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The legal age to buy tobacco in Illinois may soon go up from 18 to 21. The measure narrowly passed the Illinois House Wednesday night 61 to 49, after failing once before.


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Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday voted to make it easier to try to take guns from someone a court determines is dangerous. Supporters say “lethal order of protections” could prevent mass shootings.


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Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

As Illinois lawmakers try to pass a state budget by Thursday, credit rating agencies say they’re less focused on the timing of a spending plan than they were a year ago.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

With just two days remaining in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers are optimistic about passing a state budget on time.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The Illinois legislature has again moved to regulate gun dealers. It comes after Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a similar measure back in March, calling it "onerous bureaucracy."


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The Illinois General Assembly has approved a plan aimed at making sure people in jails can exercise their right to vote.

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Legislation allowing a major expansion of gambling in Illinois failed on Monday. It’s something lawmakers have been working on for years, as an effort to raise money for state and local governments.

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UPDATE: The House Tuesday voted down Senate Bill 2332, which would have raised the tobacco purchase age in Illinois to to 21.

A measure in play at the Statehouse would make it a crime to sell tobacco products,  including cigarettes and vaping devices, to those under age 21.

Laura Sido of East Alton worked in bars and restaurants all of her adult life.  She smoked on and off until earlier this month. Sido, a 49-year-old stay-at-home grandmother, now has a chronic lung disease, COPD. And she  says she is in favor of anything that could keep young people from smoking.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers say they've made real progress toward passage of a budget. But even if they can get it passed by the scheduled end of session next Thursday (May 31), the big question remains: Will Gov. Bruce Rauner sign or veto it?

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Illinois lawmakers on Friday rejected legislation that would have loosened restriction on how police use drone surveillance. It was meant to help law enforcement keep tabs on large crowds.


Illinois legislators are trying to help state taxpayers get around limitations in the new federal tax law. But the federal government may negate the plan before it even has a chance to become law.

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State lawmakers are continuing to push Illinois gun legislation in the wake of a recent run of mass shootings. The Illinois House approved a measure Wednesday that would allow police to take guns away from someone if a court finds them dangerous.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said he will cooperate with a special investigation over claims he used intimidation to pressure state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) to quit her part-time job with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office. Cassidy alleges Madigan retaliated after she criticized him over his handling of sexual harassment cases within his office earlier this year.

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For this week’s Illinois Issues, we bring you a story about a measure that would train more nurses how to collect DNA evidence after a sexual assault for use in a criminal trial, often referred to as rape kits. NPR Illinois spoke with Melissa Souto about her experience undergoing the testing.

Souto, a 23-year-old Chicago resident, said she was sexually assaulted two years ago on an Illinois college campus. She could not say where since her legal case is pending. Following the incident, Souto decided to get a rape kit.

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More than 260 girls and young women came forward to tell their stories of sexual assault by former USA Olympic doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving multiple prison sentences for the abuse. The trial resulted in more than a prison sentence and settlement money for victims. It shined a light on the mishandling of sexual assault reports by young athletes. And last week, Illinois took center stage in this national issue.

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When a new employee is fingerprinted for a job in Illinois, the employer receives a snapshot of their criminal record, and they receive notifications for any future run-ins with the law in the state. But lawmakers are considering a proposal that would also allow employers to be notified of convictions that happen across state lines.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois lawmakers are pushing a measure to allow immigrants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse to more easily make their case to the police.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

An Illinois House committee Monday discussed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty for mass shooters and for those who murder police officers. The proposal is part of a broader public safety plan put forth in an amendatory veto.  

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

After more than two years of extensive renovations, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner moved back into the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield on Monday.

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Talks to legalize sports betting in Illinois have heated up after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban last week.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite a gun bill, simultaneously proposing more gun control than the original bill called for while also reinstating the death penalty.

Meanwhile, local governments are complaining about the state's attempt to share less money from the income tax, while gambling interests prepare to fight it out after the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for legal sports betting in every state.

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The Illinois General Assembly approved a measure allowing parents to give their kids medical marijuana while at school.


Rachel Otwell / NPR IllINOIS | 91.9 UIS

Illinois House members will soon consider a measure that clarifies whether graduate research assistants have the right to unionize.  But, Wednesday's Human Services committee hearing took quite a detour. 

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner this week added sweeping changes to a piece of gun legislation, in a move some state legislators called “political gamesmanship” and “unconstitutional.” But the lawmaker behind the original bill isn’t backing down, announcing Wednesday he's asking the Illinois House to agree with those changes.


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After weeks of feuding within the Illinois Republican Party an unusual agreement has been reached with hopes of bridging the divide.

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois lawmakers have two weeks to get together a spending plan. Officials from cities across the state are going on the offensive to keep lawmakers from balancing the budget by raiding their pockets.

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About 114 million people visited Illinois last year, setting a new state record. That’s according to the latest state tourism data released on Tuesday.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Update 5/16/18: The Senate approved the measure 35-18.  After Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a proposal to license gun dealers, several legislators are suggesting a new, bipartisan approach in hopes of getting his support. 

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Illinois legislators are taking up a measure to change the way police gather information for gang databases. It comes after more than a year of controversy surrounding the Chicago Police Department’s data collection practices.


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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state should be able to execute those who kill police officers or commit mass shootings. The Governor proposed that and several other measures on Monday in an amendatory veto of gun legislation.


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