Statehouse

fingerprints
Alan Levine / Flickr - CC-by 2.0

People who want to legally own a firearm in Illinois would have to submit fingerprints under legislation approved Wednesday in the state House of Representatives.

With only three full days left in the Illinois Spring legislative session, the long-awaited gaming expansion plan is still under wraps. 

Rep. Kelly Cassidy watched as the Reproductive Health Act passes.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After a long and unusually emotional debate in the Illinois House Tuesday, lawmakers approved legislation aimed at keeping abortion legal in Illinois, regardless of what happens in other states or Washington, D.C.

Illinois Capitol Rotunda
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The U.S. Census count is less than a year away, and the group tasked with making sure everyone is counted is asking state lawmakers for millions to help in that effort.

If the count on April 1, 2020 reveals that Illinois has lost another 45,000 residents, the state could lose two of its 18 congressional seats, according to an analysis from Election Data Services Inc., a political consulting firm.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker hugs Rep. Robert Martwick after passage of a graduated income tax constitutional amendment
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois voters will get to decide the future of the state’s income tax. Democrats on Monday approved a measure to put a graduated income tax on the ballot next fall.

State Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago)
Illinois Senate Democrats / Illinois Senate Democrats

With only four days left in the Illinois legislative session, some lawmakers say they are ready to move forward with a gambling expansion proposal.  But many others have pressing questions about diversity and business opportunities — one of several issues left to be worked out before the end of session May 31. 

Illinois Capitol Rotunda
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are back in Springfield Monday. They’ve got a long to-do list — with just five days until the end of session.

Child welfare workers are calling on Illinois lawmakers to better fund private services.

Kelly Cassidy testifies with Dr. Tabatha Wells of Planned Parenthood and Colleen Connell of the ACLU of Illinois
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Late Sunday night, Illinois Democrats advanced legislation meant to protect abortion rights in case Roe v. Wade is overturned.

House Revenue and Finance Committee
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats are advancing legislation that spells out the rates for a proposed graduated state income tax.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly has just one week left in its spring legislative session, and the number of outstanding issues are beginning to pile up.

A graduated income tax constitutional amendment seems to be on track, but lawmakers are still hashing out details — and rounding up votes — on crafting state budget, funding an infrastructure program, legalizing marijuana, and expanding gambling.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to raise taxes on beer and other types of alcohol to help pay for construction projects.

Sports betting in a Nevada casino.
Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

With only one week left in the spring legislative session, lawmakers are still trying to piece together a final sports betting proposal, but issues between daily fantasy sports company FanDuel and Rivers Casino chairman Neil Bluhm – could be holding up negotiations.

The rail at the Illinois capitol
Matt Turner / Flickr

Illinois lawmakers have agreed to make a change to the state's minor consent law for health care services. The current statute allows children 12 and up access to diagnosis and treatment options for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, but not preventative healthcare or counseling. A proposal, that now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk, would ensure youth also have access to preventions options without parental consent.  

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

State Representative Kelly Cassidy said Thursday that she’s received a pledge from House Speaker Mike Madigan that her expansive abortion legislative will be heard.

That bill would lift provisions that would make performing abortions illegal if Roe. V. Wade is overturned. The bill would also require private insurers to cover abortion if they already cover pregnancy-related expenses.

Statehouse Update: One Week Left And Miles To Go

May 23, 2019
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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

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. 

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