Statehouse

Gas station pump
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

While gas prices fluctuate, one charge at the pump has stayed the same since 1990. Illinoisans have paid the same gas tax – the charge per gallon the state collects. But that could soon change.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot spends two days meeting with Illinois lawmakers. How much of her agenda runs through Springfield?

Meanwhile, Democrats began moving on a centerpiece of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's agenda: a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for a graduated income tax.

crime survivors rally
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul say they’ll use the power of their office to expand trauma services — but they’re asking for help from the General Assembly.

They made the announcement surrounded by survivors of crime at the Illinois Capitol Thursday.

Lori Lightfoot addressing the Illinois Senate
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has finished her two-day visit to the state capital.

CDDavidsmeyer.org

There’s a civil war of sorts under way in Illinois – pitting Chicago against much of the rest of the state.  This dispute is one of politics and policy and it has even led to a resolution being filed by a group of Republicans that would split Illinois into two separate states.    

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

A proposal to overhaul Illinois’ income tax took another step forward Wednesday. The graduated income tax easily cleared an early hurdle — passage by the Senate Executive Committee.

State of Illinois drawn on chalkboard
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois lawmakers want to make it easier for marginalized college students to qualify for financial aid.

Lori Lightfoot and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot is beginning to lobby for her agenda in Springfield.

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After years of campaigning, Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to change Illinois’ tax system. On Tuesday they formally introduced the language they want to change in the Illinois Constitution.

flickr/meeshpants

The co-founder of an Illinois prisoner advocacy group is calling for a statewide effort to investigate claims of innocence.

Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is suspending more than $5.7 million in payments for a mismanaged state technology contract.

Liz Morris
Ounce for Prevention and Illinois Action for Children

About 200 advocates for early childhood education programs filled the Illinois statehouse recently.

The advocates want  $250 million dollars from an infrastructure spending plan for child care facilities around the state. That’s a big boost from the  $45 million  they got in the last plan a decade ago. 

FDR Presidential Library & Museum

Illinois Senators want to make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.

no smoking
daniel / Flickr.com/number657 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Tobacco sales in Illinois will soon be off-limits to anyone younger than 21 under a law signed Sunday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Liz Morris / Ounce of Prevention and Illinois Action for Children

Advocates for children are pushing for expansion of a child care program for lower income families that was cut by former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration. 

The Child Care Assistance Program was cut severely in 2015 so that 90 percent of the participants lost services. The eligibility limits have increased since then.

Legislation under consideration would further increase the number eligible families by making the income limit higher.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Lori Lightfoot was elected mayor of Chicago this week, trouncing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

How’d she win? What’s her agenda? And what kind of city council will she have to work with?

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Thursday he’s confident the legislature will approve a graduated income tax.

flickr/katerha

Legislation being considered in the Illinois House would raise the age for locking up children accused of a crime.

Ilmicrofono Oggiono / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Thousands of Illinois’ home care workers who help seniors are asking for a wage increase— before the state’s minimum wage reaches $15 an hour in 2025. 

Alex Weimer / Flickr.com/americanbackroom (CC-BY-NC 2.0)

The Illinois law meant to prohibit distracted driving may not prohibit watching videos behind the wheel, so state lawmakers are trying to change it.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

This week, rallies at the statehouse over gun rights and abortion; still more questions about legalized sports betting; and despite the launch of a new awreness campaign, another State Trooper killed by a semi-trailer on the highway.

boarding an aircraft at O'Hare
Michael Kappel / flickr.com/m-i-k-e (cc by-nc 2.0)

Illinoisans can now get driver’s licenses and state ID cards that comply with Real ID, the strict federal security requirements that will soon be needed for air travel.

Brendan Kelly
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Police says its cars have been hit 14 times this year — more than in each of the previous three years in their entirety.

Liz West - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

A proposal in the Illinois House would allow people to donate their unused prescriptions and medical supplies to people who can’t afford them.

DNA analysis
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / flickr.com/nasamarshall CC-BY-NC

The Illinois State Police was under fire Monday for the state’s huge backlog in testing crime-scene DNA.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Adult entertainer Stormy Daniels visited the Illinois Capitol today to protest the so-called “Sin Tax.”

A 2012 law requires Illinois strip clubs to charge an extra $3 for each guest or pay a flat tax. It’s meant to help fund rape crisis centers.

Daniels said the tax incorrectly connects adult entertainment with rape.

Matt Brown - Flickr / CC-by 2.0)

Legislation being considered in the Illinois House could cancel plans for a proposed ICE detention facility in Dwight.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

Among the subjects discussed this week: medical and recreational marijuana, an anti-abortion rally at the capitol building, Illinois' teacher shortage, and legalizing sports gambling.

Brian Mackey

Lawmakers are considering whether to ask Illinoisans to pay more for gasoline — with the money dedicated to fixing crumbling infrastructure.

A new proposal at the Statehouse would double the motor fuel tax — from the current 19 cents up to 38 cents a gallon. It would also up driver’s license and vehicle registrations fees, with the goal of raising $2 billion a year to pay for road, bridge, highway and rail improvements.

Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Democrats are offering several options on how legal sports gambling could work in the state. 

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