Statehouse

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on former physicians and medical professionals, including those who are retired, to “join the fight” against COVID-19. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinoisans voted in the primary election as COVID-19 continued its spread across the state.

marijuana buds next to prescription container
eggrole / flickr

With Illinois residents practicing isolation inside their homes, the marijuana industry is making adjustments to meet consumer needs.

early voting signs in the Sangamon County Complex
NPR Illinois

Despite fear and uncertainty amid a global pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters turned out for Tuesday’s primary election. Overall, however, turnout was down significantly compared to the last presidential primary in 2016.

Vox Efx / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Polls are open, even though far fewer voters than usual are expected to turn out for today’s primary election because of coronavirus concerns.

IDPH director Ngozi Ezike speaks at Illinois' daily coronavirus disease briefing
screen capture / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ordering the cancellation of any event with more than 50 people. It’s the latest mandate in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois' U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin, said the Senate will vote soon on the latest deal to address a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.

Matt Turner/Flickr

Governor J.B. Pritzker says the work of Illinois government will continue during the COVID-19 outbreak.  But changes are coming for many state employees.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois takes drastic steps to slow the spread of coronavirus disease, including banning sporting events and other large gatherings. Meanwhile, politicians are deciding how to campaign amid a global pandemic with just days to go before Illinois’ primary election.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaking with reporters at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago
screen capture / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is closing all schools in Illinois — public and private — for two weeks. It’s the latest way the state is trying to prevent local spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Fox Valley Older Adult Services in a file photo from 2017
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Citing the risk from coronavirus disease, the Illinois Department on Aging is ordering senior centers to close.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Republicans are renewing their call to suspend Automatic Voter Registration after more problems with the system came to light this week.

Earlier this year, it came out that several people who self-identified as non-citizens were permitted to vote. Now, more than 1,100 actual citizens in Illinois were improperly classified as having opted out of voter registration — potentially denying them their right to vote.

hand sanitizer outside the governor's office suite in the Illinois State Captiol Building
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Citing concerns about coronavirus disease, the Illinois General Assembly is cancelling session for next week. Authorities are also restricting other large gatherings in the Capitol building.

Rivers Casino

Legalized sports betting has officially launched in Illinois. This week, a casino in suburban Chicago opened the state’s first place for gamblers to legally bet on professional sports games. But rolling out Illinois’ sports books has been a slow-going process, and uncertainty remains about how much revenue the practice will end up generating for an already cash-strapped state. For this week’s Illinois Issues report, I explored what’s happening in the wide world of Illinois sports wagering.


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.

via Blueroomstream.com

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.

Flickr- 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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.

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