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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers say they've made real progress toward passage of a budget. But even if they can get it passed by the scheduled end of session next Thursday (May 31), the big question remains: Will Gov. Bruce Rauner sign or veto it?

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Illinois lawmakers on Friday rejected legislation that would have loosened restriction on how police use drone surveillance. It was meant to help law enforcement keep tabs on large crowds.


Illinois legislators are trying to help state taxpayers get around limitations in the new federal tax law. But the federal government may negate the plan before it even has a chance to become law.

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State lawmakers are continuing to push Illinois gun legislation in the wake of a recent run of mass shootings. The Illinois House approved a measure Wednesday that would allow police to take guns away from someone if a court finds them dangerous.


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.

Illinois State Police

 

For this week’s Illinois Issues, we bring you a story about a measure that would train more nurses how to collect DNA evidence after a sexual assault for use in a criminal trial, often referred to as rape kits. NPR Illinois spoke with Melissa Souto about her experience undergoing the testing.

Souto, a 23-year-old Chicago resident, said she was sexually assaulted two years ago on an Illinois college campus. She could not say where since her legal case is pending. Following the incident, Souto decided to get a rape kit.

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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.

Operation Kidsafe

When a new employee is fingerprinted for a job in Illinois, the employer receives a snapshot of their criminal record, and they receive notifications for any future run-ins with the law in the state. But lawmakers are considering a proposal that would also allow employers to be notified of convictions that happen across state lines.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois lawmakers are pushing a measure to allow immigrants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse to more easily make their case to the police.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

An Illinois House committee Monday discussed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty for mass shooters and for those who murder police officers. The proposal is part of a broader public safety plan put forth in an amendatory veto.  

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

After more than two years of extensive renovations, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner moved back into the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield on Monday.

MATT ALANIZ ON UNSPLASH

Talks to legalize sports betting in Illinois have heated up after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban last week.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite a gun bill, simultaneously proposing more gun control than the original bill called for while also reinstating the death penalty.

Meanwhile, local governments are complaining about the state's attempt to share less money from the income tax, while gambling interests prepare to fight it out after the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for legal sports betting in every state.

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The Illinois General Assembly approved a measure allowing parents to give their kids medical marijuana while at school.


Rachel Otwell / NPR IllINOIS | 91.9 UIS

Illinois House members will soon consider a measure that clarifies whether graduate research assistants have the right to unionize.  But, Wednesday's Human Services committee hearing took quite a detour. 

State Representative Jonathan Carroll website

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner this week added sweeping changes to a piece of gun legislation, in a move some state legislators called “political gamesmanship” and “unconstitutional.” But the lawmaker behind the original bill isn’t backing down, announcing Wednesday he's asking the Illinois House to agree with those changes.


Illinois Republican Party

After weeks of feuding within the Illinois Republican Party an unusual agreement has been reached with hopes of bridging the divide.

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois lawmakers have two weeks to get together a spending plan. Officials from cities across the state are going on the offensive to keep lawmakers from balancing the budget by raiding their pockets.

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About 114 million people visited Illinois last year, setting a new state record. That’s according to the latest state tourism data released on Tuesday.


Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Update 5/16/18: The Senate approved the measure 35-18.  After Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a proposal to license gun dealers, several legislators are suggesting a new, bipartisan approach in hopes of getting his support. 

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Illinois legislators are taking up a measure to change the way police gather information for gang databases. It comes after more than a year of controversy surrounding the Chicago Police Department’s data collection practices.


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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state should be able to execute those who kill police officers or commit mass shootings. The Governor proposed that and several other measures on Monday in an amendatory veto of gun legislation.


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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Equal Rights Amendment is back in the news and back in the Statehouse, as supporters make another push for ratification in Illinois.

Meanwhile, the fiscal watchdog group The Civic Federation is out with a critique of Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget proposal and its own plan for the state, and a southern Illinois county declares itself a sanctuary for gun owners.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democratic and Republican candidates for Illinois governor will soon receive a written pledge in the mail asking them to support the new law expanding abortion coverage -- and oppose any push to repeal it.  

After a 12-day strike beginning in February, the University of Illinois and graduate student employees settled on a new contract that includes pay raises and tuition waiver protections. Now lawmakers want to clarify who is eligible for those benefits. 

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Ongoing budget talks at the Illinois Statehouse have shown no real sign of progress. This week, Senate Democrats pressed Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration this week to explain its proposal to shift pension costs to local school districts.


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The Civic Federation, a Chicago-based fiscal watchdog group Wednesday said Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal is unrealistic and relies on money that may never come through. The group’s report calls it “precariously balanced”.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers busted a lot of brackets and captured a lot of hearts when the men’s basketball team, as an 11 seed, made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. For their accomplishments, they were honored at the Illinois State Capitol on Wednesday.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois is promoting its ties to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. State tourism officials on Tuesday unveiled a self-guided trail linking more than a dozen Wright-designed homes.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

With time against them, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and top leaders met again Tuesday morning to talk about adopting a budget before next month. But – there is some disagreement between leaders about just how helpful these meetings have been.

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