Chicago

Illinois Capitol Rotunda
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are back in Springfield Monday for the start of what’s expected to be a relatively quiet veto session.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new report from NPR Illinois and ProPublica shows the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has protected the reputation of several members of the faculty accused of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tenure crossed the 100-day mark. She marked the ocassion by giving a speech laying out the city's significant fiscal problems, but stopped short of saying precisely what she wants to do to fix them.

Heroes was a show that was pretty ahead of its time according to series star Jack Coleman. "You see it as sort of the template of a lot of shows and movies that are out there now," he told our Front Row Network reporters at the annual Chicago Wizard World Comic-Con. "It borrowed from other comics as well in that, for example, Peter Parker was more interesting than Spider-Man. But all of these people discovering their powers and feeling kind of trapped by them but also embracing them, it really set the stage for a lot of what you see today". 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

An investigative report released this week shows an atmosphere of bullying, intimidation, and sexual harassment in the Illinois statehouse.  Also, Governor Pritzker signed a new law raising the minimum salaries of teachers; a photo taken at a state senator’s fundraising event that showed two people staging a mock assassination of President Trump made national headlines; and Chicago’s new mayor is weighing her options on closing the city’s budget deficit.

WBEZ political reporters Tony Arnold and Dave McKinney join the panel.

via Illinois CMS

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is rejecting a push to take on Chicago’s pension debt. But local pension costs are a growing problem across the state.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot spends two days meeting with Illinois lawmakers. How much of her agenda runs through Springfield?

Meanwhile, Democrats began moving on a centerpiece of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's agenda: a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for a graduated income tax.

Lori Lightfoot addressing the Illinois Senate
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has finished her two-day visit to the state capital.

Tammy Godon - Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether Chicago’s regulations on food trucks unfairly stifle competition.

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Brian Mackey

Chicago Ald. Ed Burke is accused of using his position to steer business to his law firm. The city's longest-serving alderman has ties across government in Illinois and the city — will there be other shoes to drop?

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A big surprise this week - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he's dropping out of the upcoming election.  Amanda Vinicky of Chicago's WTTW and A.D. Quig of The Daily Line join the panel.

After 10 other Seeking Solutions forums across the state, NPR Illinois and AARP are bringing the final forum to the Union League Club in Chicago, IL. Panelists will discuss the major issues of the 2018 gubernatorial election such as the struggles faced by higher education, a loss of population in the state, and the changing needs of the Illinois workforce. 

 

NPR Illinois News Director Sean Crawford moderated and the panel was: 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner is staying at the Illinois Veteran Home in Quincy, in response to accusations that his administration has not responded well to repeated outbreaks of Legionnaires' Disease at the facility.

Meanwhile on the gubernatorial campaign trail, Chris Kennedy says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should be held accountable for driving African American people out of the city while Bob Daiber is getting detailed about a graduated income tax.

DaQuan Mosley just graduated high school and will be attending college in the fall. He grew up in Englewood on Chicago's South Side, where he saw violence regularly and was nudged to join that lifestyle. He is planning a life turned directly toward the aftermath of violence and other loss by following a long time goal to become a funeral director and work with the families of victims.

It's clear you have something to say about the historic impasse entering its third year.  Here are some of the early contributions:

handgun
Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Senate on Thursday passed stricter gun legislation long sought by the Chicago Police.

Chicago’s police superintendent was in Springfield Thursday urging state Senators to toughen penalties for gun possession. But he was met with resistance.

Chicago recorded 762 murders last year. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told legislators it’s “pivotal” that they target repeat unlawful gun possessors. The proposal would basically double the minimum sentence for the second time someone is caught with an illegal gun – from 3 to 6 years — though judges could give less time if they spell out a reason.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Lawmakers introduced competing plans to make sure state employees can remain on the job even if there's no end to the state budget standoff. Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner is refusing to say whether he approves of the incipient budget compromise being worked out in the state Senate. And what does it say about the future of the downstate economy that Caterpillar Inc. is moving several hundred top jobs from Peoria to the Chicago area?

handgun
Wikimedia Commons

After last year’s historic violence in parts of Chicago, a group of state legislators are once again pushing for tougher gun possession laws.

The proposal would ratchet up minimum prison sentences for people who illegally carry a gun.

The ACLU of Illinois opposes the legislation in part because it says it would target the act of carrying a gun, not shooting it.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A federal judge has put limits on election-day voter registration in the most populous parts of Illinois. The governor's office has a rosier view of the Illinois deficit then legislative analysts. And Donald Trump once again shines a light on violence and policing in Chicago.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

  Advocates for changing how Illinois’ legislative districts are drawn are not done yet, there’s continuing fallout from the ongoing unnatural disaster known as the Illinois budget, and Chicago violence hits a grim milestone.

police tape
flickr/ Tony Webster

Peter Nickeas covers breaking news for the Chicago Tribune. He spent three years on the overnight shift and during that time went to the scenes of hundreds of shootings in the city.

Nickeas reflected on this time and the effect it’s had on his life in an essay for the September issue of Chicago Magazine, titled   “Three Years of Nights.”

Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talked with Nickeas about the essay and his time as an overnight reporter covering crime in Chicago. 

David Olson
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

  A number of American cities have seen a spike in violent crime this year. It’s not happening everywhere, but it is happening in Chicago.

What’s behind the crime wave of 2016? Does it represent a trend? And how could this affect the push to reduce the number of people sent to prison in Illinois?

a metaphor about Illinois government
I.W. Taber / Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

  After spending seventeen months fighting over the governor’s agenda and the end of May fighting about a temporary spending plan, now Democrats and Republicans are fighting about political fighting itself. Also: whales (!).


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Illinois Issues: A Schooling in Democracy

May 5, 2016
Chicago Public Schools Board of Education

State lawmakers are considering whether school board members in Chicago should be elected — as they are in all other Illinois school districts.

Amanda Vinicky

Anti-smoking advocates want to raise the age for buying tobacco to 21, in an attempt to dissuade teenagers from picking up the habit.

You can vote at the age of 18, join the military, and for now buy cigarettes. Legislation (SB3011)  introduced by Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago, would require young adults to wait another four years.

Chicago's million-dollar blocks
chicagosmilliondollarblocks.com

State of the State Podcast:
A New Way To Think About 'High-Crime' Neighborhoods

handgun
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Bruce Rauner says passage of his pro-business Turnaround Agenda would help to curb violence in Chicago. Rauner recently said he's "disappointed" in how the Mayor Rahm Emanuel has handled the outcry over video of a police officer killing Laquan McDonald, a black teenager.

BarackObama.com

President Barack Obama cited gun violence in his hometown Tuesday during a White House speech.

Obama says he's using his executive authority to put restrictions on firearms because too many innocent people, including children, have lost their lives to bullets.

"Every time I think about those kids, it makes me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day,” he said.

A supportive audience applauded the statement, as Obama used his index finger to wipe a tear from his cheek.

police cars
flickr.com/appleswitch (Creative Commons)

  So far, it seems no police officers have been disciplined for helping conceal the circumstances under which Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald was killed. Because of that, a group of black lawmakers say Illinois should consider licensing police.

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