Statehouse

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Tomorrow will be the first day Illinois residents can start filling out the 2020 U.S. Census form online. State officials said remote technology will help with the count amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

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

Illinois politicians would be allowed to use campaign money to pay for child care under legislation being considered in the General Assembly.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Springfield Sunday for the annual Women’s Day March. Demonstrators focused on opposing policies they say threaten women’s health and target immigrants.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With new cases of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19, Illinois public health officials say the question of the virus spreading here is no longer a question of if, but when and how widely. At least two Chicago conventions were canceled, though officials say the risk to most Illinoisans remains low.

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Electricity and environmental advocates offered their pitches to Illinois state senators this week on how to reduce a portion of the state’s carbon emissions. But each group has different ideas about how to do it.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House has approved legislation that would allow people to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP benefits, online.

screen capture from the Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau website
illustration by Brian Mackey / Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau

A group of Republican lawmakers is criticizing the state for failing to process FOID card renewals in a timely manner.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Illinois officials say the state should be doing more to level the playing field for women and girls. A council working toward that goal released its first annual report today. 

Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires' Disease / Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires' Disease

With a fourth case of COVID-19 announced in Illinois Monday, coronavirus continues to dominate headlines. But experts say there’s another, more common disease that ought to be getting more attention.

via Illinois Central Management Services IOCI

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritkzer and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tried to calm fears over the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak on Friday. They said efforts are already underway to minimize Illinois’ exposure to the disease also known as novel coronavirus.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House voted this week to ban red-light cameras in some of the state’s communities, but the legislation leaves out Chicago and some of the biggest suburbs.

Meanwhile, reproductive health activists lined up behind a push to bring comprehensive health and sexual education to all public school kids in Illinois, from grades K-12.

Red light camera at intersection
Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois House on Wednesday approved legislation Wednesday that would ban certain red-light cameras. It would only apply in communities with fewer than 25,000 people that have not been granted a special status known as “home rule.”

A Republican mailer billing itself as a census.
provided by the Democratic Party of Illinois

Illinois residents have been receiving mailers saying they’re a “2020 Congressional District Census.” But it’s not that census – the once-in-a-decade population count.

The mailer is a survey and fundraising document from the Republican National Committee, and that has the Democratic Party of Illinois crying foul.

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The Illinois State Police says opioid overdoses are declining, but that agency is also reporting an uptick in the use of methamphetamines. 

In the past, meth was homemade, so the state restricted access to some of the ingredients like sudafed. Now, drug cartels are smuggling the drug into the U.S.

State Police Major Troy Phillips said his task force has seen a significant increase in the amount of meth on the streets. 

“At the time, we were purchasing grams and ounces, now it’s very routine for our task force that they are purchasing pounds,” Phillips said. 

Graciela Guzman speaking about rising prescription drugs alongside (left) State Representative Will Guzzardi and (right) Dan Rabbitt of Heartland Alliance.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers want to research the rising costs of prescription drugs, especially the price of prescription drugs.

Dave Dahl / WTAX News

A group of Illinois House lawmakers this week began considering whether one of their colleagues is qualified to serve in the General Assembly. It’s a rare process — and part of the continuing fallout from a federal corruption investigation.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Pet owners in Illinois that live in public housing often have to choose between keeping their pet and staying in a place they can afford. A proposed Illinois measure aims to prevent that situation from ever happening.

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An Illinois lawmaker wants people who injure or kill domesticated animals to face a harsher punishment.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker presents his budget to the General Assembly, WBEZ reports on another trove of emails to and from Speaker Michael Madigan's top aides, and former Gov. Rod Blagovich gets an early release from prison.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

In a call for unity during his annual budget address, Governor J.B. Pritzker called out lawmakers who have suggested severing Chicago from the rest of Illinois. It got a standing ovation, but not everyone was clapping.

State Rep. Mike Murphy (right), a Republican from Springfield, shakes hands with Gov. J.B. Pritkzer in this file photo from Jan. 29, 2020.
handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to waive the concealed carry license fee for qualified veterans.

Illinois Gov. J.B. addresses a joint session of the Illinois House and Senate.
handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is already making plans to spend money from a significant change in the state income tax, even though it can only happen if voters agree to amend the Illinois Constitution this November.

A significant chunk of Pritzker’s annual budget proposal, delivered Wednesday, depends on the governor's graduated income tax.

Governor Pritzker's remarks as prepared for delivery:

Brian Mackey, Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is forgiving the remaining prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. That move has received bipartisan criticism.

Isabella McKenna (center) speaks at a press conference alsongside (from left to right) Sen. Linda Homes, Rep. Greg Harris and Illinois State Medical Society President Paul Pedersen.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers want to reduce delays in medical care caused by the requirements of insurance companies.

bradleypjohnson / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

State lawmakers and public health advocates want to make it more convenient for Illinoisans to get rid of their unwanted medicine.


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Two professional basketball players said it's only fair to allow college athletes to seek sponsorships and other lucrative deals if colleges and universities are profiting at the same time.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly speaking at a press conference alongside Deputy Director Isaiah Vega.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Police is supporting legislation that would fingerprint applicants for the Firearm Owners Identification card.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week a bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers introduced a constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw the boundaries of legislative districts.

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced an amendment to the Illinois Constitution meant to transform the way legislative district boundaries are created here.

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