Jaclyn Driscoll

Reporter

Jaclyn is a reporter for NPR Illinois with special interests in health and agriculture. She joined the team in September of 2017.

Jaclyn got her start in journalism in the small town of Sioux City, Iowa in June of 2015. She worked as a general assignment reporter for the CBS/Fox affiliate and quickly dove into the 2016 presidential campaign covering both the Democratic and Republican nominee, and others. Jaclyn is most proud of her work that brought a sexual abuse scandal to light resulting in a settlement for the victim. 

Jaclyn most recently worked at WICS/WRSP in Springfield as a general assignment reporter. There she covered a variety of topics including politics, education, and breaking news. She was also the sideline reporter for the live football and basketball pregame shows.

Jaclyn has a Master's Degree in Journalism from DePaul University with an emphasis in sports. During her time at DePaul she interned at WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago. She also has a Bachelor's Degree in History from Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School in Greenfield, Illinois.  

As a sixth generation farmer from a small town in Illinois, Jaclyn is happy to be putting roots down in a place that's always been her home. She is the proud mother of twin boys and a floppy-eared black lab named Crawford. She's an avid Chicago sports fan (Northsider) and eats more cheese fries than any human should. When she's not working, she can be found indulging in her favorite Netflix series (typically a crime documentary) and spending time with her friends and family. 

Any stories, tips, or just want to say hi? Feel free to reach out! 

cannabis ladies
State Sen. Heather Steans / State Sen. Heather Steans

Earlier in May when language for Illinois' recreational cannabis proposal was unveiled, it was Gov. J.B. Pritzker who stole the headlines, receiving much of the credit. While it's his signature that will ultimately appear on any proposal passed by the legislature, it was four female lawmakers who chose to embark on the difficult path to legalization years ago. 

Executive Cannabis
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Illinois has an official proposal to legalize recreational cannabis, but the bill language is still a work in progress. On Wednesday, legislators in the Senate Executive committee were able to pick apart details of the legislation and make suggestions for changes. 

Pritzker Scott's Law
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

So far in 2019, sixteen Illinois State troopers have been hit on the road and three have been killed. Of those three, two of them were killed by drivers in violation of Scott's Law according to the Illinois State Police. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois gets an April surprise — $1.5 billion in unexpected revenue — as lawmakers debate what the windfall means. The public also got its first look at the long-anticipated language in a proposal that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Meanwhile, an audit found that child abuse and neglect investigations suffered during the budget impasse of 2015-17, and lawmakers advanced legislation that would more than double the gas tax in order to pay for infrastructure building and repair.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois has officially proposed legalizing cannabis for adults 21 years and older by Jan. 1, 2020. But as details of the legislation emerge, so does the opposition. 

Cullerton smoking tax
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

In January, Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed several tax increases to help balance Illinois' budget. One of those proposals was a 32-cent hike on a pack of cigarettes, but some of his fellow Democrats want to triple that.

edibles
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

In today’s legal marijuana market, there is more than just a typical joint to get high. There are cookies, gummies, weed-infused drinks and more. But, there are few studies available in the United States that examine the long-term effects of these different products.

laptop
Creative Commons: Chris He, 2009

Illinois lawmakers are moving forward with a measure that aims to keep your digital devices from secretely recording you without consent. The bill is called the KIDS Act, which stands for Keeping Internet Devices Safe.

Office of Rep. Kelly Cassidy

This week, public radio station across Illinois are tackling a once taboo topic.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn’t the driving force. It’s about promoting justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, the lack of diversity and transparency in Illinois’ medical marijuana program causes some concern.

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.

Marijuana and criminal justice
Flickr: users memphislaw & temiraydisfruta, with adaptation

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn't the driving force. It's about promoting criminal and social justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, prominent activists from minority communities question whether these lofty goals are possible. 

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Last November, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a Democrat, failed to unseat Republican Congressman Rodney Davis in Illinois’ 13th district. On Thursday, she announced she’ll make another run for it. 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
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.

WBEZ

In the midst of the recreational cannabis debate, Illinois lawmakers are also looking to make the medical cannabis pilot program permanent, but it will include a few changes. 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has submitted their final draft of rules for the industrial hemp program. There were a few noteworthy changes made from the initial draft that was posted back in late Dec. 2018. 

Jonathan Laureano

State Rep. Karina Villa is a 40-year-old Democrat representing West Chicago. She's one of dozens of fresh faces at the Illinois State Capitol this year and also one of seven lawmakers in the House of Representatives whose election flipped a red seat blue -- from Republican to Democrat.

adapted photo from Heath Alseike/flickr

Growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes in Illinois is legal, and it's looking more likely that the state will legalize a recreational program as well. But one crucial component that remains illegal is for banks to do business with marijuana-related companies. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly was busy this week, passing legislation intended to fight gender pay inequity, teach LGBT history, and raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The panel also discusses NPR Illinois' recent series examining Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed tax increases and expansions.

BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget – on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s counting on new taxes to help close the state’s  3.2 billion dollar budget hole. NPR Illinois reporters are taking a closer look at some of his ideas. First up, Jaclyn Driscoll breaks down the biggest chunk of revenue in Pritzker’s proposal -  a tax on health insurers.

Flickr: Cannabis Culture / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois has been mulling over the idea of legalizing recreational cannabis for years. While some proponents tout it as a social justice issue, others focus on the additional revenue it could bring in for the cash-strapped state.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with Autism in the U.S. About a decade ago, Illinois  started requiring private insurers to cover autism treatment. It was a hard fought battle. But, the signing of the bill was overshadowed by other headlines and advocates are still fighting to expand that coverage.

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:

Illinois lawmakers may be slowing the process to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The proposal was expected to be called for a vote and passed out of the Senate as soon as Thursday.

State Sen. Kim Lightford (D-Maywood), sponsor of the plan, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker wanted the bill approved in time for his budget address on Feb. 20.

“We’re off next week,” she said. “And the House will still be in, so the goal was to actually send the bill over so that the House could work on it next week while we’re not here.”

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

  The Illinois Department of Agriculture heard from the public on Tuesday regarding proposed rules for the state's industrial hemp program

The Catholic Conference of Illinois

As Illinois explores the possibility of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, the state’s six Catholic bishops say they’re urging lawmakers to say "no." 

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

John Sullivan was chosen by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to head the Illinois Department of Agriculture, succeeding former director Raymond Poe. 

HCI Alternatives

Illinois launched its opioid alternative program on Thursday. The program allows patients immediate access to medical cannabis if they have a current prescription for opioids or would have been prescribed one. 

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