Sam Dunklau

Reporter

Sam is a general assignment reporter.  Previously, Sam was a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working at the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

Since 2015, he's been floating around the radio airwaves as a reporter, disc jockey, and station manager.  A multimedia journalism degree from Augustana College now rests comfortably under his belt. 

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Illinois lawmakers Wednesday advanced a plan to pool more than 650 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds. Passing the measure out of both chambers by week’s end is a top priority for Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker’s office has been arguing for weeks that combining all of those funds would make more money for retired police and firefighters, while cutting fees and reducing the need to raise local property taxes.

Stuart Rankin / via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

The Illinois Senate approved a move Tuesday that would allow Illinois to stay on daylight saving time permanently.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The second and final week of the Illinois legislature’s fall veto session begins Tuesday. State lawmakers will have just three days to get a number of proposals — big and small — over as many legislative hurdles as possible.


Illinois Capitol Development Board

Final construction work on the long-awaited Chicago Veterans Home is on schedule, and a state official says the facility will be fully operational by next summer.


via Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says he’s "furious" about the behavior of state lawmakers ensnared in federal probes this year. Now he’s calling for changes in the way lobbyists disclose their finances.

Tom Irwin & John Arden, used with permission

Springfield singer-songwriter Tom Irwin and playwright John Arden are bringing their production about the life and times of a Sangamon County teenager back for another run.

Pictures of Money / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

State lawmakers are now formally considering legislation to pool the resources of nearly 650 local Illinois police and fire department pension funds.


State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

As the fall veto session continues, the Stathouse has been rocked by a federal charge of bribery against Democratic state representative Luis Arroyo and his subsequent resignation.  Meanwhile, the end of the Chicago teachers’ strike is allowing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to focus more on her agenda for fixing the city’s budget problems.

WTTW Chicago Public Television's Amanda Vinicky joins the panel.

via Google Maps

The Illinois House approved legislation Wednesday to further restrict the use of ethylene oxide gas. Nearly no Republicans supported the move, and both sides of the aisle have concerns.


Lee Milner

State lawmakers are considering whether to ban flavored tobacco products in Illinois. Both sides of that debate made their cases before a panel of state senators in Springfield Tuesday.


As a growing number of Illinois state lawmakers have been ensnared in recent federal probes, some of their colleagues want to ramp up punishment for public corruption.


via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Ahead of next month’s open enrollment period for Medicaid health insurance, a new report shows more Illinois residents are insured. But that same report shows nearly three quarters of a million Illinoisans still don’t have health insurance.

The report by insurance comparison website QuoteWizard looked at uninsured rates across the country over the last decade. It found as many 1.3 million Illinoisans were uninsured in 2008, but that number dropped by nearly half in the decade since.

Rebecca Anzel / Capitol News Illinois

An anti-abortion law firm is asking the federal government to block a portion of Illinois’ reproductive health law. They say it improperly says forces people to pay for health insurance that covers abortions.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The Illinois Department of Transportation on Monday released details for how it plans to spend billions of dollars on road construction in the coming years.


Government of Prince Edward Island via Creative Commons / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Flu season has begun once again in Illinois, and public health officials are urging residents to practice good hygiene and vaccinate against the virus.

Amtec Photos via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois’ September unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down by a tenth of a percent from August, and state officials are calling that a record low.


NASA on The Commons / via Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Illinoisans say lawmakers should make dealing with climate change a priority. That’s according to the latest results from an NPR Illinois — University of Illinois Springfield survey.

USGS via Wikimedia

In the wake of recent activity near the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Illinois’ Emergency Management Agency is urging participation in an earthquake drill scheduled for Thursday.


Rod Waddington via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois residents across the state, and across party lines, largely support more gun regulations. That’s according to the results of an NPR Illinois - University of Illinois Springfield survey. We took a look at the new data and explored what might be behind the numbers.


Christopher Bowns / via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The photos or videos you store in “the cloud” aren’t actually up in the air. They’re in computer systems housed in hundreds of vast buildings across the country.

Illinois is now providing tax breaks for companies that build those centers in the hopes of attracting more of them.


A growing number of Illinois church congregations are being forced to make a once-unthinkable decision: either change locations or disband altogether. But moving out doesn’t always mean the end.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Fire safety officials gathered in Springfield on Tuesday to warn against using smoke detectors with a removable battery. They also reminded Illinoisans about a law requiring newer detectors.


via Google Streetview

After months of controversy over allegations of cancer-causing emissions, medical sterilization company Sterigenics says it will not reopen an Illinois plant.

via BlueRoomStream.com

Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is delaying a planned health insurance switch for children in its care, but the public guardian of the state’s largest county says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new report raises questions about the future profitability of casino gambling, one of the first people to say #MeToo in the context of Illinois politics is still looking for work, and the Illinois State Fair's claim of record revenue is not the whole story.

watts_photos via Creative Commons / CC BY 2.0

Newly-released tax data from Illinois’ gambling businesses shows an industry in flux. 

Domas Mituzas / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Illinois brought in more tax money from gambling in the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s just one of several highlights from a new report released Monday.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Fall enrollment numbers at the University of Illinois Springfield dipped more than six percent this year compared to last, despite a larger freshman class. Overall attendance has been declining for the last few years.


via BlueRoomStream.com

Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services plans to put all 16,000 children in its custody on Medicaid health insurance. But at a hearing Tuesday, state lawmakers expressed skepticism, saying they’re worried those kids may fall through the cracks.

jawa9000 via Creative Commons / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A new survey of Illinois hospital nurses shows a large majority feel overworked, undervalued, and even unsafe.

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