J.B. Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzer flanked by senators at a news conference
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly finally finished its annual legislative session this weekend, with lawmakers approving item after item on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda.

Observers and participants are calling it one of the most significant sessions in living memory.

House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks to his colleagues and Gov. J.B. Pritzker on the last day of the 2019 legislative session
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinoisans will soon pay more for gasoline and cigarettes. Those are just two tax increases needed to pay for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which includes money from sports betting and additional casinos.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Sen. Melinda Bush
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Legislation meant to protect abortion rights if Roe v. Wade is overturned is headed to the governor’s desk.

Cassidy debate
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois is poised to become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana after lawmakers approved a massive 610-page proposal that is touted as one of the most equitable in the country. 

Reps. Mike Zalewski and Rob Martwick listen to debate over proposed rates for a graduated income tax
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats are almost finished carrying out one of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign pledges, as the Illinois House on Thursday approved tax brackets for his proposed graduated income tax.

State of Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker has called up roughly 200 guard soldiers as near record crests are predicted along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.   The soldiers are being deployed to perform duties like sandbagging, levee reinforcement and potential rescue efforts.  

Gov. J.B. Pritzker hugs Rep. Robert Martwick after passage of a graduated income tax constitutional amendment
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois voters will get to decide the future of the state’s income tax. Democrats on Monday approved a measure to put a graduated income tax on the ballot next fall.

The rail at the Illinois capitol
Matt Turner / Flickr

Illinois lawmakers have agreed to make a change to the state's minor consent law for health care services. The current statute allows children 12 and up access to diagnosis and treatment options for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, but not preventative healthcare or counseling. A proposal, that now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk, would ensure youth also have access to preventions options without parental consent.  

Delia Ramirez
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Affordable-housing advocates are joining the chorus calling on Illinois lawmakers to approve an infrastructure plan.

cannabis ladies
State Sen. Heather Steans / State Sen. Heather Steans

Earlier in May when language for Illinois' recreational cannabis proposal was unveiled, it was Gov. J.B. Pritzker who stole the headlines, receiving much of the credit. While it's his signature that will ultimately appear on any proposal passed by the legislature, it was four female lawmakers who chose to embark on the difficult path to legalization years ago. 

road construction
Gary Brown via Flickr (gsbrown99)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is finally getting specific on what could be in a massive statewide building plan — and what taxes and fees could be raised to pay for it.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Republican on Thursday were trying to elbow their way back into budget negotiations.

The move comes as lawmakers have just two weeks left in their annual legislative session, with a long to-do list that includes passing a state budget.

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced plans Wednesday to overhaul the state’s troubled child welfare system. That comes after a report criticized the Department of Children and Family Services’ reluctance to remove children from their homes.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois has officially proposed legalizing cannabis for adults 21 years and older by Jan. 1, 2020. But as details of the legislation emerge, so does the opposition. 

Cullerton smoking tax
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

In January, Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed several tax increases to help balance Illinois' budget. One of those proposals was a 32-cent hike on a pack of cigarettes, but some of his fellow Democrats want to triple that.

IMA and IRMA / IMA and IRMA

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tried to convince business groups Wednesday to accept his graduated income tax plan. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois’ former legislative inspector general went public this week with a complaint that one of her reports was buried. She says the office is desperately in need of reform, and absent that, is effectively powerless.

Meanwhile, WBEZ-FM is reporting Gov. J.B. and First Lady M.K. Pritzker are under federal investigation for removing toilets from a mansion in order to lower their property tax bill.

University of Illinois at Chicago / University of Illinois at Chicago

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has proposed changes to the state's pension systems. He says this could help cover other pressing areas, like education, healthcare and public safety. But the plan would mean cutting back on pension payments --- atleast on the short-term, that's according to Amanda Kass, the associate director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn’t the driving force. It’s about promoting justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, the lack of diversity and transparency in Illinois’ medical marijuana program causes some concern.

Dave McKinney/WBEZ

Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, his wife and his brother-in-law are under federal criminal investigation for a dubious residential property tax appeal that dogged him during his gubernatorial campaign last year, WBEZ has learned.

Dave McKinney/WBEZ

  Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, his wife and his brother-in-law are under federal criminal investigation for a dubious residential property tax appeal that dogged him during his gubernatorial campaign last year, WBEZ has learned.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

Even though it’s the legislative spring break, there are several issues still to be negotiated, including a potential construction program funded with a gasoline tax, legalization of recreational marijuna, dealing with the state’s growing pension debt, and what to do about a declining population.

Marijuana and criminal justice
Flickr: users memphislaw & temiraydisfruta, with adaptation

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn't the driving force. It's about promoting criminal and social justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, prominent activists from minority communities question whether these lofty goals are possible. 

Jeff Smudde / IPR / WGLT

Governor J.B. Pritzker held his largest press conference over the weekend — and he’s promising media transparency under his administration.

Governor Prtizker bill signing
Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law today intended to protect collective bargaining rights for labor unions.

It would ban local governments from creating “right-to-work zones” — where employees at a unionized company no longer have to pay fees if they choose not to join.

State Week logo
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.

CollegeDegrees360 / flickr.com

Illinois lawmakers today rejected legislation that could have made it easier for former felons to apply for college. Popularly known as a “ban the box” bill, it would have prevented colleges from asking about criminal history on basic application forms.

Once a student is admitted, colleges would still be allowed to consider criminal history for housing and participation in campus activities.

 

But State Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore), said it was still dangerous.

Lori Lightfoot and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot is beginning to lobby for her agenda in Springfield.

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After years of campaigning, Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to change Illinois’ tax system. On Tuesday they formally introduced the language they want to change in the Illinois Constitution.

no smoking
daniel / Flickr.com/number657 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Tobacco sales in Illinois will soon be off-limits to anyone younger than 21 under a law signed Sunday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

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