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A mastodon fossil at the now closed Illinois State Museum (Flickr / Mike Linksvayer)

At least 43 union workers continue to cash checks from the state, despite the closure of several institutions, including the 138-year-old Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

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As the state budget stalemate drags on for a fourth month, Gov. Bruce Rauner tries again to make his pitch for compromise. Paris Schutz has the story.

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Labor Day has come and gone, but the summer of discontent in Springfield is not going away. Lawmakers have retreated to various warring camps in a battle that has largely pitted Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner against powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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Amanda Vinicky

Illinois House lawmakers will soon consider whether to override a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner that could send negotiations with state employee unions to binding arbitration. And with no state budget in place, just how do lawmakers plan on maintaining critical state services? Amanda Vinicky joins Chicago Tonight with a preview of the week ahead in Springfield. 

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Thursday is Democrat Day at the Illinois State Fair and, as expected, they used the opportunity to slam Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s anti-union, pro-business Turnaround agenda that they say is preventing lawmakers from approving a statewide budget. We’ll have more news from Springfield with Chicago Tonight’s Amanda Vinicky.

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We share what you had to say about some of our recent stories when we read viewer feedback from the Chicago Tonight website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Amanda Vinicky

An Illinois House committee voted Tuesday on a bill already passed by the state Senate that will allow the state to start spending $5 billion in available federal money. We have the latest from Springfield with Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

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Illinois Senate President Cullerton's plan to have the state bailout $500 million in Chicago teacher pension costs moves to the House. What will Speaker Michael Madigan and Gov. Bruce Rauner do? We get the latest from Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky.

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The showdown between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan continues as state lawmakers stare down a May 31 deadline to approve a budget plan. On Wednesday, lawmakers will continue to vote on a series of measures that make up the spending plan, backed by Madigan, that’s about $3 billion short. At the same time, lawmakers will hold hearings on items that make up Rauner’s Turnaround Illinois agenda.

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It’s crunch time as state lawmakers have less than a week to pass a budget and close a $6 billion deficit before the end of the current legislative session. We talk with Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky about the likelihood of a budget being passed before the Sunday deadline. 

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Gov. Pat Quinn responds to the lawsuit filed against him by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. The two legislative leaders filed suit Tuesday challenging the governor's decision to withhold paychecks from lawmakers until they come up with a pension reform solution. Paris Schutz has the details. Read Quinn's statement.

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In light of former Metra CEO Alex Clifford’s testimony before the RTA Wednesday, we take a look at the ethical and legal implications of patronage politics in Illinois.

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House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension proposal is one step closer to being the law of the land. We take a closer look at its specifics.

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House Speaker Michael Madigan pushes a new pension package on Tuesday. Chicago Sun-Times' Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney gives us the latest Springfield news.

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Michele Piszczor

Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has an opponent in the upcoming Democratic primary. And political newcomer Michele Piszczor is putting up a fight. Elizabeth Brackett reports.