Budget biz: Illinois Democrats introduce their own budget, NBC5 reports.
Political posturing: It's ideology, not money, that's holding up the state budget deal, Crain's Greg Hinz writes.
Eyes on Illinois: Officials throughout the country are watching Illinois as a model of what can go wrong and to see how it handles a financial crisis, the New York Times reports.
Prison pass: Two months after taking the job, the Illinois prisons director resigns, WBEZ reports.
Cash questions: More questions arise from Aaron Schock's finances, including travel, use of a supporter's condo and "donor swapping," the Trib reports.
Road work: Illinois needs to close the door on the Illiana Expressway for now, the Sun-Times' editorial board writes.
Tavern tab: Calumet City officials agree to buy a tavern owned by an alderman's family, the BGA reports.
Debt decisions: The Emanuel administration says key debt refinancing is back on track, Crain's reports.
Alley access: A fight over a Near North Side alley cost Cook County taxpayers $44 million, the Sun-Times reports.
Tax talk: Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios is criticized after 20,000 homeowners get letters accusing them of being tax cheats, the Sun-Times reports.