Dana Vollmer

Reporter - Public Affairs Reporting

Ways to Connect

guns ammo bullets
Tony Webster - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to overhaul the application process for Firearm Owner’s Identification cards.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced plans Wednesday to overhaul the state’s troubled child welfare system. That comes after a report criticized the Department of Children and Family Services’ reluctance to remove children from their homes.

smart phone texting
Marko Verch - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over whether the First Amendment protects “revenge porn.”

doctor medicine stethocope
Chemist 4 U - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers want to eliminate medical co-pays for prisoners.

Flickr / CC-by 2.0

A small but growing number of U.S. women are choosing to give birth at home. However home birth midwives are not regulated by the state of Illinois. Many mothers still choose to stay home, despite the risks involved in not having a proper vetting system.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Mourners gathered at the Old State Capitol on Thursday for an annual event memorializing the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust.

mother and baby
furiousmadgeorge / CC BY 2.0

Illinois lawmakers want judges to consider people’s family obligations when sentencing or detaining them for a crime.

Illinois Department of Corrections

Illinois lawmakers want to divert more people convicted of crimes from prison to boot camp.

Courtesy of the Walgren Family

Illinois House lawmakers passed legislation requiring a parent be present when students are questioned or detained in connection to a crime.

matryosha / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers are at odds over how to punish damage to important infrastructure. Some fear it would mean harsher sentences for charges that already exist.

faucet tap water
Kamil Kaczor / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

An Illinois toddler died nine years ago after suffering third degree burns from bathwater. The Illinois House last week approved legislation to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Jeff Smudde / IPR / WGLT

Governor J.B. Pritzker held his largest press conference over the weekend — and he’s promising media transparency under his administration.

Governor Prtizker bill signing
Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law today intended to protect collective bargaining rights for labor unions.

It would ban local governments from creating “right-to-work zones” — where employees at a unionized company no longer have to pay fees if they choose not to join.

crime survivors rally
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul say they’ll use the power of their office to expand trauma services — but they’re asking for help from the General Assembly.

They made the announcement surrounded by survivors of crime at the Illinois Capitol Thursday.

State of Illinois drawn on chalkboard
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois lawmakers want to make it easier for marginalized college students to qualify for financial aid.

flickr/meeshpants

The co-founder of an Illinois prisoner advocacy group is calling for a statewide effort to investigate claims of innocence.

FDR Presidential Library & Museum

Illinois Senators want to make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.

flickr/katerha

Legislation being considered in the Illinois House would raise the age for locking up children accused of a crime.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Springfield voters gave Mayor Jim Langfelder a second term Tuesday.

He won out over Frank Edwards, a former alderman and fire chief, getting around 58% of the vote.

Presidencia de la República Mexicana - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers are being asked to decide whether nurses are dangerously overworked — and what to do about it.

Nurses want limits on how many patients they’re assigned. They argue it would improve patient outcomes and workplace safety. But opponents counter a “one size fits all” approach will not work.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Springfield’s infrastructure needs dominated an aldermanic forum Thursday night.

Candidates from the city’s westernmost neighborhoods — wards 7, 8 and 10 — were asked about what development projects they would prioritize and how they would spend capital dollars. 

Rianne Hawkins for City Clerk (left), Springfield City Clerk's Office (right)

Springfield voters will again decide between Rianne Hawkins and incumbent Frank Lesko for city clerk when they head to the polls April 2.

The city clerk performs a range of duties and legal requirements for city council, including recording meeting minutes, filing municipal records, and drafting agendas.

Lesko narrowly beat Hawkins by a 51-49 margin in 2015. 

NPR Illinois talked with Hawkins about her plans to win back the office.

Lesko did not respond to several phone requests for an interview.

Liz West - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

A proposal in the Illinois House would allow people to donate their unused prescriptions and medical supplies to people who can’t afford them.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Adult entertainer Stormy Daniels visited the Illinois Capitol today to protest the so-called “Sin Tax.”

A 2012 law requires Illinois strip clubs to charge an extra $3 for each guest or pay a flat tax. It’s meant to help fund rape crisis centers.

Daniels said the tax incorrectly connects adult entertainment with rape.

Matt Brown - Flickr / CC-by 2.0)

Legislation being considered in the Illinois House could cancel plans for a proposed ICE detention facility in Dwight.

Scrappers Film Group

Stateville Calling is a documentary about parole reform and its effect on aging prisoners.

The film follows 84-year-old activist Bill Ryan as he works to pass legislation reinstating parole in Illinois, which the state hasn’t had since 1978.

Screenings are taking place around the state. Reporter Dana Vollmer talked with Director Ben Kolak and Producer Yana Kunichoff ahead of a March 26 screening in Springfield.

The Parents Union - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois’s new $15 minimum wage law doesn’t guarantee better pay for workers with disabilities. An exemption in federal labor law still allows some employers to pay them less.

Tatiana Vdb - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Women in the Illinois Senate want to address a surge in maternal deaths related to childbirth.

Lori Stalteri - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Some Illinois lawmakers want to make it easier for worker cooperatives to grow.

Mike Mozart - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Walgreens customers want the company to pay up for charging an extra tax on some water bottles. The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether the charges were fraudulent.

Pages