Statehouse

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. 

via Blue Room Stream

Illinois firearms dealers will now have to have state licenses. That’s part of a package of changes Governor JB Pritzker signed into law on Thursday.


Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether sending a teenager to prison for 50 years is effectively a life sentence.


Illinois Department of Corrections

Before leaving office, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner granted a pardon to a man wrongly convicted of attempted murder. What makes this clemency unique is that man, Grover Thompson, is now deceased.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

It was a good day to be a Democrat in Illinois as Governor J.B. Pritzker was sworn in on Monday along with a diverse group of statewide office holders. In his inaugural speech, Pritzker set the stage for an ambitious progressive agenda in the upcoming legislative session. But, the Democratic governor along with a Democratic majority in the General Assembly have their work cut out for them.

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

J.B. Pritzker is set to become the 43rd governor of Illinois on Monday. He won in part by promising to make college more affordable, improve the state’s finances, and reform the criminal justice system.

Statehouse editor Brian Mackey sat down with Pritzker over the weekend for a conversation focused on his policy agenda, the problems facing Illinois, and ethics in government.

Katie Buck / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

Despite the federal government shutdown, Illinoisans will continue getting food aid through February.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

A new General Assembly sworn in on the eve of a new Governor and administration.   Tina Sfondeles of the Chicago Sun-Times joins the panel.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Outgoing Republican Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti will pass on the baton to Juliana Stratton next week, when a new administration is sworn in.

 

But before that, we sat down with Sanguinetti to talk about her upbringings with immigrant parents--a Cuban mother and Ecuadorian father, her influence on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s policies and what it has meant to be the first Latina lieutenant governor in the country.​

 

 

Interview Highlights

 

On her influence on Rauner and the policies he pursued:

Greg Harris
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

For the first time in more than two decades, the Illinois House of Representatives has a new majority leader. And the appointment is breaking new ground.

The Pritzker Agenda

Jan 10, 2019
J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker takes office next week on the heels of the most decisive election victory in a generation. And he’ll be working to pass his agenda through the biggest Democratic majorities in the General Assembly since the 1960s.

That raises a question: What precisely does that agenda consist of? 

The Illinois General Assembly began a new legislative session Wednesday—with both new and familiar faces. Though the legislative leaders remain the same, making what was old “new” again,  Democrats have expanded their veto-proof majority, known as a “supermajority".

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The new Illinois House of Representatives was sworn in Wednesday at a ceremony in Springfield, and longtime Speaker of the House Michael Madigan was elected to his 18th term in that post. But, one of the 74 newly sworn-in Democrats did not vote for Madigan.


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