Top News

Chicago Public Schools try again to persuade court to order fix of 'discriminatory' school funding

Scott Holland May 25, 2017, 11:37am

After their first attempt to obtain a court order to compel a rewrite of the state's education funding rules was rebuffed, the Chicago Public Schools have renewed their legal challenge, again asking a Cook County judge to force changes in a school funding system they call discriminatory.

New Illinois Policy Institute book suggests 12 constitutional amendments to fix IL's problems

The Cook County Record May 17, 2017, 6:56pm

As Illinois’ financial, political and legal troubles continue to mount, a new book, issued by one of the state’s leading voices for reform, suggests the questions facing the state can largely be answered by amending the state’s constitution.

Court grants class status in case of Illinois inmates claiming substandard health care

Melissa Busch May 11, 2017, 9:43am

A group of Illinois prison inmates will be allowed to move forward with their class action suit claiming health care provided to inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections violates constitutional standards.

Rauner seeks court guidance on what to do with illegally hired patronage workers in wake of special report

Jonathan Bilyk May 2, 2017, 9:04pm

In the wake of a scathing report from a court-appointed “special master” empowered to investigate political hiring abuses under former Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and other state officials and lawmakers, current Gov. Bruce Rauner has asked for the court’s guidance on whether those improperly hired, thanks to political connections, should now be able to use collective bargaining agreements to leverage the experience they gained in those positions to land in different positions or even move up in the state’s employment ranks.

Illinois can choose SEIU to represent all home caregivers in negotiations: Appeals court

Jonathan Bilyk Mar. 9, 2017, 5:28pm

The state of Illinois doesn’t trample on the rights of non-union home care providers by forcing them to abide by the terms of deals it strikes with a union over care provider pay rates and other terms of the care providers’ “employment,” a federal appeals court has ruled.

Appeals court refuses to lift stay on labor board's impasse finding; strike spectre still looms

The Cook County Record Mar. 3, 2017, 11:03pm

In the latest move in the ongoing battle between Illinois state union workers and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a state appeals court has refused the governor’s request to lift a court-ordered stay on the Illinois Labor Relations Board’s finding that the state and its largest union are at an impasse, a move that will impact the ability of Rauner to impose contract terms and of the union to strike.

Former Illinois solicitor general returning to private appellate practice at Mayer Brown

John Myers Feb. 28, 2017, 6:04pm

After years arguing cases before some of the most prestigious courts in the state and the country, a former Illinois solicitor general is coming home to private practice at one of Chicago's most prestigious law firms - a firm at which he worked early in his career.

CPS lawsuit: IL pension funding rules + lower relative funding = discriminatory ed funding imbalance

Scott Holland & Jonathan Bilyk Feb. 15, 2017, 10:05am

Saying Illinois state government has created a funding imbalance, in part, by requiring the Chicago Public Schools to divert money from education to fund worker pensions, when it places no similar demands on the state’s other school districts, CPS has now asked the courts to step in and force the state to rewrite its school funding rules. 

Lawsuits: IL 'zero emissions credit' system unconstitutionally rigs electricity market for Exelon

Jonathan Bilyk Feb. 14, 2017, 6:59pm

Two months since Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on a bailout bill they said was needed to ensure the viability of two Exelon nuclear electricity plants, two lawsuits filed in federal court have challenged the constitutionality of the legislation, alleging the law effectively rigs in Exelon’s favor wholesale electricity generation and supply markets, resulting in a a windfall for Exelon over the next 10 years, paid for by Illinois businesses and households.

Social service agencies seek to replicate state workers' success, sue IL to compel payment

Ann Maher Feb. 9, 2017, 10:36pm

A group of state human and social service agencies and companies filed suit today in St. Clair County against Gov. Bruce Rauner and other state officials to force timely payments for services performed.

IL Atty. Gen. Madigan steps in, asks court to order IL to stop paying state workers til budget deal reached

Ann Maher Jan. 27, 2017, 12:13am

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeks to break a protracted budget stalemate by putting pressure on Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislators in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Class action: IL supervised release policies unjustly effectively keep sex offenders in prison 'for life'

Chandra Lye Dec. 29, 2016, 10:59am

A lawsuit has been filed accusing the state of Illinois of violating the rights of convicted sex offenders by maintaining policies that do not allow a number of them to be released from prison after they have served their sentences, effectively leaving them informally sentenced to life in prison.

Facebook: IL Biometrics Privacy law unconstitutional; outcome of case still being closely watched

Kristin Regula Dec. 22, 2016, 2:26pm

Tag friends in a photo online, and Facebook and other social media companies could get sued. But Facebook has now asked a California judge to declare unconstitutional an Illinois biometrics privacy law under which such lawsuits have been brought against Facebook and other social media and digital photo-sharing sites.

Judge: SEIU can keep $20M in unconstitutional fees from daycares because it relied on IL law, precedent

Jonathan Bilyk Dec. 21, 2016, 11:38am

Illinois home-based child care providers who refused to join a union designated by the state of Illinois to represent them, yet were compelled by the state for years to pay so-called “fair share” fees to that union to negotiate on their behalf, should not be able to force the union to pay them their money back, even after the state government and union agreed the law that forced them to pay the fair share fees should be considered unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

Federal judge expands power of 'Special Master' to review state agency political hiring practices

Scott Holland Nov. 30, 2016, 11:27pm

More than two years into an investigation of hiring practices at the Illinois Department of Transportation, a federal judge has expanded the power of the review panel to cover all other state agencies under the oversight of Illinois' governor.

Illinois governments would face large legislative hurdle to follow Detroit's path on bankruptcy, pension cuts

Taryn Phaneuf Oct. 11, 2016, 3:09pm

A federal appeals court in Ohio has upheld a ruling rejecting claims that Detroit retirees’ pensions were unfairly cut,  demonstrating that declaring bankruptcy may be a viable, if extreme, way to deal with a city’s overwhelming pension obligation.

Illinois law aims to rein in unneeded local government travel costs

Dawn Geske Aug. 2, 2016, 10:40pm

The state of Illinois has moved to rein in the spending of the state's local governments on employee travel - spending which some have criticized as wasteful of taxpayers' dollars.

Governor can't exempt Pollution Control workers from collective bargaining, appeals panel says

Scott Holland Jan. 22, 2016, 11:09am

He hasn’t been Illinois’ governor for more than a year, but some of Pat Quinn’s actions are still being weighed by Illinois’ courts. On Jan. 19, a state appellate court overturned the administrative decision of the Illinois Labor Relations Board to uphold Quinn’s exemption of certain Pollution Control Board employees from collective bargaining.

Class action demands state pay up, despite budget impasse, for land taken for road projects

Scott Holland Dec. 30, 2015, 10:43pm

A property owner believes the state has wrongfully used Springfield’s ongoing budget dispute to improperly withhold payment on land the Illinois Department of Transportation seized for work on Route 59 in DuPage County, so the land owner has filed a class action to force Illinois to pay up to all others who have allegedly been similarly wronged. Naper Corner, successor entity to North Star Trust, filed suit Dec. 28 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Survey says Cook, Madison counties, state of Illinois, rank among worst environments for lawsuits in country

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 10, 2015, 4:46pm

The courts of Cook and Madison counties, as well as the state of Illinois, have again ranked very poorly in the eyes of business leaders, a survey says, hampering the state’s economic growth, reducing the state’s tax haul, and making it more difficult to pay Illinois’ bills and provide needed public services, according to Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner and representatives of the nation's largest business association.