News

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.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

A measure to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment got approval from an Illinois House committee Wednesday, in what could be the final step before it's called for a decisive vote in that chamber.  

The measure has already passed the state Senate. Opponents argue it could mandate government funded abortions and force co-ed prison populations.

Chief sponsor and Democratic representative from Skokie, Lou Lang, says two of his colleagues told him they're worried a "yes" vote could be used against them in future campaigns.

Suicide A Driver Of Gun Deaths In Rural America

May 16, 2018
Beth Martinez and her brother Ben Bloom
Courtesy Beth Martinez

The national conversation around gun violence generally centers around mass shootings, school shootings and gang activity. These problems need to be addressed, but may overshadow the largest group affected: suicide victims.


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

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. 

How Schools Can Help Kids Traumatized By Gun Violence

May 15, 2018
Teachers in Champaign receiving training in trauma
Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill. to learn about how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.


Wikimedia Commons

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.


via Illinois Central Management Services video

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.


JohnTann-WikimediaCommons

Update: The measure heads to Governor Bruce Rauner's desk. Sponsor state Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) has not yet heard whether the governor will support the idea. The Governor's Office did not respond for comment. 

Police Data Show Gun Violence A Chronic, Growing Problem Across Illinois

May 14, 2018
Pam Dempsey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016.

He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois.

 


flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder

Legislators of both parties are calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to voice support for the Equal Rights Amendment. While a ratification proposal passed the state Senate - it has yet to be called for a vote in the House, where it appears there may not yet be enough votes to gain the supermajority needed. But what's really at stake?

State Week logo
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.

Panel listens to audience question at Forum
UIS Office of Electronic Media / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Watch the first Illinois Issues Forum from Springfield.  Our 2018 election coverage starts discussing the fiscal health of Illinois. 

This forum is produced and hosted by NPR Illinois with support provided by AARP Illinois. 

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. 

via IL Senate Democrats Twitter account

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.


Flickr User: soundfromwayout

Chris Quintana covers the "culture wars" on college campuses and other news for The Chronicle of Higher Education. He was intrigued by the story of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's one-time icon, Chief Illiniwek. Quintana visited the school and surrounding area for a story released earlier this year.

TaxCredits.net / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.

Rachel Otwell

A decades-long battle for state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment is still waging on. On Tuesday, supporters traveled from different areas of the state to urge lawmakers to act.

via Illinois Central Management Services

lllinois' 3 million Medicaid users will soon have more access to mental health and substance abuse treatments. Officials in Washington, D.C. ok’d a new state program that sets aside about $2 billion in Medicaid funds for the services.


Flickr: Gabriel Garcia Marengo / 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers want to prevent a shooting similar to the one that happened in Las Vegas last year. A proposal, approved by the Senate, addresses security concerns around large-scale events.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

When the massive school funding formula package passed last year, Republicans asked for so-called “mandate relief,” including more flexibility in PE requirements. But now that the massive reform package has been implemented, some Democrats are trying to walk back that relief. 

VOX EFX / FLICKR

Casting a ballot before election day is becoming more popular in Illinois, according to a report by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR). The group found that the percentage of voters opting to vote before election day climbed to 22 percent this primary compared to 18 percent in 2016.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Arguments over a flat versus graduated income tax continue among lawmakers; more political fallout surrounding the Quincy Veterans' Home; and Paul Vallas announces he's running for Mayor of Chicago.

Tony Arnold and Dave McKinney from WBEZ Public Radio in Chicago join the panel.

Flickr: rick / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Illinois Senate approved a measure intended to provide courts with more guidance on what to do when a minor is caught with a stolen car. But some juvenile justice groups say lawmakers are missing the bigger picture.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Mounting pension debt, persistent cash flow issues, and political gridlock – Illinois has a lot of problems. But it wasn’t always this way.

In a recent article for the magazine Governing, Daniel Vock examines how the state got here

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

Now retired, Lea Joy became part of the Springfield Police Department in 1983. She had three children and had been a social worker, but she felt too powerless in that role. She wanted to make things better.

Pages