Hannah Meisel

Statehouse editor/ reporter

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. Hannah previously covered the statehouse for The Daily Line and Law360, and also worked a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax in 2018.

She has also worked as a reporter for Illinois Public Media in Urbana, and served as NPR Illinois' statehouse intern in 2014 while working toward a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. 

Hannah also holds a journalism degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was a reporter and managing editor at The Daily Illini.

In 2020, the Washington Post named Hannah as one of the best political reporters in Illinois.

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This week saw the release of video and other evidence of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 13 year old Adam Toledo.  Several top Illinois and city officials have weighed in.  Chicago's mayor promised a new policy on how and when officers engage in foot chases.  

Also, is the latest surge in coronavirus cases leveling off?

Our panel includes Rachel Hinton of the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Illinois will open vaccination elgibility to those 16 and older on Monday.  It's a big step in the vaccine rollout.  Illinois has also been setting daily records when it comes to administering the shots. 

But the state remains in a precarious position as cases and hospitalizations are headed in the wrong direction.  There's also the challenge of convincing more people to take the vaccine.   

Peter Hancock of Capitol News Illinois joins our State Week panel.  

Senate Democratic Caucus

State lawmakers this week will kick off the once-in-a-decade process to reshape how Illinois’ legislative and congressional maps are drawn.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Illinois’ first reported death from COVID-19. In the next 12 months, Illinois would go on to report nearly 21,000 more confirmed COVID-19 deaths, while more than 1.2 million Illinoisans have been infected so far.

Memorial Health System

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday afternoon launched a COVID-19 vaccine hotline — something advocates have been asking Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration to do for months.

In a week that marked the one year anniversary of the pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he's cautiously optimistic as more vaccines arrive.  His administration even mentioned a return to holding conventions and trade shows this summer.   

Pritzker is also pleased that a windfall will be coming to the state as part of a federal coronavirus stimulus package.   How might the state use that money?

Our panel discusses where things stand in Illinois -- on the public health front and with the state budget.  

On this episode, we discuss Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who becomes the new Illinois Democratic Party Chair, replacing Michael Madigan.  Gov. J.B. Pritzker supported her opponent and some view Kelly's ascension as a defeat for the governor.  

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger has been outspoken about his own party.  It appears he'll face a primary challenge.  We discuss his political future.  

And Illinois continues to fall behind when it comes to its pension obligations.  We discuss it all on State Week. 

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) has replaced former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan as chair of the state’s Democratic Party, marking a shift away from Madigan’s two-decade control of the party.

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Brian Mackey

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's legislative district seat saw not just one, but two replacements within a week.  And Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a large reform package dealing with crime and policing.

The Chicago Sun-Times' Rachel Hinton joins the panel.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s vacated 22nd District House seat has a new occupant — the second replacement in four days — after Madigan asked his first choice to step down this week in an embarrassment to the normally fastidious Democratic boss.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

This story has been updated to reflect Kodatt's resignation effective Wednesday morning.

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan's handpicked successor for the House seat he held for more than 50 years has stepped down from the General Assembly after just three days. 

Governor JB Pritzker today (MONDAY) signed a sweeping criminal justice bill that — among other reforms — will end cash bail in Illinois.

As Hannah Meisel reports, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus draw a direct line from protests in the names of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor this past summer to the new law.

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan on Monday resigned from his role heading the state’s Democratic Party just one day after he told reporters he didn’t know when or if he might leave that job.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

 

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) on Sunday used his remaining political power to install a 26-year-old political protege to the House seat he resigned from last week after more than 50 years.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered a combined State of the State and State Budget address this week with proposals to fill the deficit left by the pandemic.  And after 50 years in the state legislature, former House Speaker Michael Madigan resigned his district seat.

Chicago Tribune State Government Reporter Dan Petrella joins the panel.

Justin Fowler/State Journal-Register via AP

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has resigned the seat he’s held for the last 50 years effective Thursday.

Governor JB Pritzker introduced his budget framework for next year on Wednesday — a plan that includes neither a tax hike nor deep cuts to social services. Both were consequences  he’d warned of after his graduated income tax plan failed at the polls in November.

 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

While Illinois expands eligibility to receive the new coronavirus vaccine, there are still questions about the speed of distribution so far.  Also this week, the state Republican party has a new leader.

Chicago Tribune Investigative Reporter Joe Mahr joins the panel.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Democratic lawmakers are again re-introducing the so-called Clean Energy Jobs Act, renewing the effort for comprehensive legislation to address both climate change and expanding Illinois’ renewable energy industry.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

More progress is being made in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, accompanied by more criticism of how it's been handled so far.  State lawmakers have been authorized to receive vaccinations as part of Phase 1B of the rollout, which puts them alongside more at-risk groups.

Capitol News Illinois's Jerry Nowicki joins the panel.

Office of Rep. Andre Thapedi

State Rep. André Thapedi (D-Chicago) is set to resign from his seat in the Illinois House after 12 years, he told NPR Illinois on Sunday.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

As Illinois marks one year since its first COVID-19 case, vaccine distribution remains on a slower pace than expected, while state and local officials try to determine just how much of an impact the pandemic has had on revenues.

NPR Illinois reporter Mary Hansen joins the panel this week.

Memorial Health System

Like other governors nationwide, Gov. JB Pritzker has recently taken to criticizing a slower-than-anticipated COVID-19 vaccination effort at Illinois’ long-term care facilities by pharmacy giants CVS and Walgreens.

NPR Illinois State Week logo (Capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

As the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate continues to drop, mitigation measures are being relaxed and plans are being made to increase the distribution of the vaccine.

Mark Maxwell, Capitol Bureau Chief for WCIA TV, joins the panel.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the work of the 101st General Assembly.  And there is  a new House Speaker - Chris Welch - after Michael Madigan lost the support of his caucus after nearly four decades in power.

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax joins the panel.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Update Friday, Jan 15: Twelve hours after this story was published, Gov. JB Pritzker announced he is revising Tier I mitigations to allow for indoor dining. However, no regions currently meet Tier I metrics. This story has been updated to reflect the changes and avoid confusion.

Update Saturday, Jan. 16: Region 5 became Illinois' first region to qualify for Tier I mitigations on Saturday. Additional information has been added to the post.

Governor JB Pritzker on Friday will unfreeze all of Illinois’ 11 regions from the so-called Tier III Coronavirus mitigations he implemented statewide in November as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

Justin Fowler/State Journal-Register via AP

  

Former House Speaker Mike Madigan is now merely State Rep. Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) for the first time in nearly four decades as the embattled Democratic leader passed the gavel on to new Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) Wednesday.

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