Daisy Contreras

Reporter

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois.  She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s  degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues.  Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter.  She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.

Madeleine Deaton / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois — and the rest of the country — could soon start seeing more days of extreme heat. That’s according to a report released Tuesday, “Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days”— authored by the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

Illinois groups against cash bond and pretrial detention rallied in Springfield last weekend to call for reform of pretrial practices.
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois groups against cash bond and pretrial detention rallied in Springfield last weekend to call for reform of pretrial practices.  

Springfield Art Association / Springfield Art Association

The Springfield Art Association Thursday opened Women's Art Alliance: The First 10 Years, an exhibit commemorating the founding of the Women’s Art Alliance 40 years ago.  The WAA grew to become the Prairie Art Alliance in 1995, which then merged with the Springfield Art Association in 2016 and renamed SAA Collective. 

Reporter Daisy Contreras spoke to Corrin McWhirter, SAA Collective gallery director, about looking back at the group of women who started it all and their impact on the community. 

The Illinois Housing Development Authority / The Illinois Housing Development Authority

Illinois’ new infrastructure plan has money set aside to help residents secure affordable housing across the state. This is the first capital plan in 10 years.

Amtec Photos- Flickr: CC BY-SA 2.0 / <a href=http://www.amtec.us.com>Amtec</a>

Illinois job seekers might soon avoid disclosing how much money they made in a previous job. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Friday signed into law a long-awaited $45 billion infrastructure plan.

Sierra Club / Sierra Club

The Illinois Pollution Control Board determined an energy company is responsible for contaminating groundwater with coal ash in four Illinois communities. 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum / Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

A bible belonging to Abraham Lincoln has been unveiled to the public for the first time in 150 years.

Sports betting in a Nevada casino.
Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Chicago, Rockford, and Southern Illinois will get the casinos they’ve been fighting to get for years.

House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks to his colleagues and Gov. J.B. Pritzker on the last day of the 2019 legislative session
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinoisans will soon pay more for gasoline and cigarettes. Those are just two tax increases needed to pay for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which includes money from sports betting and additional casinos.

Speaker Madigan watching a roll call on the electronic display board.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The usual May 31st deadline for the Illinois General Assembly passed last night, but lawmakers are not yet done with their work.

With only three full days left in the Illinois Spring legislative session, the long-awaited gaming expansion plan is still under wraps. 

State Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago)
Illinois Senate Democrats / Illinois Senate Democrats

With only four days left in the Illinois legislative session, some lawmakers say they are ready to move forward with a gambling expansion proposal.  But many others have pressing questions about diversity and business opportunities — one of several issues left to be worked out before the end of session May 31. 

Sports betting in a Nevada casino.
Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

With only one week left in the spring legislative session, lawmakers are still trying to piece together a final sports betting proposal, but issues between daily fantasy sports company FanDuel and Rivers Casino chairman Neil Bluhm – could be holding up negotiations.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Republicans are trying to get back in on next year's budget negotiations. Meanwhile, as red states compete to place more and more restrictins on abortion, activists want Illinois to move the other way.

Sports betting in a Nevada casino.
Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

One year after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states outside of Nevada to set up their own sports betting rules, some experts are offering Illinois lawmakers tips as a final proposal is drafted. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Some rock and roll star power showed up in the Illinois Statehouse Wednesday to help push for a new casino. 

Chris Hunkeler / Flickr: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Illinois Senate last week approved increased protections for those who use alternative electric and gas suppliers. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Listen to a special State Week, recorded in front of an audience at the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices state historic site in downtown Springfield.

Host Sean Crawford, along with regular panel members Brian Mackey, Daisy Contreras and Charlie Wheeler, are joined by guest Hannah Meisel of The Daily Line. The discussion focused on the governor’s push for a graduated income tax and Senate Democrats pushing it through that chamber. You'll also hear about prospects for recreational marijuana, sports betting, a capital construction program and more.

IMA and IRMA / IMA and IRMA

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tried to convince business groups Wednesday to accept his graduated income tax plan. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois’ former legislative inspector general went public this week with a complaint that one of her reports was buried. She says the office is desperately in need of reform, and absent that, is effectively powerless.

Meanwhile, WBEZ-FM is reporting Gov. J.B. and First Lady M.K. Pritzker are under federal investigation for removing toilets from a mansion in order to lower their property tax bill.

NU sports / NU Sports

Several of Illinois’ Division I athletic directors say they don’t want gamblers to be able to bet on college sports. Lawmakers heard from them and others Thursday in Chicago as talks continue on how to legalize and regulate sports betting. 

University of Illinois at Chicago / University of Illinois at Chicago

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has proposed changes to the state's pension systems. He says this could help cover other pressing areas, like education, healthcare and public safety. But the plan would mean cutting back on pension payments --- atleast on the short-term, that's according to Amanda Kass, the associate director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Monarch Butterfly
Illinois Monarch Project / ilagformonarchs.org

A group of 16 Illinois organizations and agencies have teamed up to help the monarch butterfly survive. 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

Even though it’s the legislative spring break, there are several issues still to be negotiated, including a potential construction program funded with a gasoline tax, legalization of recreational marijuna, dealing with the state’s growing pension debt, and what to do about a declining population.

PANDAS, PANS and AE
PandasNetwork.org / PandasNetwork.org

In 2017, then-Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law what was known as Charlie's Law that required insurance companies to cover treatment costs for certain auto immune diseases in children.

One of those conditions is called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS). And approximately one in 200 children suffer from it. 

PANDAS advocate Wendy Nawara sat down with us to talk about how despite the law, some insurance companies are still not covering treatment costs. 

Sexual Harassment
Shutterstock

Some Illinois lawmakers want more protections for employees who are sexually harassed in private sector jobs. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot spends two days meeting with Illinois lawmakers. How much of her agenda runs through Springfield?

Meanwhile, Democrats began moving on a centerpiece of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's agenda: a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for a graduated income tax.

Artist R. Kelly was in Springfield last weekend, where according to TMZ and their sources, the singer earned $20,000 for a one hour show to meet with fans. But his actual show was allegedly no more than a minute and fans paid up to $100 to see him. R. Kelly took to Instagram to address the media before his appearance, asking them to "take it easy on him."

Ilmicrofono Oggiono / Flickr: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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. 

Pages