Mike Smith

2020 Public Affairs Reporting Intern

Mike Smith is a graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legislative session.

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Red light camera at intersection
Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois House on Wednesday approved legislation Wednesday that would ban certain red-light cameras. It would only apply in communities with fewer than 25,000 people that have not been granted a special status known as “home rule.”

Graciela Guzman speaking about rising prescription drugs alongside (left) State Representative Will Guzzardi and (right) Dan Rabbitt of Heartland Alliance.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers want to research the rising costs of prescription drugs, especially the price of prescription drugs.

Herwig Kavallar / Creative Commons

An Illinois lawmaker wants people who injure or kill domesticated animals to face a harsher punishment.

State Rep. Mike Murphy (right), a Republican from Springfield, shakes hands with Gov. J.B. Pritkzer in this file photo from Jan. 29, 2020.
handout / Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to waive the concealed carry license fee for qualified veterans.

Isabella McKenna (center) speaks at a press conference alsongside (from left to right) Sen. Linda Homes, Rep. Greg Harris and Illinois State Medical Society President Paul Pedersen.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers want to reduce delays in medical care caused by the requirements of insurance companies.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly speaking at a press conference alongside Deputy Director Isaiah Vega.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Police is supporting legislation that would fingerprint applicants for the Firearm Owners Identification card.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has fired a transportation company after learning it shackled a young foster child for several hours.

Former Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter, center, testifying at an ethics comittee hearing alongside current LIG Carol Pope, left, and former LIG Tom Homer, right.
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

As Illinois lawmakers consider whether to change ethics laws after recent scandals, former legislative inspector general Julie Porter is urging them to start with themselves.

Private jets at Sun Valley Airport in 2015.
Thomas Hawk / via flickr.com/thomashawk (cc by-nc 2.0)

Illinois Senators overwhelmingly override Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s veto of a sales tax exemption Wednesday, a day after member of the House did the same. It’s the first time that’s happened during Pritzker’s time in office.

State officials speaking at a committee hearing Tuesday morning
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers grilled state officials Tuesday about significant problems with health care for thousands of kids with ties to the Illinois child welfare system.

Concealed handgun
flickr

A pair of gun-rights groups have sued the Illinois State Police for taking too long to process paperwork required to own and carry firearms.

Witnesses testify about ethics laws in Illinois and elsewhere at a meeting of the Illinois Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for a massive culture change over corruption in Illinois, state lawmakers were considering how to make that happen — especially when it comes to local units of government.

Representative Bob Morgan speaking at a press conference Tuesday in the Capitol Blue Room alongside Senator Ram Villivalam, Brian Costin and activist Dan Johnson.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A pair of Illinois lawmakers are taking on the practice of offering tax breaks to lure companies from other states.

the Illinois Supreme Court bench in the court's main building in Springfield
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court says a woman convicted of domestic violence should be able to get a Firearm Owners’ Identification card.

Megan Blair speaking at a news conference where Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill to cap the cost of insulin.
​​​​​​​Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Friday intended to bring down the cost of insulin.

Rep. Maurice West debates the Reproductive Health Act
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether the state should begin paying for deferred prosecution programs. They’re intended to give non-violent offenders a second chance.

flanked by students, J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters at a Springfield school
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Wednesday aimed at bringing more young people into the civic conversation.

Bruce Sommer formally announces collaboration for downtown Springfield
Mike Smith / NPR Illinois

Two universities have formally announced a collaboration intended to bring a new higher education presence to downtown Springfield.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Officials at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, known as the ALPLM, are once again trying to verify the authenticity of a hat once thought to belong to Lincoln.

Committee on House Administration, Majority via Youtube

A central-Illinois election official told a Congressional panel Thursday some of the voting machines Illinoisans used in the last election are still susceptible to tampering. But he said efforts are underway to prevent it from happening again.

classroom
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday grilled officials about the practice of locking kids in “seclusion rooms” in schools. It’s the first legislative hearing since a news report brought attention to the practice late last year.

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