Statehouse

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new report from NPR Illinois and ProPublica shows the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has protected the reputation of several members of the faculty accused of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tenure crossed the 100-day mark. She marked the ocassion by giving a speech laying out the city's significant fiscal problems, but stopped short of saying precisely what she wants to do to fix them.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker holds giant scissors at the ribbon cutting for the Illinois State Fair in August 2019
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has broken his leg, and his office says he doesn’t know how it happened.

via Blueroomstream.com

State university officials were grilled by lawmakers Tuesday. At issue is a record of lucrative severance packages for outgoing administrators.


Illinois Central Management Services / IOCI

A package of bills signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker is aimed at helping newly-released Illinois prisoners find their way back into the democratic process.


Vaping360 via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

An investigative report released this week shows an atmosphere of bullying, intimidation, and sexual harassment in the Illinois statehouse.  Also, Governor Pritzker signed a new law raising the minimum salaries of teachers; a photo taken at a state senator’s fundraising event that showed two people staging a mock assassination of President Trump made national headlines; and Chicago’s new mayor is weighing her options on closing the city’s budget deficit.

WBEZ political reporters Tony Arnold and Dave McKinney join the panel.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The minimum salary a teacher can be paid in Illinois will soon increase. Governor J.B. Pritzker joined educators and activists to sign a wage increase plan into law Thursday.


landlordleaseforms via CC0 1.0

Immigrants to Illinois are now able to sue their landlords if they are evicted because of their citizenship status.


NPR Illinois

  Power in Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's office has been too centralized and its environment has fostered an atmosphere that condones bullying, intimidation, hazing and long work hours with inconsistent direction, according to an investigative report released Tuesday.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

In the wake of two high profile mass shootings this month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office is making gun violence prosecutions a priority. A leader of the Illinois House, meanwhile, said new gun legislation will be on the table during the next legislative session.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As Democrats and Republicans gear up for next year’s election, the parties rallied in Springfield this week with events timed to the Illinois State Fair.

Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood addresses the party faithful at the Illinois Republican Party's annual State Fair rally on Aug. 15, 2019.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Republican Party’s top brass says it’s optimistic about its chances in 2020. Officials rallied the base Thursday at the Illinois State Fair.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi headlined the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch Wednesday in Springfield.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rallied with Illinois Democrats Wednesday in Springfield.

Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois, used with permission

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs is among the first Illinois officials to endorse a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and he's backing Elizabeth Warren.


State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

President Donald Trump once again dangles the possibility of a commutation for impeached and imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. 

Rod and Patti Blagojevich
WBEZ / Flickr

President Donald Trump says he is “very strongly considering” commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has proposed a graduated tax system for Illinois.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

In the wake of last weekend’s shootings in Texas and Ohio, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is calling for a ban on large-capacity magazines.

Illinois Senate

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a law intended to prevent discrimination against living organ donors. It will apply to employers and insurance companies.

Megan Craig said she made the best decision of her life at age 25. That’s when she donated a kidney to 20-month-old Evan Simms. Eight years later, Simms is alive and well and resides in South Wilmington. And Craig works at the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago announced Friday that state Sen. Tom Cullerton was under indictment for embezzeling from a local branch of the Teamsters union. He’s accused of collecting more than $274,000 in pay and benefits for “little or no work.” Cullerton denies the charges.

Lindsay Fox / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

At least three young people in Illinois have been sent to the hospital in recent months after having used e-cigarettes, also known as “vapes.” That’s according to an investigation by the state’s Department of Public Health.


Tom Irwin Music

Artists of all kinds often struggle to find inspiration for their work, but sometimes it strikes in unexpected ways. For singer/songwriter and columnist Tom Irwin, inspiration came from a diary he found. It was written more than 125 years ago by a young man who lived in the same Pleasant Plains farmhouse that’s been in his family for generations.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Ahead of the start of the Illinois State Fair next week, organizers say they’re optimistic about attendance and attractions. But the fair’s success is an open question.


Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois state government is getting a slightly better assessment from one of the major credit rating agencies.

Women Employed / Women Employed

Illinois job seekers will no longer have to disclose their previous salary. Wednesday Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a measure prohibiting employers from asking.

handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

People with criminal records could soon have better luck getting jobs in health care.

Ruin Raider / via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the wake of an increase in roadside injuries and deaths among Illinois state troopers, Governor J.B. Pritzker has approved harsher penalties for those who break what’s known as Scott’s Law.


Country Financial

A law recently signed by Governor J.B Pritzker requires that all single-use public restroom signs make no reference to gender. But one brew pub owner has a problem with the signage he’ll have to replace in his establishment. 

At Buzz Bomb Brewing Company in Springfield, one set of restrooms has stick figure silhouette signage - - one with in a skirt, the other without.

Marco Verch / Flickr (BY-CC 2.0)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday signed into law a debt collection reform package.

The measure calls for lowering interest rates on outstanding consumer debt from 9 percent to 5 percent. It would also trim about a decade off the time a lender can pursue collection.

The legislation would apply to consumer debt under $25,000 for things such as car loans or medical bills. That’s for debts that have had a court judgment.

Jaclyn Driscoll

An unprecedented number of Illinois State Police troopers have been injured or killed this year at the hands of drivers who don’t move over when directed to. That’s prompted state and federal lawmakers to get tougher and more changes could be coming.


Office of state Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr.

The rates of HIV infection in Illinois are decreasing among adults, but are climbing among people ages 13 to 24, especially youth of color. So, advocates want to encourage young people to use a preventative medication.

Chicago Democratic Representative Lamont Robinson Jr. sponsored legislation that would give people as young as 12 years old access to the HIV prevention drug called PREP — without requiring permission from a parent or guardian. The once-a-day pill can effectively prevent the disease if taken properly.

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