John Cullerton

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the most recent legislative session on Sunday after a budget battle pitting Republican Governor Bruce Rauner against a House and Senate both controlled by Democrats. After failing to reach an agreement with Rauner, however, lawmakers are set to return to Springfield this Thursday, June 4.

Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio statehouse bureau chief, joined “St. Louis on the Air” to help sort out the prickly politics surrounding budget negotiations between Gov. Rauner and the legislature.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The leaders of the Illinois House and Senate are filing a lawsuit challenging Gov. Pat Quinn's halting lawmaker pay over the state's pension gridlock. 

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton called Quinn's action  "purely political and unconstitutional." All three men are Democrats.

Flickr/Jason Dunnivant

Updated 4:25 p.m. with vote results  

Parents of two Sandy Hook elementary students killed by a Connecticut gunman last fall testified in favor of limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines in Illinois.

The Illinois Senate's Executive Committee voted 12-3 Monday to advance legislation banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Flickr/Jason Dunnivant

Reporting from Amanda Vinicky from Illinois Public Radio.

A new session of the Illinois General Assembly begins today, when candidates who won in November's elections take the oath of office.  The outgoing class of legislators left the incoming one with quite a burden.  

Tuesday night, the previous General Assembly adjourned without doing anything to reduce Illinois' $97 billion pension debt, though there were a few last minute tries.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Negotiations for a complete overhaul of Illinois' underfunded pension systems continue. But the president of the state Senate is again pushing a measure his chamber approved months ago.

Governor Pat Quinn has been adamant that something pass before the General Assembly's current session ends for good on Wednesday.

In May, the Senate passed legislation that reduces state workers' and legislators' own retirement benefits. But the House never took it up.  Senate President John Cullerton says representatives should do so when they return to Springfield on Sunday.

Flickr/SuperFantastic

SSM Health Care will not Hire Smokers Starting in July

A St. Louis-based health care organization says it wants to improve the health of its employees and set an example, so smokers need not apply.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that SSM Health Care will begin a tobacco-free hiring policy in July.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

Illinois State Republican lawmakers continue to push for a rollback of the recently passed income tax increase, but still haven't given their list of cuts to make up the difference. Senate Democrats are calling their bluff.