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.

Using non-farm jobs data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, over 120,000 net jobs have been added in Illinois since February of 2015, the first full month of Rauner's term in office.

But most of those jobs were gained in 2015, when 83,400 jobs were added

Governor Bruce Rauner has said for the past several days that he’s open to just about any sort of compromise in order to get school funding reform signed into law.

Chicago has vast property wealth and the largest population by far in Illinois. But it also has a large amount of that property wealth locked up in Tax Increment Financing districts.

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