for Governor in Illinois?

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

Although the primary isn’t until March 2018, fundraising puts the governor’s race on pace to be one of the most expensive such races in the country’s history. It may even break that record.

Radio Flyer: Riding and Rolling in Chicago for 100 Years

In 1917, Woodrow Wilson was president. Telegrams were a popular way to communicate across long distances. World War I began. And a Chicago company got its rolling start.

House Overrides Rauner’s Vetoes to Pass a Budget

At long last, Illinois has a budget – its first in more than two years. And residents will be sending more of their paychecks to state government to help pay for it.

Tax, Budget Vote May Be Too Late for Illinois to Escape ‘Junk’ Status

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Thursday will be do or die for an income tax increase and Illinois’ first budget since July 2015, following a warning from Moody’s that the state is under review for a credit rating downgrade.

Senate Overrides Rauner Vetoes, but Illinois Still Without Budget

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

Illinois is a single step away from having its first budget in years, after a whirlwind of Fourth of July action that saw the state Senate swiftly overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of a $5 billion tax hike and $36.1 billion budget that the senators had passed just hours earlier.

Senate to Call Fourth of July Budget, Tax Vote

Illinois senators will spend Independence Day voting on a budget and income tax hike. Even if both plans pass, it doesn’t necessarily mean Illinois will get its first budget in two years. 

GOP Joins Democrats to Approve Tax Hike in Madigan’s House

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

In a stunning turnabout from the partisan divisions that has kept Illinois without a budget for the past two years, Republicans joined with Democrats to pass $5 billion in new taxes, along with a $36 billion budget.

Mixed Signals, Finger-Pointing as Illinois Begins 3rd Year Without Budget

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

Illinois escaped an immediate slump to “junk” bond status as it began its third consecutive year without a budget—a politically depraved condition that’s a first for modern state governments. Get the latest from Springfield.

Illinois: On the Brink of a Deal, or a Disaster

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

The state will begin a third fiscal year without a budget in place, despite a potential breakthrough Friday morning, when a $36.5 billion spending plan cleared a major hurdle in the Illinois House.

Radogno Resigns, Democrats Introduce Tax Plan

| Evan Garcia

Two days before a Springfield special legislative session is scheduled to end, Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno announced she will resign Saturday.

Illinois House Democrats Propose Own Budget Plan

Budget negotiations are ongoing in Springfield, with Friday's deadline edging ever closer. 

What if a State Budget Doesn’t Pass?

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)
Illinois lawmakers were in special session Monday—and all weekend—attempting to hash out a budget deal. But what if they don’t get it done before Friday?

Madigan Introduces New Set of Demands as Preconditions for Budget Deal

Leaders Meet for the First Time in 2017, but Without Rauner

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

As Illinois faces an end-of-month deadline to pass a budget, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has introduced a new set of preconditions to a compromise.

Illinois in ‘Dire Straits’ and Leaders, Governor Can’t Even Agree to Meet

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

An updated “doomsday” picture offered by Comptroller Susana Mendoza: Without a budget in place soon, she won’t be able to write checks to pay for the most basic of services come August.

As End of Fiscal Year Nears, Little Progress in Springfield

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

The end of the fiscal year is a week from Friday. Is Illinois any closer to getting a budget passed by that deadline?

In Springfield, Special Session Off to a Slow Start

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The 10-day special session called by Gov. Bruce Rauner got off to a slow start Wednesday, with legislators spending none of their short time on the House and Senate floors debating material fiscal matters. 

Rauner Calls for Compromise Ahead of Special Session

On the eve of a special legislative session, Gov. Bruce Rauner took a rare step to draw attention to the state budget situation, with a short, but – highly publicized – speech Tuesday evening.

State Moves to Cut Off IDOT Construction

If a budget isn’t in place by July 1, the Illinois Department of Transportation says all contractors must stop any roadwork. What this may mean for your morning commute.