Statehouse reporter @chicagotribune covering the spectacle that is Illinois government.

Illinois comptroller candidates blame each other for budget mess — Republican Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger and Democratic challenger Susana Mendoza pitched their independence on Thursday, arguing they should be judged on their own merits, not their close connections to the state's top political power brokers. Yet neither would back away from their party's respective leaders during a joint appearance before the Chicago Tribune editorial board.

Rauner approves repeal of sales tax on tampons — Illinois joined a handful of states and the city of Chicago in repealing a so-called "tampon tax" as Gov. Bruce Rauner approved a bill that exempts feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax. Currently, tampons and sanitary napkins are taxed by the state of Illinois as "luxury items" at 6.25 percent.

Illinois Democrats try to tie Trump to Rauner — SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Democrats on Thursday sought to do what Republicans have tried to avoid: linking Gov. Bruce Rauner to controversial GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying both are extreme and out of touch with average Americans.

Rauner, Republicans go after Madigan, Democratic 'machine' at state fair — SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Republicans launched their day at the State Fair Wednesday by attempting to look past divisions over presidential nominee Donald Trump to focus on down-ballot races for U.S. Senate , the House and key legislative contests aimed at eroding Democratic control of the General Assembly .

Rutherford repeatedly roomed with treasurer staffer — Treasurer says practice a way to save money State Treasurer Dan Rutherford routinely roomed overnight in hotels and a Chicago apartment with a low-level treasurer's office employee whom he has given a 50 percent pay hike, raising questions about the workplace judgment of the Republican candidate for governor.

Quinn, Rauner battle to be big on populism, attacks — The fall campaign for Illinois governor between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner will feature dueling brands of populism, campaign bankrolls in the tens of millions of dollars and plenty of scorched-earth attacks from groups with a vested interest in the high-stakes race.

Rauner turning to a private foundation to fix Illinois State Fairgrounds — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is again turning to the private sector as he tries to reshape state government amid resistance from Democrats who control the legislature, this time announcing a private foundation aimed at raising money to fix up the crumbling Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Rauner reboots state fair after nearly a year of unpaid bills from last one — Last year, the state budget standoff meant there was little distinction between state fair royalty and those who scoop poop. The Miss Illinois County Fair Queen didn't get paid. Neither did the small army of high schoolers who muck stalls, nor the woman who spent hours sculpting butter into a life-size cow displayed in a refrigerated, rotating case inside the Dairy Building.

Rauner signs bill that requires teaching teens how to handle being stopped by police — Students enrolled in driver's education courses will be required to learn how to respond if they're pulled over by police under a measure Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Friday. The change is aimed at preventing teens from panicking or doing anything that may be interpreted as a red flag by police, which could lead to a standard traffic stop escalating into a more serious situation.

Rauner reduces punishment for minor pot possession from jail to citation — Getting caught with small amounts of marijuana will result in citations akin to a traffic ticket instead of the possibility of jail time under legislation Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law on Friday.
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Aug 25, 2016

Mendoza says voting for the budgets was "the right thing to do."

Aug 25, 2016

Munger says Mendoza's "fingerprints" all over state budget mess, says she voted for unbalanced plans while in legislature.

Aug 25, 2016

Curtin asked if he should instead be running for governor, says he would if office open now. Says he assumes he won't win this race.

Aug 25, 2016

Curtin talks about need for tax increase, rejects idea there's a limited pot of $.

Aug 25, 2016

Asked what they would do differently, Ball says she would set up list of payment priorities. Says no transparency on who gets paid when, why

Aug 25, 2016

Mendoza said she disagrees that Munger not standing up to Rauner, said fair share fight was early in her term.

Aug 25, 2016

Munger also says she disagrees with how social service programs being treated now.

Aug 25, 2016

Munger said she resents idea this race is a proxy war between Rauner and Madigan. Said she stood up to Rauner on fair share fees.

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