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.

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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.

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As Illinois considers legalizing sports betting, state and national sports leagues are asking for a share of the money. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

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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.

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. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed into law an increase to the state’s minimum wage. But restaurant servers, bartenders and other workers who depend on tips, say it’s not a full victory. 

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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.

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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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. 

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It's not the first time some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to end the so-called gender pay gap. The House of Representatives approved a measure Wednesday that could be a first step. 

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Illinois lawmakers in the House voted Tuesday to raise the age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.  Last year, the proposal made it to the governor’s desk, but then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it. Supporters of the change are more optimistic this time.  
 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Reproductive-rights groups are fighting the new changes to the federal family planning program known as Title X. The new rule prohibits health providers under Title X funding to give information about abortions or refer patients to those who perform abortions. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has finally revealed a few details about his plans to change the Illinois income tax. He's asking the General Assembly and voters to approve a constitutional amendment making the flat tax into one that's graduated, where the wealthy pay higher rates.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers questioned Department of Children and Family Services officials Tuesday after a 2-year old Decatur girl died in February, just months after the agency closed her case. 

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 Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month laid out his plan for a state budget.  But the Democratic governor is perhaps being too optimistic, counting on proposals for tax revenue sources that still need to be negotiated. One of those is the expansion of gambling and raking in the money from taxing and further regulating it. 

Thresholds Website: thresholds.org / Thresholds

During the two-year budget impasse, many mental health service providers were forced to close their doors or cut back on services. Now advocates want to bring back the focus to treatment and increase funding. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's first budget proposal is calling for new taxes, more spending, and a series of moves around state pensions. But that's all a placeholder as he begins a push to change Illinois' flat income tax to one where the wealthy pay more.

We'll analyze what he said, what he didn't say, and what's next for Illinois' ailing finances.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recalled Illinois’ darkest days during his first budget address Wednesday. But he’s also looking to get beyond the current financial mess — and is calling for higher taxes, now and in the future. 

shape of Illinois in coins
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his first budget address at a time of acute fiscal distress for the state of Illinois. It also comes after Democrats have taken total control of the executive and legislative branches of state government, including supermajorities in the Illinois House and Senate.

For this week's Illinois Issues report, NPR Illinois reporters analyzed the governor's speech:

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois became the first state in the Midwest Tuesday to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the measure at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats in the Illinois House approved an increase in the state minimum wage. Assuming Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the legislation — he's said he will — the rate will gradually climb to $15 perhour in the year 2025;

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House approved a $15 minimum wage plan Thursday that now heads to the governor’s desk. But, some are still unhappy with the fast-track approach. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Business owners across Central and Southern Illinois say they have concerns about what a  $15 per hour minimum wage increase could mean for their bottom line.

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 lawmakers are considering whether to legalize sports gambling. They’re still negotiating the details - -but a recent analysis shows the state could benefit from allowing the practice—sooner than later. 

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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.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are moving quickly to draft a plan for a minimum wage increase. But, there are competing ideas on how to approach it. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent his second week in office taking actions to signal his support of progressive causes.

The state of Illinois is trying to give federal workers some financial relief as the partial government shutdown continues into its fifth week.

 

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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.

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Brian Mackey

This week, J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as Illinois' new governor, promising a progressive agenda. 

Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Website / Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

  

Illinois’ crisis centers for sexual violence survivors are starting to feel the effects of the partial government shutdown—now in its fourth week. Funding for services will soon stop coming in. 

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