J.B. Pritzker

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Marijuana sales began with more than $3 million in sales on New Year’s Day. Backers of the law, however, say that news ought to take a back seat to the more than 11,000 pardons for past pot convictions Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a day earlier.

J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters in his ceremonial office
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday issued pardons for more than 11,000 low-level marijuana convictions.

graphic for the 2019 installment of the voices in the news feature
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As we close the book on 2019, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to what has been a most consequential year in Illinois government and politics. From novice politicians taking power to a flood of major legislation, these are some of the voices that made news in 2019.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It would be difficult to overstate how consequential the past year was in Illinois government and politics. This week on State Week, the panel looks back at some of the top stories of 2019.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The more than 255 new Illinois laws taking effect on New Year's Day may affect everything from your car to your paycheck.

We took a look at some of the biggest changes coming in 2020.

via Blueroomstream.com

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker approved a plan Wednesday to pool the pension funds of nearly 650 downstate police and fire departments.


Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Monday he has not spoken to House Speaker Michael Madigan about a series of federal inquiries. That’s despite reports that investigators appear to be targeting the speaker's inner circle.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx personally filed paperwork that led to vacating and expunging the marijuana convictions of more than 1,000 people.

J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters in his ceremonial office
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

More than a thousand Illinoisans with low-level marijuana convictions had their records wiped clean Wednesday. It’s part of the new marijuana legalization coming in January.

Doris Turner, J.B. Pritzker, and Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign operation is striking back against a group of former workers who’re suing for racial discrimination.

Vaping360 via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Five Illinois residents have died so far this year after vaping. Two of those people have died within the last week, while public health investigators have struggled to find what’s behind the spike in illnesses.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After four decades in the legislature, Senate President John Cullerton announced he'll retire in January. Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent a day lobbying in the Capitol, but came away empty handed. And lawmakers approved measures intended to improve the fiscal future of police and fire department pensions.

Blue Room Stream

Illinois lawmakers Wednesday advanced a plan to pool more than 650 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds. Passing the measure out of both chambers by week’s end is a top priority for Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker’s office has been arguing for weeks that combining all of those funds would make more money for retired police and firefighters, while cutting fees and reducing the need to raise local property taxes.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democrats and Republicans are calling for an ethics crackdown in the wake of now-former state Rep. Luis Arroyo being charged with bribery.

via Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says he’s "furious" about the behavior of state lawmakers ensnared in federal probes this year. Now he’s calling for changes in the way lobbyists disclose their finances.

Pictures of Money / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

State lawmakers are now formally considering legislation to pool the resources of nearly 650 local Illinois police and fire department pension funds.


Pritzker in ceremonial office
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is supporting legislation that would let college athletes get paid for endorsements.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed a budget this week. The city's path to greater financial health runs through Springfield, but will the General Assembly come through?

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago teachers on are on strike as freshman Mayor Lori Lightfoot makes some big requests of lawmakers in Springfield. Billionaire Gov. J.B. Pritzker releases summaries of his annual tax returs, and uses them to promote a graduated income tax for Illinois. And we take a closer look at the proposed asset consolidation for the hundreds of troubled downstate and surburban local police and fire pension funds.

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Brian Mackey / NPR 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.

Christopher Bowns / via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The photos or videos you store in “the cloud” aren’t actually up in the air. They’re in computer systems housed in hundreds of vast buildings across the country.

Illinois is now providing tax breaks for companies that build those centers in the hopes of attracting more of them.


Gov. Pritzker speaks at a Democratic candidate forum
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A majority of Illinoisans think the state is on the wrong track and have a dim view of the economy, but the pessimism doesn’t seem to be affecting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s job approval.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

More details come out about FBI raids on the home and offices of state Sen. Martin Sandoval. The Legislative inspector general is out with two reports about sexual harassment under House Speaker Michael Madigan's watch. And Planned Parenthood has been secretly building a new facility in Illinois near St. Louis.

100 dollar bill about to be cut with scissors
IGPA

State agencies are getting a warning from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget office: Be prepared to make significant cuts next year.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker holds giant scissors at the ribbon cutting for the Illinois State Fair in August 2019
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has broken his leg, and his office says he doesn’t know how it happened.

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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.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As Democrats and Republicans gear up for next year’s election, the parties rallied in Springfield this week with events timed to the Illinois State Fair.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi headlined the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch Wednesday in Springfield.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rallied with Illinois Democrats Wednesday in Springfield.

Ashley's Law
Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois’ medical marijuana program is getting a second wind. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a pair of bills on Monday expanding who can get a medical card, and when they can use it.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed a sweeping anti-sexual harassment law. But one woman who accused a lawmaker of harassment is disappointed with an aspect of the new rules.

Denise Rotheimer says she objects to part of the new law that levies a fine of $5,000 on accusers for leaking information from an inspector general  report's release.

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