Statehouse

Republicans Sue Governor Over Limits On Gatherings

Jun 16, 2020
Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Republican Party is suing Governor J.B. Pritzker over the crowd limitations he imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

In the midst of nationwide protests and demands for police reforms, Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed their support for possibly requiring police officers to be licensed by the state.  Also, as Illinois continues to see a decrease in COVID-19 metrics in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, other states are seeing a significant spike in cases and deaths.  Meanwhile, Governor Pritzker signed off on an uncertain state budget.

WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel this week.

A federal Judge says the state has been too slow in responding to the needs of inmates with hearing problems. 

From left Rev. T. Ray McJunkins, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Ald. Doris Turner, Ald. Shawn Gregory, and State Sen. Andy Manar gathered at Union Baptist Church in Springfield to talk about police reforms.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

As protests against police brutality continue throughout Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he’s working on police and criminal justice reform, and investment in communities of color with lawmakers.

Smoking In Cars With Kids Is Now Against The Law

Jun 8, 2020
David Hegarty https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

It is now Illegal in Illinois to smoke when you have a kid in the car with you.   

 The law passed last year took effect June 1.  It outlaws smoking in cars if there is a passenger under the age of 18.

Yonkers Honda / via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Automobile dealers in Illinois were among the hardest hit businesses during the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home period.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Protests and in some cities looting and destruction the past week in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police have taken place nationwide and in Illinois.  On this week's program, a discussion of the causes and consequences, and the reactions of the Governor and the Mayor of Chicago.

The Chicago Sun Times' Maudlyne Ihejirika joins the panel.

At least three Illinois House members say they want a special legislative session to strike on issues of law enforcement reform and accountability while police brutality has the nation’s focus.

Illinois Allows Carry-Out Mixed Drinks

Jun 2, 2020
Edwin Land/flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Illinois bars and restaurants can now serve mixed-drinks to go.   Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the measure into law Tuesday.  

Sam Dunklau, via Welch & Buckner Twitter pages / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

As outrage and protest against police brutality and racial injustice has spilled into the streets of cities across the country, several Black Illinois state lawmakers are offering their plans for how to fix those problems.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As Illinois enters Phase Three of "Restore Illinois", Governor Pritzker is responding to  criticism and lawsuits surrounding his re-opening plan.  Meanwhile, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its short special legislative session last weekend after passing a state budget. The panel also discusses a controversy over whether or not lawmakers will see their pay go up.

Capitol News Illinois’ Rebecca Anzel joins the panel.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker today (Thursday) announced new guidance for places of worship. It comes as he has faced multiple lawsuits over his ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. Pritzker now says faith leaders should try to limit attendance to a quarter of a building’s capacity or 100 attendees, whichever is lower, along with social distancing. 

Kenneth Lu / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Illinois is on track for salons, some offices and outdoor seating at restaurants to open this weekend as the state moves into its next phase of reopening. The state’s movie theaters, which have been shut down since March, said Wednesday they want to welcome customers during that phase too.

DONNIE NUNLEY / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Child care facilities will be able to operate again once Illinois enters the third phase of its reopening plan, which is expected Friday. 

Office of Rep. Allen Skillicorn

A Republican state representative who says he has taken steps to start the recall process against J.B. Pritzker was chastised by the governor Tuesday for consistently voting against spending on vital programs.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois is arguing a lawsuit between a state representative and Gov. J.B. Pritzker should remain in circuit court, after state Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office moved the case up to the federal level.

Justin Fowler / ILCA Photo pool

COVID-19 was both in the forefront and in the background during the abbreviated spring legislative session that Illinois lawmakers wrapped over the weekend. It was the focus of both the legislation and the politics in Springfield.

Justin Fowler / ILCA Pool Photo

In the midst of a global pandemic, despite social distancing, and all while wearing face masks, Illinois state lawmakers approved a new state budget over the weekend totaling $43 billion. But that budget won’t be possible without heavy reliance on the federal government.

Ted Schurter/SJ-R

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $40 billion state budget and a plan to address tax rates for a casino expansion during a whirlwind special session held amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

via Blueroomstream.com

Expanded voting-by-mail is coming to Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker said Friday he will sign the expanded voting measure into law.

Wheaton College

A group of Chicago-based evangelical leaders plans to seek a virtual meeting with Gov. J.B. Pritzker because of “growing angst” about the rules he has set for religious gatherings.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois legislature gathered in Springfield for the first time in weeks for a short special session.  Among the issues facing lawmakers are further responses to the pandemic, rules for voting this November, and the state budget.

Rep. Darren Bailey (R, Xenia) is escorted out of the temporary Illinois House chamber at the Bank of Springfield Center, after members voted to remove him for not wearing a face mask in accordance with updated House rules on May 20
Ted Schurter / ILCA Pool Photo

A lawmaker who portrays himself as an outsider found himself on the outside Tuesday. A group of protestors, meanwhile, made their voices heard as state lawmakers convened for the first day of a special legislative session.

Sam Dunklau / via Blueroomstream.com

Two county health departments are trialing a new “tech-based” approach to COVID-19 contact tracing. Meanwhile, Governor J.B. Pritzker Monday defended rules that lay out penalties for businesses disobeying statewide shutdown orders.

Pritzker’s office announced both St. Clair and Lake County’s health departments will use a “state-of-the-art” software platform that is designed to gather data from infected persons and track the virus in real-time. Another 95 counties will join them over the next few weeks.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" plan to slowly re-open the state's economy is facing resistance from several quarters.  Meanwhile, the Illinois Legislature is preparing for an abbreviated session in Springfield next week.

Mark Maxwell, Capitol Bureau Chief for WCIA-TV, joins the panel.

Rep. Avery Bourne debates the Reproductive Health Act
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A group of downstate Illinois lawmakers are calling again for an alternative plan to reopen the state’s economy.

Those lawmakers said since economic and social interaction levels differ in certain areas of the state, Illinois should be divided into 11 regions instead than the four broad regions already laid out by the state’s public health authority. 

BoS Center Facebook page

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, along with other legislative leaders, are "ready to convene" a special session as early as next week, according to letters sent to lawmakers and shared with the media.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for the legislature to reconvene to discuss an economic recovery plan for the state.

Pritzker said his administration has supported residents and small businesses by banning evictions, delaying tax filing deadlines, and expanding unemployment eligibility, but he said more work needs to be done to get the economy going.

Illinois Gig Workers Can Now Apply For Unemployment

May 12, 2020
via IDES website

Gig workers and independent contractors now qualify for unemployment benefits in Illinois. While many of those workers have been trying for weeks to receive financial help, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday a new third-party system is already helping to process claims more efficiently.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzer announced a plan to re-open the state in stages and by region, depending on continued progress in limiting the spread of the new coronavirus.  

Capitol News Illinois’ Rebecca Anzel and reporter Bill Wheelhouse join the panel.
 

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