Statehouse

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois became the first state in the Midwest Tuesday to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the measure at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. 

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Saying the state is the midst of an affordable housing crisis, one lawmaker has introduced legislation that aims to boost low-cost rental units by offering a tax credit.

via Think Big Illinois Facebook page

A new dark money group in Illinois says it plans to shed some light on what it's doing by voluntarily disclosing the names of its donors.


State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats in the Illinois House approved an increase in the state minimum wage. Assuming Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the legislation — he's said he will — the rate will gradually climb to $15 perhour in the year 2025;

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House approved a $15 minimum wage plan Thursday that now heads to the governor’s desk. But, some are still unhappy with the fast-track approach. 

U.S. Supreme Court exterior
Brittany Hogan / Flickr (CC-by 2.0)

Low-income earners can soon apply to waive their court costs in Illinois.

Mary Hansen / NPR

Crumbling sidewalks, gas line failures and cracked concrete — the problems at Brookfield Zoo are a metaphor for what’s wrong with public infrastructure throughout Illinois.

As lawmakers begin negotiating a statewide spending plan to fix it, the zoo is among a growing list of those coming to Springfield with their paws out.

The Chicago Zoological Society, the nonprofit that runs the zoo, is asking state lawmakers for help rehabbing and improving its facilities from a promised capital plan.

Lee Milner

President Abraham Lincoln would have celebrated his 210th birthday on Tuesday. Military veteran groups and politicians gathered in Springfield to mark the occasion and laid wreaths at the 16th President’s tomb.


via Think Big Illinois Facebook page

A new lobbying group says it plans to promote Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s agenda using secret money. It’s being run by a close Pritzker ally.


Tony Webster - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Environmental groups want Illinois to produce more clean energy, but the state is already behind on its renewable energy goals.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Senate fast-tracked legislation that would gradually raise Illinois' minimum wage, eventually reaching $15 per hour in the year 2025. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is eager to quickly fulfil a campaign promise; will the Illinois House cooperate and send him the bill as-is?

Meanwhile, the Pritzker administration is painting a bleak picture of state finances ahead of the governor's budget address later this month.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Illinois is one step closer to having a $15 minimum wage, after the state Senate approved the legislation by a 39-18 vote Thursday.

Pritzker yard sign
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

There is a mystery at the heart of Illinois government. Statehouse reporters have been in private discussions about it for weeks. After internal deliberations here at public radio, we thought it was finally time to go public.

Ray Bodden - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Activists are calling on Illinois to improve transparency in the oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking.

Illinois lawmakers may be slowing the process to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The proposal was expected to be called for a vote and passed out of the Senate as soon as Thursday.

State Sen. Kim Lightford (D-Maywood), sponsor of the plan, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker wanted the bill approved in time for his budget address on Feb. 20.

“We’re off next week,” she said. “And the House will still be in, so the goal was to actually send the bill over so that the House could work on it next week while we’re not here.”

Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus

The  Chicago-based child advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children wants Illinois lawmakers to consider how their policies might worsen racial and ethnic disparities.

According to a spokeswoman,  state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is expected to introduce a measure that would create a “racial impact note” – where a lawmaker could ask for additional information tacked onto a bill that would estimate the impact on minorities.

They would be similar to fiscal notes that detail how a policy would affect the state’s finances.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Employees at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site are still anxious, despite being back at work for a week after the shutdown ended.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that House Speaker Michael Madigan was recorded pitching his private legal services to someone wearing a wire for the federal government. It took place several years ago and the speaker has not been accused of wrongdoing.

It came as part of the investigation into the activities of Chicago Ald. Danny Solis, whose cooperation already led to corruption charges against Chicago Ald. Ed Burke.

CREDIT FLICKR USER / MICHAEL COGHLAN "PRISON BARS" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Some women incarcerated in Illinois have not been receiving all the same benefits as their male counterparts.

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois officials are issuing dire warnings ahead of the arctic cold blowing into the state Tuesday night.

GotCredit - Flickr / CC-By 2.0

Tax season kicks off in Illinois today, and taxpayers may notice some differences in the filing process.

Elgie Sims
handout / Illinois Senate Democrats

An Illinois state senator is renewing a call for gun control legislation after personally witnessing a shooting this week.

Sen. Elgie Sims was at Orland Square Mall with his family when a man was shot and killed nearby.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent his second week in office taking actions to signal his support of progressive causes.

Six Flags
Juan Pablo González / Flickr.com/juanpg (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Electronic privacy advocates are praising a ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday. The justices held that people can sue just for having biometric information collected without consent.

Jeff Hitchcock - Flickr / CC-By 2.0

The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked to settle a fight between two of the state’s environmental regulators. At issue is whether certain waste disposal sites should have to do groundwater testing.

Tammy Godon - Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether Chicago’s regulations on food trucks unfairly stifle competition.

Inventorchris - Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

A 2004 Illinois law requiring officer documentation of every traffic stop is set to phase out this summer.  The data, which includes the driver’s race and outcome of each stop, has helped law enforcement agencies study deficiencies in their practices.

UIS Brookens Library Archives

The site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot could soon become a National Historic Monument.

401kcalculator.org via Flikr

A program designed to curb Illinois’ pension debt is now underway. Early numbers show more Illinois state employees than expected are choosing to take a pension buyout from the state.


State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

This week, J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as Illinois' new governor, promising a progressive agenda. 

Pages