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The Rauner Play-by-play

Gov. Bruce Rauner is ramking the state of Illinois: its taxes, unions, services, prisons, and finances, among many other things. WBEZ’s Tony Arnold is recording the governor’s term - documenting how we got here and where we’re going. Check back each week to see Rauner’s most important actions, and what they mean for the state.

• Curated by Tony Arnold
There are plenty of Rauner storylines to follow. Pick the ones you want – and the timeline below will remake itself, giving you just the things you’re interested in. Click a topic or tag to filter.
With most of the emphasis now on the November election, Rauner has been saying he's not that involved in state House and Senate races, despite contributing millions of dollars to campaign organizations helping Republican candidates
9/15/2016
Elections

Rauner contributes $100,000 to the Republican candidate for Missouri governor, Eric Greitens

9/14/2016
Finances

“My concern with the proposal so far is they’re largely based upon re-ramping the payment schedule, and slowing down the payment schedule and back loading it. That’s what we’ve done in Chicago for decades, and it’s the reason Chicago has the worst credit rating of any city other than Detroit.”

Gov. Rauner on Chicago plan to increase water and sewer taxes to cover pension payments

9/7/2016
Elections

Rauner contributes $100,000 to the Republican candidate for Indiana governor, Eric Holcomb

8/31/2016
Finances Social Services
8/19/2016
Finances Social Services
7/28/2016
Unions Elections

“Does Gov. Rauner sound familiar to you? Does he sound like Donald Trump to you?”

Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, to the Illinois delegation at the Democratic National Convention

7/18/2016
Finances

Gov. Rauner does not attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in which Donald Trump officially receives the party's nomination for president

7/12/2016
Education Finances

Gov. Rauner announces the creation of a task force to study the way Illinois distributes state money for public schools

6/14/2016
Finances

“He got a standing ovation from us today because his agenda is our agenda.”

– Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch on Gov. Rauner's address to the organization

6/10/2016
Finances

“I hope this is not the moment when Thelma looks at Louise and they decide to drive off the cliff.”

– Democratic Sen. Don Harmon on Gov. Rauner's announcement of his new chief of staff, Richard Goldberg

6/8/2016
Finances

“Anybody who says, ‘Well we can’t work together because you were mean to me yesterday.’ Oh come on.”

– Gov. Rauner, on whether political insults matter to budget negotiations

5/31/2016
Finances

The Spring legislative session ends without a budget deal, or even a plan to fund grade schools and early childhood education

5/30/2016
Finances
5/27/2016
Finances

“It's no wonder no one can trust him.”

– Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Gov. Rauner, after Rauner vetoed a bill affecing how the city pays for its police and firefighters' pensions

5/13/2016
Finances Social Services

Lawmakers approve $700 million for social services, but Gov. Rauner doesn't indicate whether he'll sign it, saying he prefers a full budget

5/6/2016
Finances

Rauner says he won't go to the Republican National Convention

5/4/2016
Finances Social Services

More than 60 social service providers sue the state for not paying them for work performed

4/29/2016
Finances Education

Chicago State University announces it will be laying off 300 employees

4/26/2016
Finances

“We finally agreed on something. Which is rare. It’s been over a year where we’ve walked into a small meeting room and walked out with an agreement on some things”

Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin

4/17/2016
Finances

Comptroller Leslie Munger announces she will sign paychecks for elected officials on a delayed basis. Their checks will come later than usual from now on, in line with groups that the state routinely pays late

4/1/2016
Finances
Milestone

9 months without a budget

3/30/2016
Social Services

“I put it out there, I did. And it got crushed. It’s like he told us, I think about it, just to get us out of his face.”

Caprice Williams, a transitional housing resident on her meeting with Gov. Rauner

2/17/2016
Finances
Milestone

Gov. Rauner delivers the Budget Address for next year, despite not having a budget for the current year

2/17/2016


2/17/2016
Finances

“We're all better served ... if we follow the traditional approach, people become reasonable with each other, move away from extreme agendas, recognize that the No. 1 problem facing the state of Illinois is the budget deficit.”

– House Speaker Michael Madigan, reacting to Gov. Rauner's Budget Address

2/17/2016
Finances
2/16/2016
Finances Social Services
2/15/2016
Finances Education
2/10/2016
1/27/2016
Finances
Milestone

Gov. Rauner delivers the 2016 State of the State Address

1/21/2016
Finances Education
1/21/2016


1/9/2016
Finances
1/8/2016
Unions

Gov. Rauner asks the Illinois Labor Relations Board to declare an impasse in contract negotiations with AFSCME, the largest union representing state government employees

1/1/2016
Finances
Milestone

6 months without a budget

12/4/2015
Finances
10/1/2015
Finances
Milestone

3 months without a budget

9/28/2015
Finances Criminal Justice
9/24/2015
Finances

“Mr. Goldberg. When a senator is speaking to you, I would strongly counsel you to close your mouth and open your ears and then you’ll have a chance to respond.”

Sen. Don Harmon, (D-Oak Park), speaking to Rauner aide Richard Goldberg during a Senate hearing

9/24/2015
Finances
9/9/2015
Finances
8/13/2015
Finances
7/2/2015
Finances

Attorney General Lisa Madigan files a court motion, moving the battle over what Illinois state government can spend money on - and if government employees can get paid - into the hands of a Cook County judge

7/2/2015
Finances Social Services

The ACLU files a court motion asking a federal judge to mandate that the Dept. of Children and Family Services continue paying for services for vulnerable and foster youth even though no money has been authorized for the agency

7/1/2015
Finances

The Senate passes a short-term, one-month budget to fund some state services, but a separate plan fails in the House of Representatives

7/1/2015
Finances

Senate Pres. Cullerton introduces a measure that includes an eventual two-year property tax freeze for Chicago in exchange for several financial changes to Chicago Public Schools. Republicans say it doesn't go far enough for Rauner's Turnaround Agenda

6/30/2015
Finances

Gov. Rauner tells state employees he thinks they should continue working and getting paid as the government begins to shut down

6/26/2015
Finances

In a sign continuing sign of the rivalry between Speaker Madigan and Gov. Rauner, a Madigan spokesman criticizes Rauner's idea of having the state pay Chicago Public Schools' teacher pensions, saying he wants local school districts across the state to pay for their own pensions, and not rely on the state

6/25/2015
Finances

After signing Democrats' budget plan for schools, Rauner vetoes their budget for the rest of state government, setting the stage for a government shut down

6/25/2015
Finances

A Democratic state senator says she's 'mad as hell' that Rauner vetoed the bduget, saying people will suffer if there's a government shut down


6/24/2015
Finances

Rauner signs the Democrats' spending plan for Illinois' schools, in effect keeping schools open if a budget impasse continues into the Fall

6/16/2015
Finances
6/10/2015
Finances

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says if there's no budget deal by July 1, new Medicaid provider payments will stop and nonprofits that depend on state money won't receive expedited payments

6/2/2015
Finances

Rauner's administration initiates about $400 million in cuts in response to the spending plan passed by Democrats, including suspending tax credits to companies, payments for low income people to keep their heat on and closing state museums

6/1/2015
Finances

As a stalemate over the state budget and Gov. Rauner's Turnaround Agenda policy items continues, both Republicans and Democrats frame the fight is over the quality of life for Illinois' middle class.

5/31/2015
Finances

“He has chosen to hold the budget hostage.”

– John Cullerton, criticizing Gov. Rauner for advocating for a property tax freeze and changes to workers compensation over a spending plan

5/31/2015
Finances

“Speaker Madigan has been the one constant in Illinois politics for more than 30 years. We've been driven into the ditch.”

– Bruce Rauner, addressing reporters on the final day of session after not reaching a deal with Democratic leadership

5/31/2015
Milestone

Final day scheduled for legislative session. Bills passed after May 31 require more votes to gain approval

5/28/2015
Finances

Senate Democrats reject other elements of Gov. Rauner's policies about changing regulations over civil lawsuits, freezing property taxes and limiting collective bargaining. Republicans say Democrats aren't willing to compromise. Democrats say it's not that they aren't willing to compromise, but that they simply oppose the policies

5/28/2015
Finances

“I fully anticipated that this would be a difficult and long process because again, it's not only difficult issues, but it's a complete change in dynamic that people need to get used to”

– Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, on Democrats and Gov. Rauner not agreeing on many issues

5/27/2015
Finances

Senate Democrats vote down Gov. Rauner's proposal to change workers compensation regulations

5/26/2015
Finances

Democrats begin passing their own spending plans for next year, over the objections of Republicans who say their budget runs an almost $4 billion deficit. Democrats say they will debate tax increases later to avoid massive cuts that Rauner proposed

5/21/2015
Finances

The so-called "millionaire's tax," a proposed change to the Illinois state constitution that would raise taxes on income more than $1 million, falls three votes short to pass the Illinois House of Representatives. Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan supported the measure, and after the vote criticized "Rauner Republicans" for not voting in favor of it.

5/14/2015
Unions

Democratic representatives call a bill calling for "right to work" laws in Illinois, even though they don't support it, since Gov. Rauner has advocated for "empowerment zones." Republican House Leader Jim Durkin called the process "Branson, Illinois," referring to the bill being a fake proposal. Zero representatives vote in favor of it.

5/8/2015
Finances
5/8/2015
Finances

“Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law. It is a summons to defend it.”

– Illinois State Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, in the opinion for all seven justices in striking down the pension law

4/18/2015
Finances Unions
4/15/2015
Finances Social Services

Some Senate Democrats tell Rauner's budget chief they felt like they were kicked in the gut when they found out Rauner froze grants to social service agencies. Sen. President Cullerton says he knew it was a possibility, but "that doesn't make them good ideas"


4/15/2015
Education
4/10/2015
Unions

A St. Clair County judge rules against Rauner and determines that the state must continue to collect fair share fees - at least temporarily - while the courts decide if Rauner's executive order is constitutional

4/7/2015
Elections
4/6/2015
Finances Social Services

Gov. Rauner says the grant freezes he announced on April 3 don't necessarily have to be permanent

4/3/2015
Finances Social Services
3/27/2015
Finances Social Services

Gov. Rauner signs the plan to fill the $1.6 billion shortfall in Fiscal Year 2015.

3/26/2015
Finances Social Services

The Illinois Senate approves the fund sweeps and 2.25% cuts to fix the $1.6 billion shortfall passed by the House two days earlier

3/24/2015
Finances Social Services

The Illinois House of Representatives approves legislation to fill an estimated $1.6 billion budget hole in the budget for Fiscal Year 2015. The plan takes $1.3 billion that went unspent in various funds, in addition to a 2.25% cut across almost all of state government except a select few programs that deal with mental health services, developmental disabilities, and autism.


3/23/2015
Unions

A federal judge in Southern Illinois rules the issue over fair share fees should be decided in state court, not federal court, after unions sued Rauner over the issue. The case is moved to the courts in St. Clair County

3/21/2015
Finances

House Speaker Michael Madigan tells reporters he's continuing his push for increasing income taxes solely on millionaires in Illinois, calling for a 3% surcharge on income that's more than $1 million

3/17/2015
Finances Social Services

“If they’re going to call us ward of the state - sorry, if you put your name on it, like, you kind of have to take care of it.”

– 20-year-old Lauretta Schaefer in her testimony to state lawmakers about proposed cuts in services to 18-21 year olds who depend on the state to act as their parent

3/16/2015
Finances Social Services

A small group of Illinois state senators hold a hearing to listen to social service providers who would have their funding cut under Rauner's proposed budget


3/9/2015
Finances

“I’m not looking to start a fight with our new governor. I want to work with him. But I don’t work for him. And his budget doesn’t work for Illinois.”

– John Cullerton

3/9/2015
Unions
3/5/2015
Unions

A group of unions sue Rauner in state court over his fair share fees executive order

2/27/2015
Finances Unions

Gov. Rauner speaks to a small group of business leaders about why he's trying to end fair share fees and have local governments adopt right to work zones instead of first negotiating a budget with legislative leaders


2/27/2015
Finances
2/18/2015
Finances
Milestone

Gov. Rauner delivers the Budget Address

2/18/2015
Social Services

Rauner's proposed budget highlights cuts to this agency that offers services to Illinios' elderly. One key program under the Dept. of Aging is its Community Care Program, which provides services to low income seniors in their home. Gov. Rauner proposes higher restrictions on who qualifies for this service, based partly on income, and reducing the average time spent serving these seniors by one hour each week

2/18/2015
Social Services

Under Rauner’s proposed budget, the Department of Children and Family Services, which monitors parents and young people in foster care, would end government services and scholarships for young people between the ages of 18-21 who are not with their own families and have the state act as their parent

2/18/2015
Finances Criminal Justice

Gov. Rauner's budget recommends the state spend more on the Dept. of Juvenile Justice in Fiscal Year 2016 than the state had spent on the agency in 2014. Rauner's recommendation says the agency will spend more money on education of young people and on mental health services

2/18/2015
Finances Criminal Justice

Gov. Rauner proposes spending more more money on Illinois' overcrowded prisons system. He says that money can be used to hire more correctional officers, so employees work less overtime. He's also counting on the state saving money later based on a restructuring of the state's sentencing guidelines for certain penalties, in a proposal that's to be outlined by a commission he created by executive order on Feb. 11.

2/18/2015
Finances Social Services

Gov. Rauner is proposing the Deptartment of Human Services focus more of its attention on community organizations, rather than state institutions. He's proposed a reduction in state grants to organizations that work in those fields.

2/18/2015
Finances Education

Gov. Rauner proposes adding more cash into the main fund that distributes state money to primary education schools.

2/18/2015
Finances Education

Gov. Rauner proposes big cuts to the state's public universities. This affects all campuses of the University of Illinois, in addition to Illinois State and Chicago State Universities

2/18/2015
Finances Social Services

Gov. Rauner is proposing a large reduction in state spending on Medicaid, the health care program for those in poverty. He wants to achieve those savings in part by setting a higher bar for who's eligible to receive those benefits.

2/18/2015
Finances

House Speaker Michael Madigan tells reporters he thinks Gov. Rauner's budget proposal is "reckless" because it calls for $2 billion in savings this year based on changes to pension benefits that would be difficult to pass through the legislature, and would likely be challenged in court - meaning the savings would not go into effect right away

2/18/2015
Finances

“The budget outlined today is the budget Illinois can afford. And that in itself is an example of thinkin’ anew.”

– Bruce Rauner

2/17/2015
Finances

Gov. Rauner signs executive order creating a committee that will look at ways to consolidate local governments, in addition to an analysis of "unfunded mandates" on schools

2/16/2015
Finances Social Services
2/11/2015
Criminal Justice

Gov. Rauner signs executive order creating a committee that will look at the prison sentences for various types of crimes, and the relation between prison recidivism and length of time in prison

2/9/2015
Unions

Gov. Rauner signs executive order that ends state employee unions' ability to collect fair share fees

2/9/2015
Unions

Gov. Rauner sues government unions over fair share fees in federal court in Northern Illinois

2/4/2015
Milestone

Gov. Rauner delivers the State of the State Address

2/4/2015
Criminal Justice
1/27/2015
Unions
1/20/2015
Finances

Gov. Rauner signs executive order asking for a report into state hiring and training of veterans, along with the awarding of state contracts to veteran-owned businesses

1/16/2015
Criminal Justice

Gov. Rauner signs executive order undoing seven executive orders that were signed in the final days of his predecessor's time as governor. Those orders that were reversed called for several actions, including a ban on law enforcement detaining someone based on their immigration detainer, a mandate that the governor release federal and state income tax returns, and that state contractors pay at least a $10 minimum wage

1/15/2015
Unions

Gov. Rauner signs executive order mandating that a list of state employees who are hired in policy-making or management positions and are exempt from unions is published online

1/13/2015
Unions

Gov. Rauner signs executive order banning any state employee from becoming a lobbyist within one year of quitting their state job

1/12/2015
Finances

Gov. Rauner signs executive order mandating a review of spending on contracts and grants entered into since his win in the November election, limited travel expenses, and watching out for energy waste in office buildings, like leaving the lights and air conditioning on

1/12/2015
Milestone

Bruce Rauner is sworn in as governor of Illinois

1/1/2015
Finances

Income tax rates for Illinois residents and companies drop after Rauner campaigned on a lower tax platform

11/5/2014
Milestone

Bruce Rauner wins the race for Illinois governor

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