State Week: Warrant Unredacted, Pritzker's Approval Rating, Why Are People Leaving Illinois?

There's more information about the federal investigation into state Sen. Martin Sandoval, we dig deep on why Illinois' population is declining, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker's approval rating is high despite negative attitudes about the state.

The Illinois Senate has released a mostly unredacted version of the search warrant FBI investigators used to gain access to Sen. Martin Sandoval's state Capitol office. (NPR member-station WBEZ in Chicago filed a lawsuit to get the full document.) It shows investigators were interested in the senator's dealings with a wide range of people, governments and businesses — including political powerhouses ComEd and Exelon.

Note: Sandoval resigned as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee today (Friday, Oct. 11, 2019). News of this development did not break until after this week's program was recorded, so it's not reflected in the discussion.

Meanwhile, a new survey from NPR Illinois and the University of Illinois Springfield finds Gov. J.B. Pritzker has a relatively high approval rating, despite a generally pessimistic view of the Illinois economy and the direction in which the state is headed. And it shows relatively broad support for a graduated income tax, which will be on the ballot next fall.

The survey also found a remarkable 3 people in 5 had recently thought about leaving Illinois. But when it pressed respondents on whether they'd taken any concrete steps to get out — such as applying for jobs or housing in another state — far fewer had gotten that serious.

To compare the survey results with on-the-ground reporting, we spoke to Cecelia Reyes, one of the reporters behind the Chicago Tribune's Illinois Exodus report, which tried to go beyond political rhetoric to find out what's really going on with the state's population loss.

Sean Crawford hosts with regular panelists Charlie Wheeler and Brian Mackey, and guest Cecilia Reyes of the Chicago Tribune.