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State Week: Durbin Passes Justice Bill; Patti Blagojevich Appeals To Trump; IL Loses Population

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Brian Mackey
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NPR Illinois

After years of effort, a bipartisan coalition passed criminal justice reform legislation in Congress this week. Turns out the relationship between Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and presidential adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner played a role in keeping the legislation on track.

Meanwhile, Patti Blagojevich once again used an appearance on Fox News Channel to reach President Donald Trump. She's urging him to grant clemency to Rod Blagojevich — her husband, the former governor of Illinois, and a former contestant on Trump's reality show The Celebrity Apprentice.

Finally, Illinois continues to lose population. That's expected to cost the state a seat in Congress — and in the Electoral College. The panel also says you should be skeptical of assertions about why people are leaving Illinois.

Sean Crawford hosts with regular panelists Charlie Wheeler, Brian Mackey and Daisy Contreras.

Clarification: There was a question on the show about whether the latest Census estimates still had births exceeding deaths in Illinois. That is in fact the case.

For the year ending July 1, 2018, there were 148,117 babies born in Illinois. During that same period, 110,092 people died. That's a rate of 11.6 births and 8.6 deaths for every 1,000 Illinoisans.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
Daisy reported on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project. She's a Public Affairs Reporting program graduate from the University of Illinois Springfield. She also graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and has an associates degrees from Truman College. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.
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