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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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  • The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas this week shook the nation and once again thrust the issue of guns into the campaign spotlight. While Illinois has more restrictive gun laws than many states, politicians in both parties are weighing in on what they say is needed to prevent mass shootings. Not surprisingly, there is plenty of disagreement.
  • Early voting kicked off in many parts of Illinois this week. Meanwhile, the campaigns have stepped up their efforts, especially in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
  • Another week and another audit critical of a state agency. This time it focused on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The audit found continuing problems at DCFS. Also, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful Richard Irvin held a news conference this week. But he didn't like the questions from reporters.
  • When a leaked draft copy of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion became public this week, it created a firestorm. The long standing decision in Roe v. Wade, which ensured the right to an abortion, is apparently close to being overturned. What does that mean for Illinois, which has some of the more progressive abortion access laws in the country? And will it be the issue most on voters' minds?
  • Illinois voters will have a new experience this year. The primary election has been moved until late June. Races are starting to heat up. But is the public paying attention?
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Illinois' next budget into law this week, even though it's more than two months until it takes effect. Moody's Investor Service also upgraded Illinois' credit rating, the third upgrade the state has been given in the past year. Moody's and Standard and Poor's issued upgrades previously. We also discuss the latest election related news.
  • Lawmakers made an early departure from the statehouse after wrapping up the spring session. Before doing so, they passed a new budget, anti-crime legislation and more. We discuss it on this episode.
  • Democrats in control of state government were racing to approve a budget and public safety legislation, among other items, before their self-imposed adjournment deadline passed. The budget plan included several tax relief proposals, which will be heavily touted during the upcoming campaigns.
  • Both parties are pointing fingers on the issue of crime as election year messaging ramps up. Republicans have continued to criticize criminal justice legislation Democrats approved last year. Meanwhile, the Democratic Governors Association issued an attack ad against GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin, targeting some of the clients he represented as a defense attorney. And statehouse Democrats have also unveiled a new anti-crime package in the final days of the spring legislative session.
  • The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund has racked up a $4.5 billion in debt. Democrats this week voted to pay off a chunk of what's owed through the use of federal pandemic aid funds. But Republicans say there's still a large hole that will need to be filled, most likely through borrowing and paying interest for several years.