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State Week

  • We discuss concerns about the Delta variant as cases rise. The governor announced masks must be worn by all individuals in state facilities. Also, schools are trying to determine the best approach with classes set to begin in a few weeks. Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger was on the national stage as hearings into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol got underway. What does his participation mean for his political future?
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker ended speculation about re-election, announcing he and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton will seek a second term. While the governor has been criticized by some for decisions he's made regarding the pandemic, Pritzker made it clear he will promote his record. State leaders are also watching the COVID-19 variants that are resulting in more cases. The concerns come as students prepare to return to classrooms next month. School districts have been given local control of safety measures and that's resulted in a patchwork of protocols across the state.
  • On this episode, we discuss the resignation of Carol Pope. The former judge resigned as Legislative Inspector General and had some parting shots for lawmakers. Pope said the recent legislative session showed "true ethics reform" was not a priority. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to end deceptive interrogation by police. It's a tactic some argue has led to wrongful convictions. And the Federal Election Commission has limited Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Democratic Party Of Illinois Chair, from certain fundraising activities. What does that mean for the party?
  • In a year that has seen the mass rollout of the vaccine and a reopening of the economy, there remain concerns about the pandemic and whether a more contagious variant could result in a setback. Illinois is making efforts to get more people vaccinated, but rates remain low in some parts of the state and state agencies. Also, President Joe Biden made a stop in Illinois to push his American Families Plan. He also spoke with Chicago's mayor, as her city struggles with gun violence. And, it's never too soon to talk politics. We'll get an update on next year's race to become Secretary of State.
  • Illinois got some long awaited fiscal news. Moody's gave Illinois a bond rating upgrade, the first since George Ryan was governor. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker celebrated the announcement. But his administration is also dealing with other problems involving state certain state agencies.
  • On this episode, we discuss a credit outlook upgrade for the state, the first time that's happened in nearly twenty years. While it may signal financial improvement, Illinois still has a large structural deficit. Also, the Democratic Party of Illinois is in limbo as it awaits clarification on the chair's ability to raise money.
  • Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield briefly this week to take up energy legislation. But efforts to reach a deal with power providers, municipalities and clean energy advocates stumbled. Some say a resolution can be reached soon, while others maintain the issue will drag out over the summer.The General Assembly was able to pass some other legislation. We discuss it all on State Week.
  • After more than a year of the pandemic, Illinois has reached a milestone. On Friday, the state moved to Phase 5 of the reopening plan. That means most restrictions, like mask wearing and capacity limits, are lifted for those who are vaccinated. Illinois has seen a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Also, lawmakers will return to the statehouse next week to address energy legislation and possibly more. And Republicans have filed suit over the newly drawn political maps. Jerry Nowicki, Bureau Chief for Capitol News Illinois, joins the panel.
  • Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly passed a new budget, but Republicans refused to get on board. There were also partisan disagreements on many other issues, such as ethics and redistricting.And despite a mad rush to finish their work, some items were left on the table. There's talk of a return to the statehouse this summer.Our panel breaks down the spring session. Mark Maxwell, Capitol Bureau Chief for WCIA-TV, joins the discussion.
  • Illinois Democrats move ahead with remap.