Olivia Mitchell

2020 Public Affairs Reporting Intern

Olivia Mitchell is a graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legislative session.

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Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

A day after former Vice President Joe Biden finished fifth in the New Hampshire primary, he still had the support of former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

LaHood, once a Republican congressman from Peoria who went to work for the Obama administration, said Wednesday he does not have a second-choice candidate.

He said if Biden can win over diverse states like South Carolina and Nevada, he’ll show he can bring the Democratic Party together.

LaHood also continued to criticize President Donald Trump.

Dean Terry via Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Illinois lawmakers are considering a proposal to give students mental health days away from school.

The legislation would allow children in kindergarten through twelfth grade who have mental health issues the opportunity to take up to five days off during the school year.

via SEIU Healthcare IL & IN Facebook page / https://www.facebook.com/SEIUHCII/

A group of Illinois lawmakers and health care advocates want the state to more equitably provide money for low income hospital patients.

Rep. Chris Welch during debate on the floor of the Illinois House
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A panel of lawmakers on Wednesday grilled Secretary of State Jesse White and officials from the Illinois State Board of Elections over problems with the state’s automatic voter registration system.

A glitch in the system, known as AVR, inadvertently registered to vote about 574 people who are not U.S. citizens.

White sought to reassure lawmakers: “Heads will roll if this happens again.”

graduation ceremony
WOSU Public Media / flickr

As public universities in Illinois have seen enrollment declines in recent years, one state lawmaker has an idea aimed at keeping high school graduates from leaving.

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Lawmakers are demanding answers from the Illinois State Police about delays on DNA processing.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Both Republicans and Democrats say they want more answers as to why more than 500 non-U.S.citizens were mistakenly added to Illinois voter rolls.

Members of both parties say they take the issue of election security seriously.

Tammy Duckworth in a hearing
Sen. Tammy Duckworth / YouTube channel

Both of Illinois’ U.S. senators voted in favor of a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

Ashley's Law
Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Around 94,000 medical marijuana licenses have been issued in Illinois, and about 600 of them are for children under the age of 18.

Students who need medical marijuana – typically to treat conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy – used to have to rely on their parents to come to school and give them their treatment. Now, students can get their cannabis from the school nurse, or administer it themselves under the nurse’s supervision.