Statehouse

FDR Presidential Library & Museum

Illinois Senators want to make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.

no smoking
daniel / Flickr.com/number657 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Tobacco sales in Illinois will soon be off-limits to anyone younger than 21 under a law signed Sunday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Liz Morris / Ounce of Prevention and Illinois Action for Children

Advocates for children are pushing for expansion of a child care program for lower income families that was cut by former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration. 

The Child Care Assistance Program was cut severely in 2015 so that 90 percent of the participants lost services. The eligibility limits have increased since then.

Legislation under consideration would further increase the number eligible families by making the income limit higher.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Lori Lightfoot was elected mayor of Chicago this week, trouncing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

How’d she win? What’s her agenda? And what kind of city council will she have to work with?

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Thursday he’s confident the legislature will approve a graduated income tax.

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Legislation being considered in the Illinois House would raise the age for locking up children accused of a crime.

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Thousands of Illinois’ home care workers who help seniors are asking for a wage increase— before the state’s minimum wage reaches $15 an hour in 2025. 

Alex Weimer / Flickr.com/americanbackroom (CC-BY-NC 2.0)

The Illinois law meant to prohibit distracted driving may not prohibit watching videos behind the wheel, so state lawmakers are trying to change it.

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Brian Mackey

This week, rallies at the statehouse over gun rights and abortion; still more questions about legalized sports betting; and despite the launch of a new awreness campaign, another State Trooper killed by a semi-trailer on the highway.

boarding an aircraft at O'Hare
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Illinoisans can now get driver’s licenses and state ID cards that comply with Real ID, the strict federal security requirements that will soon be needed for air travel.

Brendan Kelly
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Police says its cars have been hit 14 times this year — more than in each of the previous three years in their entirety.

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A proposal in the Illinois House would allow people to donate their unused prescriptions and medical supplies to people who can’t afford them.

DNA analysis
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The Illinois State Police was under fire Monday for the state’s huge backlog in testing crime-scene DNA.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Adult entertainer Stormy Daniels visited the Illinois Capitol today to protest the so-called “Sin Tax.”

A 2012 law requires Illinois strip clubs to charge an extra $3 for each guest or pay a flat tax. It’s meant to help fund rape crisis centers.

Daniels said the tax incorrectly connects adult entertainment with rape.

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Legislation being considered in the Illinois House could cancel plans for a proposed ICE detention facility in Dwight.

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Brian Mackey

Among the subjects discussed this week: medical and recreational marijuana, an anti-abortion rally at the capitol building, Illinois' teacher shortage, and legalizing sports gambling.

Brian Mackey

Lawmakers are considering whether to ask Illinoisans to pay more for gasoline — with the money dedicated to fixing crumbling infrastructure.

A new proposal at the Statehouse would double the motor fuel tax — from the current 19 cents up to 38 cents a gallon. It would also up driver’s license and vehicle registrations fees, with the goal of raising $2 billion a year to pay for road, bridge, highway and rail improvements.

Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Democrats are offering several options on how legal sports gambling could work in the state. 

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: Horst Gutmann

 

Several Illinois environmental and labor groups say the state needs more workers to upgrade its aging water and sewer systems. Money to prepare these workers could come from an infrastructure plan.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Hundreds of anti-abortion protestors filled the Capitol rotunda today following the passage of a measure that would repeal parental notification of abortion.

Meanwhile, a group of Republican lawmakers are speaking out against legislation intended to expand abortion rights throughout Illinois.

State Representative Terri Bryant, a Republican from Murphysboro, also spoke out against another proposal being considered that would completely overhaul abortion throughout the state. 

Democratic House Caucus

Illinois lawmakers  forwarded a proposal that would allow minors to get an abortion, without telling their parents.

The measure would repeal the Parental Notification of Abortion Act – a law passed in 1995, but not enforced until 5 years ago.  The law allows for minors to go before a judge instead of notifying a parent.

Democratic Senator Elgie Sims of Chicago is sponsoring the proposal that would get rid of any notification requirement.

Jonathan Laureano

State Rep. Karina Villa is a 40-year-old Democrat representing West Chicago. She's one of dozens of fresh faces at the Illinois State Capitol this year and also one of seven lawmakers in the House of Representatives whose election flipped a red seat blue -- from Republican to Democrat.

J.B. Pritzker
Brin Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has agreed to pay raises and money owed to the state’s more than 40,000 child care workers and home aides.  

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A measure to expand cases when eviction records can be sealed has advanced out of a House committee.

Proponents say unsealed eviction notices can taint a renter’s record even if an eviction is never carried out. That makes it difficult for renters to find a new home.

Bob Palmer of Housing Action Illinois says,“We understand that landlords have a compelling interest in wanting to screen tenants so they can get good tenants, but we don't think that just having an eviction filing is a good reflection  on someone's ability to be a good tenant.”

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Women in the Illinois Senate want to address a surge in maternal deaths related to childbirth.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly was busy this week, passing legislation intended to fight gender pay inequity, teach LGBT history, and raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The panel also discusses NPR Illinois' recent series examining Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed tax increases and expansions.

Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker
still image from video / ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV)

Last year’s election was historic by several measures: the amount of money spent, the surge in turnout, and the Democratic sweep of Illinois government.

Every four years, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale analyzes the election, looking at everything from spending patterns to changes in voter behavior.

Lori Stalteri - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Some Illinois lawmakers want to make it easier for worker cooperatives to grow.

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: Ryan McGilchrist

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. All eyes now turn to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has yet to say where he stands on the idea. 

BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget – on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies. 

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