Johns Stremsterfer discusses the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln's new visioning initiative, the Next 10, to grow the greater Springfield region.

Sangamon County Circuit Clerk Office sign
Brandon Smith / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright is running to keep the seat he was appointed to two years ago. The Republican incumbent is facing Democratic challenger Mike Drake.

As voters continue to cast ballots in Illinois, a key part of the state's financial picture is being decided.  A constitutional amendment that would swap Illinois' flat income tax for a graduated tax, with a different rate for higher earners, is seen as a way to shore up Illinois' budget.  But how much would it help the state?  And what happens if the proposal fails?   We'll have a discussion.

We'll hear about the brief time Illinois had a graduated tax and why that changed.

Also, a reporting investigation has uncovered more details about COVID-19 outbreaks in Illinois - where they've occurred and some of the reasons why.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

NPR Illinois file photograph / NPR Illinois

The campaign over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to impose a graduated income tax has focused mainly on who would pay higher taxes. But perhaps just as important is the question of how that money would be used.

People can respond online to the U.S. Census for the first time in 2020.
U.S. Census Bureau / U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that counting for the 2020 Census can stop.

The court decision adds to the ongoing confusion about the census but doesn’t change the message advocates have been touting since the count began in the spring, said Reema Kamran, executive director of the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition.

A sign in the Sangamon County building directing voters.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

With three weeks to go until Election Day, more than 526,000 Illinois voters have already cast their ballots, according to data from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Illinois Solar Tour

Clean energy advocates are crying foul after Ameren Illinois ended its solar credit program for new solar customers earlier this month, even after state regulators urged the company to hold off. 

Teressa Shelton has lived in nine states and three countries. After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, she embarked on a career in managing medical practices. She lives with her family in Springfield. The Sergeant’s Daughter is her first book. She discusses it with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

CV - United We Pipe

Oct 10, 2020
Damon & Aidan McParland in kilts
Damon McParland

In May 2020, the McParlands joined NPR Illinois to disucss their United We Pipe campaign to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. How did it turnout after a summer of touring? We speak with father and son Damon and Aidan McParland and their partner Claire Smith to find out.

Official photo

Republican Representative Mike Bost of Murphysboro says he was tested after experiencing a mild cough and loss of taste and smell. 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

This week, Illinois Republicans expressed outrage at the decision to put an Illinois House committee investigating House Speaker Michael Madigan on hold until after the November elections.  Meanwhile, the public's vote on Governor J.B. Pritzker's proposal to move Illinois to a graduated income tax draws nearer, and this week the governor  released his proposals for criminal justice reform.

A.D. Quig  of Crane's Chicago Business joins the panel.

Sheridan Lane headshot

Sheridan Lane  is the Director of Culinary Program and Operations in the Culinary & Hospitality Center of Excellence at Lincoln Land Community College. 

On this week's episode, while we are in the midst of election season, more newspapers are choosing to forego the traditional political endorsement process.  There are different reasons for the decision, We'll hear from an Illinois editor about why her paper has followed this trend.   

Billed as an improvisational comedy enterprise, Second City has launched careers of some of the biggest comedians in recent decades.  Now, it's up for sale.  We'll have a report from Chicago. 

And have you noticed more stinkbugs in recent years?  The invasive pest can be damaging to crops and they want to spend the winter in your home.  Those stories and more on Statewide.

Tiffani Saunders is a fource in the local community at UIS and about town. Listen to hear her perspectives and about the Hip-Hop Xpress.

The Walt Disney Studios / Front Row Network

Community Voices talks local podcasting with Craig McFarland. Besides the Front Row Network, Craig has also been involved with the MUNI and the Springfield Area Arts Council. Learn more by listening below.

Cherell Wilson's business Soaps by Rell

Cherell Wilson is a recent University of Illinois Springfield gradaute. During the pandemic she was inspired to create her own business Soaps by Rell.

Randy Eccles and Bea Bonner are the Community Voices Co-Hosts.

Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles are the Community Voices Co-Hosts. 

Sangamon County Department of Public Health Director Gail O'Neill talks about the importance of flu shots during COVID-19 pandemic.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Two residents of Brother James Court – a care facility for men with disabilities – and one resident of Mill Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center died due to COVID-19 this week, bringing the total deaths related to the disease to 50 in Sangamon County.

Dr. Vidya Sundareshan talks about the importance of getting a flu shot. She's joined by representatives from Memorial Health System, HSHS Illinois and Springfield Clinic.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County health officials are urging people to get a flu shot, as they continue to battle the spread of COVID-19.


Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan debated for the first time this election cycle on Monday night in Champaign.

The candidates spent much of the hour-long debate arguing about healthcare, and other issues, including political donations, the ComEd and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan scandal, the Paycheck Protection Program, the Farm Bill and police reform. The debate was cosponsored by Illinois Public Media, WCIA-TV and the League of Women Voters of Champaign County.

The following is a commentary from Dr. Robert Smith, Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield.  

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford says she plans to reintroduce legislation that would lower the Illinois' compulsory kindergarten starting age from 6 years old to 5. 

Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, successfully pushed to lower the start for kindergarten from the age of 7 years old to 6, which took effect in the 2014-15 school year. Last year, the state Senate passed legislation to drop the compulsory age further, but the measure failed to get out of the House.

Segment three of the September 18, 2020 Community Health Roundtable entitled Basic Community Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic. This segment features the Central Illinois Foodbank Executive Director Pam Molitoris, Sangamon County Community Resources Executive Director David Petrilli, and SIU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Chair Dr. Kari Wolf discussing issues presented by the pandemic. United Way of Central Illinois President and Chief Professional Officer John Kelker moderates.

Kari M. Wolf headshot

Segment two of the September 18, 2020 Community Health Roundtable entitled Basic Community Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic. This segment features Sangamon County Community Resource Executive Director David Petrilli and SIU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Chair Dr. Kari Wolf on shelter and mental health issues presented by the pandemic.

Pam Molitoris headshot
Matt Debackere / Matt Debackere Photography

Segment one of the September 18, 2020 Community Health Roundtable entitled Basic Community Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic. This segment features Central Illinois Foodbank Executive Director Pam Molitoris on food issues presented by the pandemic.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

The libertarian-leaning Illinois Policy Institute on Monday filed suit in an effort to derail Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature policy proposal — changing Illinois’ constitution to allow for a graduated income tax — by forcing the state to issue “corrective notices” about the intent of the tax change, or declaring the vote on the amendment “void.”

Boy In The Castle Pictures

MonsterCast 2020 continues with a very special episode. Last year we name the horror short Hidden Mother our top choice of the HuluWeen Film Festival and now we are so psyched to have the writer and director Joshua Erkman here to discuss it! We talk where the idea came from, the boldness of that ending and what horror films he recommends for a truly scary October. Give it a watch and listen!

FEATURING: Jeremy Goeckner

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Friday the investigation into the shooting June 26 has yielded little information that points to why the gunman killed three co-workers at the plant on Stevenson Drive before fatally shooting himself later. But he reiterated that the victims were likely targeted based on the suspect’s actions.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Questions about the connection between Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and a bribery scheme by energy giant Commonwealth Edison continues to create problems for the Speaker.  Republicans claim a House investigative committee is protecting Madigan, and representative Stephanie Kifowit announced she intends to challenge his position as the leader of the chamber.

The Chicago Sun Times' Rachel Hinton joins the panel.