Melinda Bush

via Creative Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/PDM/1.0/?ref=ccsearch&atype=rich

As Illinois abortion rights groups celebrated Wednesday's signing of the Reproductive Health Act, they’ve already got their eyes on what’s next: repealing a state law known as the Parental Notification Act.


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.

The Illinois legislature is considering whether to restrict the use of a cancer-causing gas, currently in use by several Chicago-area facilities.

Illinois Senate Democrats

This month marks a year since the Me Too movement went viral as a hashtag on social media (after having first been started in 2006 by Tarana Burke.) This week, we hear from several women in Illinois whose work in government has been affected. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said he will cooperate with a special investigation over claims he used intimidation to pressure state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) to quit her part-time job with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office. Cassidy alleges Madigan retaliated after she criticized him over his handling of sexual harassment cases within his office earlier this year.

BlueRoom Stream

More than 260 girls and young women came forward to tell their stories of sexual assault by former USA Olympic doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving multiple prison sentences for the abuse. The trial resulted in more than a prison sentence and settlement money for victims. It shined a light on the mishandling of sexual assault reports by young athletes. And last week, Illinois took center stage in this national issue.

Just who can use what bathroom has garnered headlines across the country. Illinois senators are calling for a ban on unnecessary government travel to two states with bathroom laws targeting transgender individuals.

Amanda Vinicky

A state senator's attempt to snuff-out youth smoking fell short when it came up for a vote Thursday.

Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago, wants to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21 "to prevent tobacco-related disease and death."

capitol
Hannah Meisel/WUIS

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield this week after a two-week break. There's some suggestion it will have been their last hiatus for a while.

Legislators are set to spend much of the next seven weeks in session.

There's a lot to do: Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing a massive agenda. He wants to overhaul the workers' compensation system, and to give municipalities the ability to rein in labor unions. Plus, there's dealing with a $6 billion deficit.