Statehouse

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If you’re driving this holiday weekend, you’ll be paying more to fill up your tank in Illinois.  A 19 cent per gallon gas tax increase went into effect this week. But Governor J.B. Pritzker claims the money is an investment.


via Illinois CMS

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is rejecting a push to take on Chicago’s pension debt. But local pension costs are a growing problem across the state.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Gas prices in Illinois are creeping up as a 19-cent increase in the fuel tax took effect Monday.

The average price around Illinois for a gallon of gas rose slightly – from $2.79 to $2.84 between Sunday and Monday, according to gasbuddy.com - a crowdsourcing app. The consumer group AAA puts the average price around the state at nearly $3, up from $2.89 Monday.

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Illinois’ weed legalization law won’t take effect until next year, but the Illinois State Police is wasting no time. That agency is preparing to enforce new regulations surrounding legal cannabis.


State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed off on marijuana, infrastructure, and gambling.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Friday signed into law a long-awaited $45 billion infrastructure plan.

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The age to buy tobacco products in Illinois will officially be raised from 18 to 21 next week. Supporters say the move is aimed at stopping young people from starting a bad habit.


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When it comes to the battle against distracted driving, Illinois is taking it up a notch.   

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana. That makes the state the 11th to approve recreational use.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois is investing $29 million to try to get an accurate count in the 2020 Census. On the line are two seats in Congress and the Electoral College.

Chao, Pritzker, DeSantis, Trump
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Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a series of laws meant to protect immigrants in Illinois. The Democrat says it’s a direct response to the rhetoric and actions of President Donald Trump.

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The Illinois Supreme Court is letting Walgreens off the hook for improperly collecting a tax on sparkling water.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. In Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker is moving ahead with plans to make sure everyone in the state is counted.

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People in Illinois struggling to repay certain kinds of debt could get some relief under a new plan pending approval from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

The measure calls for lowering interest rates on outstanding consumer debt from 9 percent to 5 percent. It would also trim 10 years off the time a lender can pursue collection.

The legislation would only apply to consumer debt — that is, debt for personal, family or household expenses. It's also limited to debt under $25,000.

College of DuPage

Legislation adopted this spring aims to chip away at the growing problem of college student hunger in Illinois.

Under that measure, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission could soon have to notify students of their eligibility for food assistance.

The measure would target people eligible for the Monetary Assistance Program, which provides grants for lower-income students.

They would have to be told they might be eligible for the food aid  know as  SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers from both parties have been bragging about passing a balanced budget this year, but Comptroller Susana Mendoza says the state still needs to address more than $7 billion in unpaid bills.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week signed a bill to make what he and activists say is the most progressive abortion-rights law in the country. But could Democrats risk a backlash by going too far? And what are they targeting next?

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As Illinois abortion rights groups celebrated Wednesday's signing of the Reproductive Health Act, they’ve already got their eyes on what’s next: repealing a state law known as the Parental Notification Act.


Rebecca Anzel / Capitol News Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a controversial bill expanding access to reproductive healthcare, including abortions. The move comes as several other states have all but banned the procedure.


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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly ended its spring legislative session last weekend, passing what some are calling the most productive session in a generation.

NPR Illinois 91.9 | UIS

Illinoisans are likely to have to pay more sales tax when shopping online after state lawmakers made two big changes to tax rules. State tax collections are expected to increase by $288 million this year.

First, marketplaces – think eBay or Etsy – will be required to collect the 6.25 percent state sales tax on behalf of third-parties selling to Illinois customers. Until this legislation, it’s been up to each seller to collect the tax. And, Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said many do not.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are trying to make it easier for parents to share diaper changing duty.

Diocese of Springfield

The Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield has banned the Illinois General Assembly's leaders from receiving Holy Communion at local churches because of their involvement in abortion legislation approved last week.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer
Wikimedia

Illinois lawmakers approved legislation banning local police officers from acting as Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputies.

Sports betting in a Nevada casino.
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Chicago, Rockford, and Southern Illinois will get the casinos they’ve been fighting to get for years.

Gov. J.B. Pritzer flanked by senators at a news conference
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly finally finished its annual legislative session this weekend, with lawmakers approving item after item on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda.

Observers and participants are calling it one of the most significant sessions in living memory.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Sunday night, the Illinois General Assembly finished what by most accounts was a historic session.

From the legalization of marijuana to a massive expansion of gambling, lawmakers made significant changes to the state. We thought we’d listen back to some of the voices that made news in the last week of the 2019 legislative session.

HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER JIM DURKIN: “It's been a long year, we've had a lot of emotions that have gone on in this chamber.”

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers doubled the gas tax, raised vehicle registration fees and the tax on tobacco – all to gather money for a $45 billion statewide construction program.

Negotiations spilled into the weekend as an agreement on a gambling package – the primary funding mechanism for building improvements throughout the state – fell apart on Friday, the last day of the spring legislative session.

House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks to his colleagues and Gov. J.B. Pritzker on the last day of the 2019 legislative session
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinoisans will soon pay more for gasoline and cigarettes. Those are just two tax increases needed to pay for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which includes money from sports betting and additional casinos.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Sen. Melinda Bush
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Legislation meant to protect abortion rights if Roe v. Wade is overturned is headed to the governor’s desk.

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