Daisy Contreras

Reporter

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois.  She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s  degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues.  Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter.  She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.

Flick: Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

After Illinois was targeted by Russian hackers prior to the 2016 elections and voter information leaked, securing future data has become a priority.  The state may now look to emerging technology for one possible solution.       

Flickr: SEIU / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, turned eight years old this month — despite a push from many Republicans in Congress to repeal it.  The legislation allows close to six million people in Illinois with pre-existing conditions to obtain health insurance. It also allows those experiencing homelessness to qualify even if they don't have dependents.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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

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.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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.

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.

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Makers of generic pharmaceuticals are pushing back against an attempt to regulate prices in the industry.

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.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Several gun-related proposals passed an Illinois House hearing Tuesday. 

Illinois House floor
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Following the Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead, Democrats in the Illinois House plan to take up a package of gun safety measures this week.

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Several Illinois lawmakers want added regulations on car title loans. They say some lenders charge interest rates in the triple digits, putting borrowers at risk of losing their cars. 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should at least temporarily step down as head of the Democratic Party, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Survivors of domestic violence who want to change their name might get additional protections under a new Illinois proposal.  

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

  

Illinois is joining 35 other states this year attempting to give divorced couples equal parenting time. The issue is stirring debate among family law attorneys, mental health professionals, parents and others.  

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner has begun airing TV ads attacking his Republican primary opponent — state Representative Jeanne Ives. This is a departure from his previous campaign strategy.

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The Illinois legislature will soon discuss if good Samaritans should be allowed to rescue kids and pets left inside hot vehicles. The plan would decriminalize breaking windows or opening locked doors when the temperature makes it a potentially deadly situation.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner sparred with Republican primary challenger Jeanne Ives before the Chicago Tribune editorial board this week; the Democratic challengers continued to jockey for position; and Rauner delivered the annual State of the State Address.

NPR Illinois' Daisy Contreras and the Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson join the panel.

Quincy Veterans Home Website- www.quincyivh.org / Quincy Veterans Home

The future of the Quincy Veteran's Home remains uncertain, as 13 deaths have occurred there in recent years related to Legionnaires' disease. The outcome may impact an entire region. 

Laura and Scott Knudsen

Many research labs across the country use animals for testing products such as make-up or medicines. For the past decade, advocates have pushed to get more of these animals — especially research dogs — adopted after they are no longer needed. Just a handful of states have policies in place. Illinois just recently joined that list.

Katie Buck / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

President Donald Trump’s administration has been in power for a year now. “State of Trump” is our series discussing what’s changed in the state and what might be ahead.

Diane Doherty is the executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition. She talks about federally funded programs for low-income individuals — such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — and their future in 2018.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

Update: February 7, 2018 - A memo sent out to all Capitol Complex employees detailed Legionella bacteria testing came back positive in four of the 300 preliminary test results. The memo says tests are ongoing and final results are expected to come out in another two weeks.

According to Dave Druker, spokesperson for the Secretary of State's office, two of the positive tests came from the Computer Center at 201 West Adams. A women's bathroom in the Howlett Building also tested positive. Druker says a flushing program has been ongoing there since before these results came out. The fourth positive test came from the Capitol building's south end, where a humidifier has been shut off as a precaution. Another set of 300 test results are expected to come out in about fourteen days. 

Katie Buck / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Health centers in Illinois are forming partnerships with local food banks to offer fresh fruits and vegetables to some patients. With an estimated 1.5 million residents in the state classified as food insecure by the U.S. census, could this be a key approach to improving food access?

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Advocates across Illinois are calling on the state to change the way it handles young people who’ve committed serious crimes. They want to end the use of large prison facilities.

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A new Illinois law breaks down the guidelines an attorney must follow in a so-called “collaborative divorce”. 

Many blind parents say they have fallen prey to preconceived biases involving their children and their parenting capabilities. A new law in Illinois aims to address these concerns.

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Illinois lawmakers acted quickly last month in response to sexual harassment allegations at the statehouse.  But several female legislators say this isn't a quick fix.  They say the process was rushed and not enough thought was given to explore alternative options.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, says the new policies were not inclusive of everyone affected by the issue—such as legislative staff and lobbyists. She says she hopes newly formed legislative task forces in the House and Senate will resolve this concern. 

Several women running for statewide office.
IL General Assembly, Comptroller's Office, Lieutenant Governor's Office, Friends of Nancy Rotering, Darlene Senger, Erika Harold.

National politics and the recent surge of sexual harassment allegations have resulted in calls to increase the number of female candidates in the 2018 races for legislative and statewide offices. But Illinois did not necessarily follow along with these expectations.

pills pouring from bottle into palm
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In another step to help prevent more overdose related deaths, the state of Illinois rolled out a 24/7 opioid and substance addiction helpline Tuesday.

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