Statehouse

Thousands of Illinoisans joined people across America and around the world in marches showing support for stricter gun laws. A former campaign worker sued House Speaker Michael Madigan over his handling of a harassment complaint against one of his top aides.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx toook moved against Facebook after the privacy lapses ¸brought into public consciousness by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And can Gov. Bruce Rauner repair his relationship with conservative voters?

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner’s office has been criticized by a state audit.

Kyle McCarter
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois State Sen. Kyle McCarter’s nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to Kenya comes at a time of challenges for the African nation.

via State Representative David McSweeney website

An Illinois lawmaker wants to give police officers more power to take away guns from someone who poses a threat. 

via Creative Commons 2.0 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Though Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure to license gun dealers, Illinois House Democrats are trying to muster support to overturn the decision. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner won renomination by just three percentage points — a remarkable margin considering he raised more campaign cash than his opponent, Rep. Jeanne Ives, by a factor of 26 to one. Ives says she won't be endorsing the Republican governor for reelection.

Meanwhile, J.B. Pritzker bested each of his two main opponents for the Democratic nomination by 20 percentage points. But state Sen. Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy both say they'll support Pritzker in his race against Rauner.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner says he needs to “find common ground” with the nearly half of Republican voters who rallied behind his primary election opponent, Jeanne Ives.

In his election night victory speech, Rauner said he heard the message those voters wanted to send, but he has yet to give specific details on what that message is. 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois primary voters have spoken. This year’s race for governor will be a battle between two of the wealthiest men in the state.

But this outcome almost didn’t come to pass.

Democrat J.B. Pritzker won easily, but incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner barely escaped a humiliating defeat.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After what’s thought to be one of the most expensive primaries in Illinois history, billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic nominee for governor.  Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner won the Republican primary, narrowly beating his only opponent, state Representative Jeanne Ives.

A week before the primary election, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the first gun-control legislation sent to him after the mass murder at a school in Parkland, Florida. It would have required gun dealers to obtain state licenses.

Senate Democrats say they'll try to override the governor — eventually. They bought themselves more time by refusing to immediately recognize his veto, breaking with past practice and the Illinois Constitution.

Johan Fantenberg via flikr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

People who use Illinois currency exchanges will pay less in fees to cash certain types of checks. It’s part of an overhaul of the state’s check cashing fee structure.  

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Last year’s data breach at the Equifax credit reporting agency brought attention to the fees customers can be charged for freezing their accounts. The Illinois Senate Wednesday approved a ban on such fees.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In response to a nationwide call for tighter gun laws, the Illinois Senate Wednesday passed several  measures. But so far Illinois has no new laws from that effort.

Bruce Rauner
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday vetoed the only gun-control legislation to reach his desk — one month after the Parkland, Florida shooting.

via Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs

Illinois is using emergency spending rules to upgrade the water system at the veterans’ home in Quincy. Outbreaks of the waterborne Legionnaires’ Disease have killed and sickened dozens of residents and staff.

Accusations of harassment from a campaign worker against her supervisor and close aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Kevin Quinn, led to Quinn’s firing last month. Madigan is still struggling with the ripple effects from Alaina Hampton’s claims, with some observers predicting this could be the downfall for the powerful politician.

Hampton’s story has also brought attention to how political campaigns deal with sexual harassment.

Logan Correctional Center satellite view
Google Maps

A mother is suing Illinois and Sangamon County officials for failing to prevent her daughter's suicide.

Media & Marketing / Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner approved legislation on Monday to revamp the way hospitals are paid for treating low-income people on Medicaid. It's intended to help them collect billions of dollars.

clock
MohdFazlinMohdEffendyOoi / flickr

You might be feeling the effects of the time change  just like every spring when we lose an hour.  But there’s legislation that just might change that. 

This week, House Speaker and Chairman of Illinois' Democratic Party Michael Madigan faced more criticism over his handling of sexual harassment allegations against party workers and lawmakers.  Also, Governor Bruce Rauner is not saying if he supports gun control legislation in Illinois.

Bernie Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register and NPR Illinois' Maureen Foertsch McKinney join the panel.

Wikimedia Commons

Illinois county fair officials say they still don’t have nearly $1.5 million promised to them in the current state budget for fair operations.  

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Comptroller Susana Mendoza is launching a new measure to end, what she calls a "long-standing practice of offshoring staff salaries." 

Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

 The Illinois House lawmakers are considering a requirement that veterans’ home officials promptly inform families about Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. The proposal is the latest in a string of measures responding to the state’s handling of an outbreak at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy.

Kids who use medical marijuana for a qualifying condition might be allowed to use the drug on school grounds under a Illinois proposal. The legislation would allow parents to give cannabis medication to those kids if and when they need it.  

Flickr/Meeshpants

If you’re under 21 and have been convicted of a crime, you might wind up serving time in the juvenile justice system instead of an adult jail. Illinois state lawmakers are considering a measure that would raise the system's age limit from 18 to no more than 20.

School desks
Flickr user: dcJohn www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/

Next Wednesday, March 14, is one month since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and students across the country are planning another walkout.

On Monday, the ACLU of Illinois encouraged schools to take the opportunity for a "lesson in civics."

A series of gun control measures advanced in the Illinois Statehouse this week — requiring state licenses for gun dealers, banning "bump stocks," and raising the purchase age for so-called assault weapons, among other bills.

In Washington, an Illinois case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Janus v. AFSCME challenges "fair share" fees for workers who are in collective bargaining units but don't want to join a union, and could have dire financial implications for public employee labor unions across the country.

via Google Street

Illinois hospitals are one step closer to saving a program that generates a lot of money used to treat low-income patients. State lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a plan on Wednesday that revamps the so-called hospital assessment program.  

Under the program,  Illinois hospitals front money to take care of people with government health insurance. Federal matching payments then add $3.5 billion more. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers voted this week on a string of gun control measures amid renewed national concern about public safety. But Governor Bruce Rauner isn’t saying where he stands on most of the proposals.   

Rauner hasn’t taken questions from Statehouse reporters since last months’ school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

Rachel Otwell, Daisy Contreras, Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

 

Big changes to Illinois' gun laws don't happen often. But a growing movement across the country appears to be resonating in the state's General Assembly.

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