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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.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Pet owners in Illinois that live in public housing often have to choose between keeping their pet and staying in a place they can afford. A proposed Illinois measure aims to prevent that situation from ever happening.

Herwig Kavallar / Creative Commons

An Illinois lawmaker wants people who injure or kill domesticated animals to face a harsher punishment.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker presents his budget to the General Assembly, WBEZ reports on another trove of emails to and from Speaker Michael Madigan's top aides, and former Gov. Rod Blagovich gets an early release from prison.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

In a call for unity during his annual budget address, Governor J.B. Pritzker called out lawmakers who have suggested severing Chicago from the rest of Illinois. It got a standing ovation, but not everyone was clapping.

State Rep. Mike Murphy (right), a Republican from Springfield, shakes hands with Gov. J.B. Pritkzer in this file photo from Jan. 29, 2020.
handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to waive the concealed carry license fee for qualified veterans.

Illinois Gov. J.B. addresses a joint session of the Illinois House and Senate.
handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is already making plans to spend money from a significant change in the state income tax, even though it can only happen if voters agree to amend the Illinois Constitution this November.

A significant chunk of Pritzker’s annual budget proposal, delivered Wednesday, depends on the governor's graduated income tax.

Governor Pritzker's remarks as prepared for delivery:

Brian Mackey, Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is forgiving the remaining prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. That move has received bipartisan criticism.

Isabella McKenna (center) speaks at a press conference alsongside (from left to right) Sen. Linda Homes, Rep. Greg Harris and Illinois State Medical Society President Paul Pedersen.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers want to reduce delays in medical care caused by the requirements of insurance companies.

bradleypjohnson / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

State lawmakers and public health advocates want to make it more convenient for Illinoisans to get rid of their unwanted medicine.


via Blueroomstream.com

Two professional basketball players said it's only fair to allow college athletes to seek sponsorships and other lucrative deals if colleges and universities are profiting at the same time.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly speaking at a press conference alongside Deputy Director Isaiah Vega.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Police is supporting legislation that would fingerprint applicants for the Firearm Owners Identification card.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week a bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers introduced a constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw the boundaries of legislative districts.

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced an amendment to the Illinois Constitution meant to transform the way legislative district boundaries are created here.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

A day after former Vice President Joe Biden finished fifth in the New Hampshire primary, he still had the support of former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

LaHood, once a Republican congressman from Peoria who went to work for the Obama administration, said Wednesday he does not have a second-choice candidate.

He said if Biden can win over diverse states like South Carolina and Nevada, he’ll show he can bring the Democratic Party together.

LaHood also continued to criticize President Donald Trump.

IIN document via Office of Governor J.B. Pritzker

State government has set aside $15 million for a new university building in downtown Springfield.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has fired a transportation company after learning it shackled a young foster child for several hours.

via SEIU Healthcare IL & IN Facebook page / https://www.facebook.com/SEIUHCII/

A group of Illinois lawmakers and health care advocates want the state to more equitably provide money for low income hospital patients.

IL Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas To Retire

Feb 10, 2020
Illinois Supreme Court Communications Office

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas is retiring from the bench after nearly 20 years. The judge, who has led careers in both law and athletics, plans to practice privately at a personal injury firm in Chicago.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A former legislative ethics watchdog calls out the Ethics Commission, former state Rep. Luis Arroyo pleads not guilty (but is thought to be cooperating with the feds), and Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants Illinois to supplant Iowa and New Hampshire at the front of the presidential primaries.

Former Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter, center, testifying at an ethics comittee hearing alongside current LIG Carol Pope, left, and former LIG Tom Homer, right.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

As Illinois lawmakers consider whether to change ethics laws after recent scandals, former legislative inspector general Julie Porter is urging them to start with themselves.

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

A panel of lawmakers on Wednesday grilled Secretary of State Jesse White and officials from the Illinois State Board of Elections over problems with the state’s automatic voter registration system.

A glitch in the system, known as AVR, inadvertently registered to vote about 574 people who are not U.S. citizens.

White sought to reassure lawmakers: “Heads will roll if this happens again.”

Private jets at Sun Valley Airport in 2015.
Thomas Hawk / via flickr.com/thomashawk (cc by-nc 2.0)

Illinois Senators overwhelmingly override Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s veto of a sales tax exemption Wednesday, a day after member of the House did the same. It’s the first time that’s happened during Pritzker’s time in office.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters at an elementary school in Springfield.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to elbow Iowa and New Hampshire out of the way in future presidential elections — so Illinois can seize the starring role in the primaries.

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