Mark Kirk

(via YouTube/SenatorKirk)

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has issued his first public remarks since suffering a stroke.

In a video released Tuesday, Kirk says he can't wait to get back to work and is walking again. The 52-year-old senator suffered a major stroke in January and underwent emergency surgery. He entered a rehabilitation center in February and was discharged last week.

Here's that video statement:

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois).
(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Mark Kirk's doctor says he is pleased with the Illinois senator's progress in recovering from a stroke in January.

Dr. Richard Harvey said Friday that Kirk continues to improve his "mobility for day-to-day activities." He adds that Kirk has been meeting regularly with his staff and has been getting visits from close friends and family.

Harvey is the medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation.

(Sean Powers/WILL)

Doctors say Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk has been upgraded to good condition and is continuing to improve after a major stroke.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital neurosurgeon Richard Fessler says Kirk is visiting with family and watched the Super Bowl.

In a Monday statement, Fessler says Kirk will be able to start rehabilitation soon.

The 52-year-old Republican was in good health when he was stricken last month.


Spring session kicks off today in Illinois

Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.

House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk is continuing to improve after a major stroke and has been upgraded to fair condition.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital neurosurgeon Richard Fessler says Kirk is alert, talking and responding well to questions.

The Chicago hospital released a statement Monday about Kirk's progress, a little more than a week after he suffered a stroke that's affected his left side.

(Sean Powers/WILL)

A Democratic senator who planned to sit with a Republican for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address says he will keep the seat empty in honor of his ailing colleague.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk suffered a stroke this past weekend and underwent surgery Sunday night. He is in intensive care at a Chicago hospital and doctors say he could lose full use of his left arm and experience facial paralysis.

Will be updated.

Updated 12:25 p.m. with more information about Kirk's family's reactions, well-wishes from Ill. Gov. Quinn.

Updated at 1:35 with statements from Sen. Dick Durbin and more information from the doctors.

Relatives of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk say they're very encouraged by doctors' prognosis after the Illinois Republican underwent surgery following a stroke.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Reporting from WBEZ's Susie An used in this report.

Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says North Korea faces instability after the death of dictator Kim Jong Il.

Kirk, a Republican, says regardless, the U.S. should attend the funeral of Kim Jong Il if invited by North Korea.

"We should sent a delegation because we should always try to build a new relationship with the regime even though it looks pretty bleak at this point," Kirk said.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill
(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Reporting from WBEZ's Kate Dries used in this report.

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk says the U.S. doesn't need to give any more aid to Libya.

Speaking to reporters Thursday from Libya, Kirk says the country has enough money to support itself - at least $100 billion seized from former leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"I had my worries that those funds were not being released on time," Kirk said. "But I was reassured by key figures -- the chairman, the prime minister, and the finance minister -- that they have adequate resources for their capacity right now.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Commission charged with redrawing Mo. House districts meets in Jefferson City

A special commission redrawing Missouri's 163 House districts is meeting in Jefferson City with just days to finish its work on a new map. The 18-member bipartisan panel scheduled a working session Friday to draw new boundaries for state House districts to reflect population changes revealed by the latest census. The commission