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What’s In Store For Businesses In A Post-COVID Illinois? Legislature’s ‘Four Tops’ Weigh In

Illinois’ economy was humming along last winter, a few years removed from the state’s two-year budget impasse in which Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog climbed to nearly $17 billion, and finally experiencing the kind of growth that had eluded the state for years after the Great Recession.

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Derek Cantù/ NPR Illinois

Many Illinois Cities Struggling To Fund Pension Obligations: Report

More than half of Illinois’ largest cities have severely underfunded pension funds, according to a new report from libertarian-leaning group Wirepoints.

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Community Voices - Weekdays at Noon, Saturdays at 5 pm

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Helping Hands of Springfield

Helping Hands of Springfield's Erica Smith | Community Voices

Erica Smith, executive director at Helping Hands Springfield , joins Bea Bonner to discuss the organization's belief that to address homelessness, it has to be tackled on multiple levels. Helping Hands Springfield provides emergency shelter through the state Department of Human Services- and United Way-funded Emergency Shelter and Day Services Program, which provides over 50 beds of short-term emergency shelter with case management support for men.

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Violence, which has been ongoing for several nights, continued in Jerusalem as Palestinians clashed with Israeli police on Saturday, leaving many injured.

Protesters threw rocks and water bottles at police. Officers responded with rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannons.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Sergio Guzman, co-founder and Director of the Colombia Risk Analysis political consultancy, about protests in Colombia.

A majority win by Scotland's pro-independence parties energizes the push for a referendum on leaving the U.K.

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On-air Challenge: Every answer today is something — or someone — you might see at a supermarket. Rearrange the given letters to get the answer.









Americans are gearing up for summer, but another shortage could crash the fun. Chlorine prices have shot up due to a factory fire and increased demand. The pandemic led more people to put in pools.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with author and historian Christy Pichichero about what she terms "discriminatory gaslighting."

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The White House finds opportunity to push its ambitious economic plans after a disappointing April jobs report, while the GOP cites the report as proof the government helped the unemployed too much.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to University of Maine sociology professor Amy Blackstone about the declining number of births in the U.S.


A Remote Work Revolution Is Underway — But Not For Everyone

Last month, Ford announced it would allow staff who have been working remotely to remain remote — at least some of the time — long after the pandemic is over. "Must be nice for them," thought Marcie Pedraza, an electrician at a Ford plant in Chicago. Like many workers across the U.S., from factories to grocery stores, working from home has never been an option for her. And that presents a challenge for companies frantically rewriting their remote work policies: How do you make the change feel...

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The X from NPR Illinois - LISTEN ON 91.9-3 HD OR STREAM

Ed Ward, Rock Critic And Historian, Dead At 72

Ed Ward, an incisive former critic and editor for Rolling Stone and longtime contributor to WHYY's Fresh Air , died this week in his home in Austin, Texas. He was 72 years old. Ward was known for the historical precision of his work — who was playing what, who was friends with whom, what they were imbibing. In a piece on the label Paramount Records , Ward described the legendary Charlie Patton on Fresh Air in 2015 as "... a towering figure who was looked up to by most of the other Mississippi...

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Analysis & commentary on the events that made news this past week in Illinois state government & politics.

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Reporting and analysis taking you beyond the daily news and providing a deeper understanding of our state. 

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Arts & Life

4 Women Share Their Motherhood Experience

3 hours ago

We hear from four women who acknowledge how difficult life has been to be a mother before and during the pandemic, and what keeps them motivated.

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Education Desk


The following is a commentary from Dr. Robert Smith, Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield. 

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Equity & Justice


Illinois could become the second state in the nation to fully decriminalize transmission of HIV.  A measure is under consideration at the statehouse. 

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Illinois Economy

Capitol in fog
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

Ahead of Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address next week, Republican lawmakers are calling on his administration to preserve tax credits for businesses — especially ones Pritzker himself helped negotiate during his first year in office. 

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week announced the long-awaited bridge phase will kick in May 14.  He also indicated the state could move to a full re-opening of the economy in June.  

And redistricting is a once a decade political process in Illinois.  Democrats are in control, but are they living up to their promise of transparency?

Listen to the discussion.

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The White House finds opportunity to push its ambitious economic plans after a disappointing April jobs report, while the GOP cites the report as proof the government helped the unemployed too much.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit