Statehouse

One Week Left And Miles To Go

6 hours ago
NPR Illinois

Recreational pot, construction projects and more — here’s what we know.

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced his freshman budget this winter, he proposed a range of new or increased taxes. It was intended to let Illinois government hobble through next year’s budget on its way to a graduated income tax.

Delia Ramirez
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Affordable-housing advocates are joining the chorus calling on Illinois lawmakers to approve an infrastructure plan.

guns ammo bullets
Tony Webster - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to overhaul the application process for Firearm Owner’s Identification cards.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois officials faced tough questioning Monday over the lease of a warehouse for file storage.

The Legislative Audit Commission hearing also got at broader questions over how state government spends money.

cannabis ladies
State Sen. Heather Steans / State Sen. Heather Steans

Earlier in May when language for Illinois' recreational cannabis proposal was unveiled, it was Gov. J.B. Pritzker who stole the headlines, receiving much of the credit. While it's his signature that will ultimately appear on any proposal passed by the legislature, it was four female lawmakers who chose to embark on the difficult path to legalization years ago. 

road construction
Gary Brown via Flickr (gsbrown99)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is finally getting specific on what could be in a massive statewide building plan — and what taxes and fees could be raised to pay for it.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Republicans are trying to get back in on next year's budget negotiations. Meanwhile, as red states compete to place more and more restrictins on abortion, activists want Illinois to move the other way.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Republican on Thursday were trying to elbow their way back into budget negotiations.

The move comes as lawmakers have just two weeks left in their annual legislative session, with a long to-do list that includes passing a state budget.

Peter Gray / NPR Illinois

Drive down a major road or highway in Illinois and you’ll likely feel the bump of potholes. A report from TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based research group, put a number on what it costs drivers to travel these roads — $18.3 billion. That includes additional car repairs, time lost in traffic, and crashes caused by poor road conditions.

Lawmakers are using the new report to push for a multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan, paid for in part by a gas tax hike and higher vehicle and registration fees.

Illustration by Brian Mackey / Photo by Kenwood

News Analysis — The Illinois Department of Corrections did not fare well in a recent state audit. Among the findings was that the agency could not account for 3,568 pieces of equipment.

Dig into the numbers and property records, and you’ll find a bigger story about the challenges of pursuing efficiency in state government.

Executive Cannabis
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Illinois has an official proposal to legalize recreational cannabis, but the bill language is still a work in progress. On Wednesday, legislators in the Senate Executive committee were able to pick apart details of the legislation and make suggestions for changes. 

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced plans Wednesday to overhaul the state’s troubled child welfare system. That comes after a report criticized the Department of Children and Family Services’ reluctance to remove children from their homes.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Some rock and roll star power showed up in the Illinois Statehouse Wednesday to help push for a new casino. 

smart phone texting
Marko Verch - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over whether the First Amendment protects “revenge porn.”

Pritzker Scott's Law
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

So far in 2019, sixteen Illinois State troopers have been hit on the road and three have been killed. Of those three, two of them were killed by drivers in violation of Scott's Law according to the Illinois State Police. 

doctor medicine stethocope
Chemist 4 U - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers want to eliminate medical co-pays for prisoners.

Stateville Correctional Center
Google Maps

Governor J.B. Pritzker has nominated an Ohio prison official to lead the Illinois Department of Corrections.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois gets an April surprise — $1.5 billion in unexpected revenue — as lawmakers debate what the windfall means. The public also got its first look at the long-anticipated language in a proposal that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Meanwhile, an audit found that child abuse and neglect investigations suffered during the budget impasse of 2015-17, and lawmakers advanced legislation that would more than double the gas tax in order to pay for infrastructure building and repair.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois has officially proposed legalizing cannabis for adults 21 years and older by Jan. 1, 2020. But as details of the legislation emerge, so does the opposition. 

electric vehicle charging
Paul B / flickr.com/eastbeach (cc by-nc 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers say they’re ready to move ahead with a major road construction program. It would mean tax and fee increases on gasoline, license plates and driver’s licenses.

An audit released Tuesday paints a damning picture of Illinois’ child-welfare agency.

Chris Hunkeler / Flickr: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Illinois Senate last week approved increased protections for those who use alternative electric and gas suppliers. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Listen to a special State Week, recorded in front of an audience at the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices state historic site in downtown Springfield.

Host Sean Crawford, along with regular panel members Brian Mackey, Daisy Contreras and Charlie Wheeler, are joined by guest Hannah Meisel of The Daily Line. The discussion focused on the governor’s push for a graduated income tax and Senate Democrats pushing it through that chamber. You'll also hear about prospects for recreational marijuana, sports betting, a capital construction program and more.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Mourners gathered at the Old State Capitol on Thursday for an annual event memorializing the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust.

IMA and IRMA / IMA and IRMA

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tried to convince business groups Wednesday to accept his graduated income tax plan. 

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

David Sam, president of Elgin Community College, said Wednesday the school has received nearly $1 million in donated equipment to help train workers for manufacturing jobs. But there’s a problem – he doesn’t have the space on campus to put it.

“Most of us don’t even have the space to put the equipment so that we can train the much-needed individuals to serve the manufacturing community,” Sam said during a news conference at the statehouse. 

Don Harmon and Dan Hynes and Emily Miller
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Senate is moving the state closer to a major overhaul of its tax system.

Senate Democrats approved a constitutional amendment that would change Illinois’ flat income tax to one that’s graduated — where the wealthy pay more.

mother and baby
furiousmadgeorge / CC BY 2.0

Illinois lawmakers want judges to consider people’s family obligations when sentencing or detaining them for a crime.

laptop
Creative Commons: Chris He, 2009

Illinois lawmakers are moving forward with a measure that aims to keep your digital devices from secretely recording you without consent. The bill is called the KIDS Act, which stands for Keeping Internet Devices Safe.

Gas station pump
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Former Republican congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made a pitch Monday for Illinois to raise its gas tax.

The Peoria native told a panel of lawmakers he would champion the tax hike even though his fellow Republicans may be opposed.

“I remember the days like many of you do when Illinois was a great state, when we had great infrastructure, when we were able to attract business to our state,” said LaHood, who headed the U.S. Department of Transportation under former President Barack Obama. “That’s what we want to get back to.”

Pages