Statehouse

Vaping360 via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Five Illinois residents have died so far this year after vaping. Two of those people have died within the last week, while public health investigators have struggled to find what’s behind the spike in illnesses.

Sandbagging the Bulkheads (mural study, Cairo, Illinois Post Office) by Wendell Jones
Wendell Jones / Smithsonian American Art Museum

Would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful? An NPR Illinois survey shows Illinoisans are divided on the question — though not in the usual ways of politics. This week, we look at the issue of trust, and why it matters for democracy.

Inventorchris / via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Speedy drivers have been a particular problem for the Illinois State Police so far this year. Troopers across the state have issued nearly 2,500 tickets for drivers going 100 miles per hour or faster on Illinois roadways.


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Lawyers are asking a federal judge to hold the state of Illinois in contempt over the way it deals with mental illness in prisons.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After four decades in the legislature, Senate President John Cullerton announced he'll retire in January. Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent a day lobbying in the Capitol, but came away empty handed. And lawmakers approved measures intended to improve the fiscal future of police and fire department pensions.

Rodney Davis speaking at the Illinois State Fair in August 2019
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With the impeachment investigation moving into a more public phase this week, members of Congress are calibrating their responses.

Rodney Davis’ 13th District includes wide swaths of rural, central Illinois, where President Trump is popular. But is also includes college towns filled with Democratic voters, and Davis was re-elected by a slim margin last year.

It’s against that backdrop that Davis has traveled from being a Trump objector — to a Trump supporter.

Blue Room Stream

Illinois lawmakers Wednesday advanced a plan to pool more than 650 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds. Passing the measure out of both chambers by week’s end is a top priority for Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker’s office has been arguing for weeks that combining all of those funds would make more money for retired police and firefighters, while cutting fees and reducing the need to raise local property taxes.

Dick Durbin speaks with reporters outside his house in Springfield
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he’ll try again this week to pass legislation that would permanently resolve the immigration status of the young immigrants known as “dreamers.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot leaves the Press Room in the Illinois Statehouse on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After spending Tuesday lobbying in the state Capitol, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’s optimistic lawmakers will go along with her changes for a proposed Chicago casino. Otherwise she says there could be negative consequences for the entire state.

Stuart Rankin / via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

The Illinois Senate approved a move Tuesday that would allow Illinois to stay on daylight saving time permanently.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The second and final week of the Illinois legislature’s fall veto session begins Tuesday. State lawmakers will have just three days to get a number of proposals — big and small — over as many legislative hurdles as possible.


Illinois Capitol Development Board

Final construction work on the long-awaited Chicago Veterans Home is on schedule, and a state official says the facility will be fully operational by next summer.


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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats and Republicans are calling for an ethics crackdown in the wake of now-former state Rep. Luis Arroyo being charged with bribery.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has a bill on his desk that would end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for most non-moving violations, like unpaid parking tickets.

via Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says he’s "furious" about the behavior of state lawmakers ensnared in federal probes this year. Now he’s calling for changes in the way lobbyists disclose their finances.

Two people in business attire ascending on an escalator.
Alex Proimos / Flickr.com/proimos (cc by-nc 2.0)

A new report from the Illinois General Assembly suggests concerns about the economy might be overblown.

Pictures of Money / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

State lawmakers are now formally considering legislation to pool the resources of nearly 650 local Illinois police and fire department pension funds.


State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

As the fall veto session continues, the Stathouse has been rocked by a federal charge of bribery against Democratic state representative Luis Arroyo and his subsequent resignation.  Meanwhile, the end of the Chicago teachers’ strike is allowing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to focus more on her agenda for fixing the city’s budget problems.

WTTW Chicago Public Television's Amanda Vinicky joins the panel.

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The Illinois House approved legislation Wednesday to further restrict the use of ethylene oxide gas. Nearly no Republicans supported the move, and both sides of the aisle have concerns.


Rep. Chris Welch during debate on the floor of the Illinois House
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A proposal that would let college athletes make money from endorsements cleared a major hurdle Wednesday in the Illinois General Assembly.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin makes final remarks as the 2019 legislative session comes to a close
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A day after state Rep. Luis Arroyo was charged with bribery, his colleagues began the process to throw him out of office.

Lee Milner

State lawmakers are considering whether to ban flavored tobacco products in Illinois. Both sides of that debate made their cases before a panel of state senators in Springfield Tuesday.


Pritzker in ceremonial office
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is supporting legislation that would let college athletes get paid for endorsements.

Luis Arroyo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

An Illinois state lawmaker is facing bipartisan calls for his resignation. It comes after he was charged Monday with attempted bribery.

As a growing number of Illinois state lawmakers have been ensnared in recent federal probes, some of their colleagues want to ramp up punishment for public corruption.


Illinois Capitol Rotunda
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are back in Springfield Monday for the start of what’s expected to be a relatively quiet veto session.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed a budget this week. The city's path to greater financial health runs through Springfield, but will the General Assembly come through?

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Ahead of next month’s open enrollment period for Medicaid health insurance, a new report shows more Illinois residents are insured. But that same report shows nearly three quarters of a million Illinoisans still don’t have health insurance.

The report by insurance comparison website QuoteWizard looked at uninsured rates across the country over the last decade. It found as many 1.3 million Illinoisans were uninsured in 2008, but that number dropped by nearly half in the decade since.

Rebecca Anzel / Capitol News Illinois

An anti-abortion law firm is asking the federal government to block a portion of Illinois’ reproductive health law. They say it improperly says forces people to pay for health insurance that covers abortions.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The Illinois Department of Transportation on Monday released details for how it plans to spend billions of dollars on road construction in the coming years.


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