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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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  • It had been rumored for weeks. Aurora's mayor Richard Irvin announced this week he is entering the race for governor. In launching his bid, he attacked Gov. J.B. Pritzker. But before he could face off against the first term Democrat, Irvin will need to win a crowded Republican primary. Our panel discusses his chances.
  • After months of speculation about another candidate entering the race for governor, reports are that Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin will launch a bid. It has been rumored that he has support of billionaire Ken Griffin. We talk about the chances for Irvin and a slate of other Republicans on a statewide ticket.
  • Some big announcements in recent days set the stage for what's expected to be an interesting election year. Longtime Congressman Bobby Rush bows out, likely creating a free-for-all in who will replace him. It also appears a couple of freshmen lawmakers will mount challenges against more established politicians in their party.
  • It was an historic year in Illinois. Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was pushed out of his job amid a scandal. The state adopted new laws dealing with criminal justice and energy policy. Democrats approved new political boundaries. And while Illinois rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program, the pandemic cast a shadow over the entire year.
  • As more hospitals report ICU beds are filling up, the holidays will likely see additional transmission of the virus as people gather. At the same time, the severity of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant remains unclear.
  • The primary is still half a year away, but the 2022 Illinois governor's contest is starting to heat up. There were reports this week that Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is considering a bid. The Republican field already has four candidates who have announced, but there is speculation Irvin would gain financial backing from billionaire Ken Griffin.
  • COVID-19 transmission is up again, especially after the Thanksgiving holiday. Nearly all of those cases are caused by the Delta variant. Meanwhile, the state's public health department this week announced the newly discovered Omicron variant has been confirmed in Illinois.
  • Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis has decided to run for a sixth term in congress rather than seek his party's nomination for governor next year. What does that mean for the GOP heading into the election?
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the newly drawn congressional district map into law this week. That is despite criticism of both this product and another that resets state house and senate districts. Challengers to what Democrats put together will get their day in court next month.
  • Illinois has seen a massive increase in spending on judicial campaigns. Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week approved prohibiting dark money groups, who don't identify their donors, from making financial contributions in those races.