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State Week
Fridays 12:30-1 p.m., 7:30-8 p.m.; Saturdays 6:30-7 a.m.

An analysis of the week in Illinois politics and government from the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

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  • There was a court ruling and more legal challenges to Illinois Democrats' effort at crafting new state legislative and congressional boundaries. Our panel discusses the latest happenings surrounding the once-a-decade redistricting process and why Republicans are likely to wind up on the short end.
  • Democrats are seeking to add to their partisan edge with the proposed district boundaries, which could help determine congressional control.
  • We get an update on COVID rates and the Pritzker Administration's efforts to get more state employees vaccinated. The GOP is attacking Democrats on a well tested topics: crime. And a new congressional district could soon be unveiled.
  • The NFL's Chicago Bears announced this week an agreement to purchase the former Arlington International Racecourse in the northwest suburbs. The decision could potentially lead the team to move away from Soldier Field. Gov. J.B. Pritzker downplayed any rumblings of state financial incentives to keep the Bears in Chicago or help build a new multi-billion dollar facility.
  • A new vaccine requirement for teachers and health care workers, as well as university employees and students, is now in effect. For those who choose to avoid getting the shots, they will need to be tested weekly. But the testing rollout has been bumpy. Also, some are pushing back on the mandate, with some even going to court.
  • The Illinois Senate this week approved the state's new energy package and the governor quickly signed it into law. It saves a pair of nuclear plants, and the jobs and tax base they provide, along with placing Illinois on a path to a renewable energy future. It also shined light on how the leaders of the state can work through complicated issues to reach a deal. Our panel also discusses the current situation with COVID-19, as a vaccine mandate is set to take effect.
  • The State of Illinois is overhauling its energy policy, shifting to more renewable sources in the decades to come. Month of negotiations resulted in a breakthrough this week that will keep open nuclear plants in the near term, saving jobs. Coal fired power plants will be phased out before the middle of century.
  • The Illinois General Assembly was back in Springfield for a rare late August session to tackle a couple of key issues. Democrats approved a new version of the legislative redistricting map, over objections of Republicans and various interest groups. But an energy package that has been negotiated for months remains elusive.
  • Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases brought on by the Delta variant, Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week stepped up mitigations.
  • It's a summer tradition for the state's political parties to rally at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. It's also an opportunity to size up each party's chances heading into statewide elections in 2022.