Statehouse

DNA analysis
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / flickr.com/nasamarshall CC-BY-NC

The Illinois State Police was under fire Monday for the state’s huge backlog in testing crime-scene DNA.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Adult entertainer Stormy Daniels visited the Illinois Capitol today to protest the so-called “Sin Tax.”

A 2012 law requires Illinois strip clubs to charge an extra $3 for each guest or pay a flat tax. It’s meant to help fund rape crisis centers.

Daniels said the tax incorrectly connects adult entertainment with rape.

Matt Brown - Flickr / CC-by 2.0)

Legislation being considered in the Illinois House could cancel plans for a proposed ICE detention facility in Dwight.

Among the subjects discussed this week: medical and recreational marijuana, an anti-abortion rally at the capitol building, Illinois' teacher shortage, and legalizing sports gambling.

Brian Mackey

Lawmakers are considering whether to ask Illinoisans to pay more for gasoline — with the money dedicated to fixing crumbling infrastructure.

A new proposal at the Statehouse would double the motor fuel tax — from the current 19 cents up to 38 cents a gallon. It would also up driver’s license and vehicle registrations fees, with the goal of raising $2 billion a year to pay for road, bridge, highway and rail improvements.

Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Democrats are offering several options on how legal sports gambling could work in the state. 

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: Horst Gutmann

 

Several Illinois environmental and labor groups say the state needs more workers to upgrade its aging water and sewer systems. Money to prepare these workers could come from an infrastructure plan.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Hundreds of anti-abortion protestors filled the Capitol rotunda today following the passage of a measure that would repeal parental notification of abortion.

Meanwhile, a group of Republican lawmakers are speaking out against legislation intended to expand abortion rights throughout Illinois.

State Representative Terri Bryant, a Republican from Murphysboro, also spoke out against another proposal being considered that would completely overhaul abortion throughout the state. 

Democratic House Caucus

Illinois lawmakers  forwarded a proposal that would allow minors to get an abortion, without telling their parents.

The measure would repeal the Parental Notification of Abortion Act – a law passed in 1995, but not enforced until 5 years ago.  The law allows for minors to go before a judge instead of notifying a parent.

Democratic Senator Elgie Sims of Chicago is sponsoring the proposal that would get rid of any notification requirement.

Jonathan Laureano

State Rep. Karina Villa is a 40-year-old Democrat representing West Chicago. She's one of dozens of fresh faces at the Illinois State Capitol this year and also one of seven lawmakers in the House of Representatives whose election flipped a red seat blue -- from Republican to Democrat.

J.B. Pritzker
Brin Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has agreed to pay raises and money owed to the state’s more than 40,000 child care workers and home aides.  

Molly Marshall / Flickr (CC-NC 2.0)

A measure to expand cases when eviction records can be sealed has advanced out of a House committee.

Proponents say unsealed eviction notices can taint a renter’s record even if an eviction is never carried out. That makes it difficult for renters to find a new home.

Bob Palmer of Housing Action Illinois says,“We understand that landlords have a compelling interest in wanting to screen tenants so they can get good tenants, but we don't think that just having an eviction filing is a good reflection  on someone's ability to be a good tenant.”

Tatiana Vdb - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Women in the Illinois Senate want to address a surge in maternal deaths related to childbirth.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly was busy this week, passing legislation intended to fight gender pay inequity, teach LGBT history, and raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The panel also discusses NPR Illinois' recent series examining Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed tax increases and expansions.

Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker
still image from video / ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV)

Last year’s election was historic by several measures: the amount of money spent, the surge in turnout, and the Democratic sweep of Illinois government.

Every four years, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale analyzes the election, looking at everything from spending patterns to changes in voter behavior.

Lori Stalteri - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Some Illinois lawmakers want to make it easier for worker cooperatives to grow.

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: Ryan McGilchrist

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. All eyes now turn to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has yet to say where he stands on the idea. 

BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget – on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies. 

John Lodder / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

It's not the first time some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to end the so-called gender pay gap. The House of Representatives approved a measure Wednesday that could be a first step. 

a plastic bag in a tree
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget — on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies.

NPR Illinois reporters have been breaking down those revenue-generating ideas. Today we’re looking at a potential tax on shopping bags.

Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Flickr: Julie

Illinois lawmakers in the House voted Tuesday to raise the age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.  Last year, the proposal made it to the governor’s desk, but then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it. Supporters of the change are more optimistic this time.  
 

Mike Mozart - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Walgreens customers want the company to pay up for charging an extra tax on some water bottles. The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether the charges were fraudulent.

Blogtrepreneur - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Young adults could be tried in juvenile court up to age 21 under legislation being considered in the Illinois Senate.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has finally revealed a few details about his plans to change the Illinois income tax. He's asking the General Assembly and voters to approve a constitutional amendment making the flat tax into one that's graduated, where the wealthy pay higher rates.

Marc Nozell / Flickr (CC-BY 2.0)

March 8 is International Women’s Day. It’s a call to raise voices within the women’s rights movement and strategize to create a more gender-equal world.

Reporter Dana Vollmer talked with Susan Bramlet Lavin, executive director of the Illinois branch of the National Organization for Women, about what’s been accomplished and what still needs work.

This interview have been edited for clarity.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Illinois nurses are calling on state lawmakers to restrict the number of patients under their care.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers questioned Department of Children and Family Services officials Tuesday after a 2-year old Decatur girl died in February, just months after the agency closed her case. 

Nicholas King / via Flikr

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is asking state lawmakers to raise the tax on cigarettes, and begin taxing vaping products. It’s part of a plan he introduced last month to balance the state budget.


Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month laid out his plan for a state budget.  But the Democratic governor is perhaps being too optimistic, counting on proposals for tax revenue sources that still need to be negotiated. One of those is the expansion of gambling and raking in the money from taxing and further regulating it. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s counting on new taxes to help close the state’s  3.2 billion dollar budget hole. NPR Illinois reporters are taking a closer look at some of his ideas. First up, Jaclyn Driscoll breaks down the biggest chunk of revenue in Pritzker’s proposal -  a tax on health insurers.

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