Representative Ives told the Daily Herald not long ago that she had commitments for “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in contributions. But she’s gonna need a whole lot more than that because almost nobody knows who she is.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen House Speaker Michael Madigan move faster to get in front of a legislative issue than he did when he vowed action to address the climate of sexual harassment at the Illinois Statehouse.

Democrat JB Pritzker spent $21 million on his gubernatorial campaign through the end of September and recently opened his 10th campaign field office. The billionaire spent more money on staff and consultants last quarter ($1.5 million) than any of his primary opponents raised.

The spending appears to be paying off. A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of 1,154 likely Democratic primary voters has Pritzker with 39 percent of the vote, far ahead of the rest of the pack

Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner's campaign fund transferred $4.45 million to the Illinois Republican Party to bankroll a new effort to focus voters' attention on House Speaker Michael Madigan.

If it seems to you that more legislators are announcing their retirements than in the past, you're right, at least about the House.

Everyone knew from the beginning of the two-year budget impasse that the House Republicans were the key to victory for both sides. As long as Rauner could hold them completely together, he could continue the impasse fight with the Democrats. By April, however, mutinous rumblings were growing in that caucus and one way Rauner could placate them was to swear he would veto HB40 if it ever reached his desk.

Brady has an idea in mind. But one person who was briefed last week said it wasn’t so much a plan as “A magical mystery tour looking for someone to love it.”

Back in 1979, when Currie started her first term, Chicago's House delegation was packed with very conservative white men. But now, "I don't feel as if I'm leaving a void" by retiring, the liberal legislator from Chicago’s liberal Hyde Park neighborhood told me Thursday night. The city's delegation these days is filled with "fresh, bright, able, progressive people," Currie said.

Lost in much of the hoopla over the process of passing school-funding reform through the Illinois General Assembly is the fact that this is a pretty darned good and far-reaching bill.

It’s been clear for decades that the way Illinois funds its public schools has been wrong-headed. But finding a solution has eluded everyone who has tried. Until now.

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