Top News

Appeals panel: State agencies can't hire own lawyers when disagree with Atty Gen's legal strategies

Jonathan Bilyk Jun. 23, 2017, 1:20pm

A state appeals panel has refused to allow a state agency, under the supervision of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, to hire its own legal representation amid a conflict with Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan over legal strategy in defending against workers compensation claims brought by an independent personal assistant for those with disabilities who claimed she should be treated as a state employee after the state empowered a union to represent her.

Appeals panel: Social service agencies can't be paid without state appropriations

Jonathan Bilyk Jun. 15, 2017, 2:37pm

Noting the contracts they signed made their payments contingent on the availability of legally appropriated state funds, an Illinois appellate court has found a coalition of social service providers have no legal or constitutional leg to stand on to demand the state pay them without first securing the proper appropriations from the state’s legislature and governor.

School districts sue the state, demanding money, but history says chances of lawsuit success not high

Zachary Lewis Jun. 14, 2017, 5:12pm

Amid the state of Illinois' sustained budget woes, school districts in Chicago and elsewhere in the state have lined up to ask courts to intervene on their behalf and order the state to pay what they assert is its proper share of education funding. But history has indicated such lawsuits have limited chances of success.

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.

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.

Judge dismisses CPS suit vs IL over schools funding; says demands would 'inject chaos,' not fix problem

Jonathan Bilyk Apr. 28, 2017, 9:51pm

Saying the demands sought by the Chicago Public Schools “would inject widespread chaos into the entirety of the State’s public education system,” a Cook County judge has denied the request by CPS and other plaintiffs to force the state to funnel more money into Chicago’s public education system, dismissing a lawsuit CPS said it brought to address systemic and illegal discrimination within the state of Illinois’ educational funding system.

IL law forcing 'pregnancy resource centers' to refer women for abortions violates constitution: Lawsuit

Laura Halleman Apr. 3, 2017, 5:40pm

Eighteen Illinois women’s health organizations have sued the state of Illinois and Gov. Bruce Rauner over a new law that forces pro-life doctors and pregnancy resource centers to discuss abortion benefits and to refer pregnant women for abortions despite the medical providers' opposition to the procedure.

IL 'fair share fees' lawsuit tossed; plaintiffs say 'desired result,' allowing appeal to SCOTUS

Jonathan Bilyk Mar. 21, 2017, 6:37pm

The U.S. Supreme Court will get the chance to decide just how much public worker unions in Illinois and elsewhere can exact from non-union workers, after a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit intended to challenge a longstanding legal precedent used by unions to justify the forcible collection of so-called “fair share” fees.

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.

St. Clair Co. judge backs union, denies AG request to order state to stop paying workers amid impasse

Cook County Record Feb. 16, 2017, 8:08pm

St. Clair Co. judge denies AG Madigan's request to order state to stop paying workers amid impasse

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.

Illinois' bailout bill for two Exelon power plants unique, unprecedented, needed more review, attorney says

Robert Lawson Jan. 18, 2017, 6:15pm

In early December, Democrats and Republicans in Springfield, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, agreed on an energy bailout bill in the Legislature to keep two Exelon nuclear generator plants operating at a cost of as much as $4.54 per month per Illinois ratepayer. But a Chicago lawyer who has advised industrial businesses and governments on energy-related issues for more than two decades said the 503-page bailout bill, which rewrote major provisions of both the Illinois Public Utilities Act and the Illinois Power Agency Act, should have received a more thorough review before becoming law.

New laws at state, local level bring changes in 2017 employers should be mindful of, labor attorney says

Christopher Knoll Dec. 30, 2016, 11:56am

As the calendar flips to a new year, a host of new laws in Illinois and elsewhere will take effect, including a number of which employers should particularly be mindful.

Automatic voter registration bill dies in Illinois House after veto, but similar legislation could follow

S. Laney Griffo Dec. 14, 2016, 7:20pm

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would automatically register voters across Illinois has held up in the General Assembly, leaving unclear whether such a bill can secure enough votes to become law amid the current political environment.

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.

Non-compete agreements banned for low-wage employees in Illinois

Dawn Geske Oct. 4, 2016, 6:06pm

A new law prohibiting non-compete agreements for low-wage earners has been signed into law by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Social service agencies' motion: State must pay now, or risk statewide 'public emergency'

Jonathan Bilyk May 25, 2016, 10:42pm

Three weeks since filing suit to ask a Cook County judge to order Illinois’ state government to pay their organizations what they believe they are owed, a coalition that has now grown to more than 80 Illinois social service agencies have decided the situation has now become a “public emergency across the state” requiring emergency action from the courts to order Springfield to cough up the money to allow the agencies to continue functioning.

Group connected to Madigan, Emanuel sues to block redistricting amendment from ballot

Jonathan Bilyk May 12, 2016, 5:50pm

An attorney connected to powerful Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan has filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court to block a referendum from landing on the ballot, which would ask Illinois voters to reform the way Illinois creates the legislative districts from which state lawmakers are elected.

Social service providers sue Rauner for vetoing appropriations, demand state pay $100 million

Jonathan Bilyk May 4, 2016, 1:38pm

A group of more than five dozen Illinois social service agencies have sued Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and a collection of state agencies, alleging the governor’s decision to veto three appropriation bills in June 2015 has provided cover for the state to unconstitutionally refuse to pay them more than $100 million they are collectively owed for services rendered under contracts with the state of Illinois.