Jamey Dunn

Former Illinois Issues Editor

No other news initiative explains Illinois as well as Illinois Issues.

Illinois Issues is dedicated to providing in-depth analysis of public policy in our state. With a special focus on Illinois government and politics, Illinois Issues pays close attention to current trends and examines the state's quality of life.

Illinois Issues was a monthly print magazine, in continuous publication since 1975 by the University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University). In 2015, it transitioned to a digital publication. Now Illinois Issues offers a weekly in-depth story, published on Thursday mornings, along with a companion radio piece that airs on NPR Illinois and other public radio stations throughout the state. 

Our readers and listeners tell us they rely on Illinois Issues to keep up with Illinois government and politics. We also publish an annual up-to-date directory called the Roster of State Government Officials — a resource our readers find invaluable year-round.

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mattpenning.com / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

 Jamey Dunn is leaving the position of Illinois Issues editor. In this week’s Illinois Issues report, she reflects on her time working here and covering state government. 

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

A year-end overview of 2016, in which Illinois finds itself in much the same situation as it was 12 months ago, but with an even deeper budget hole and increasingly dire straits for social services and higher education.

A new law that goes into effect in January is intended to prevent access to firearms for residents whose license to own a gun in the state has been revoked.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, says the law will help the state police let local law enforcement officials know when someone's Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card has been rescinded because there is an order of protection against them.

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

There’s still no budget for Illinois, but some big changes to education policy kicked in this year. As the contentious presidential election played out, several national issues affected the lives of citizens here.

Severin at campaign office
Severin Campaign

New members of the General Assembly will be take office in January. We plan to catch up with them to see why they want the job and what they hope to accomplish.

IGPA

Those who work for Illinois organizations that provide services to survivors of domestic violence say the fact that there’s no funding for them in the soon-to-expire state spending plan was an unfortunate surprise.

Jamey Dunn
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn and guest Dave Dahl (WTAX) discuss the end of the veto session.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

Office of Sen. David Luechtefeld

Several long-serving lawmakers are retiring from the General Assembly when their terms end in January.  

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the time they spent as legislators.

flickr/ TaxCredits.net

New projections show nibbling around the edges of the state’s budget problems will get Illinois nowhere. 

Jamey Dunn
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn and guests Emilee Fannon (WCIA) and Andy Maloney (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) discuss the latest meeting of Governor Bruce Rauner and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

flickr/ DonkeyHotey

This year, Illinois Republicans, backed by campaign cash from Gov. Bruce Rauner, are looking to knock some Democratic incumbents out of their seats in the General Assembly. At the same time, Democrats in the state are trying to pick off Republican lawmakers. Lee Enterprises’ Statehouse Bureau Chief Dan Petrella recently wrote a story on the power of incumbency and campaign spending in state legislative races. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn recently sat down with Petrella to talk about it. 

voting booths
flickr/ Mortimer62

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is encouraging his supporters to keep an eye out for possible voting fraud on Election Day. 

In most states, including Illinois, poll watchers are required to get credentials from the State Board of Elections or local election authorities. “Somebody just can’t show up at the polling place (and say,) ‘I want to be a poll watcher. I want to watch.’ You can’t do that. You have to have credentials,” says Jim Tenuto, assistant executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.    

IGPA

Illinois spent last fiscal year without a budget. During that time, billions of dollars were cut from core services. The state also ran up billions of dollars in debt. A new report looks at how most of this was done without going through the normal Democratic process. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth participated in their first televised presidential debate this week. Kirk made a comment about his opponent's ethnic heritage for which he later felt compelled to apologize. We'll ask Charlie Wheeler why voters should care about the special election for Illinois comptroller. And Sen. Dick Durbin might mean it when he says he isn't interested in taking on Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018.

flickr/ DonkeyHotey

The presidential race is capturing most voters' attention. But here in Illinois, there's record-breaking spending going into races for the General Assembly. Hanging in the balance is the state of Illinois, or at least its budget, anyway.

road construction
Gary Brown via Flickr (gsbrown99)

Voters in the general election will be asked to weigh in on a proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution that would protect money set aside for transportation projects. The plan is sometimes referred to as the transportation funding lockbox amendment. 

Public Domain

Even though it has lasted nearly a year and a half, most Illinois voters say they haven’t personally felt the effects of the state budget impasse. That’s according to a poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which is based at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. 

Several long-serving members of the General Assembly have chosen not to run for reelection this year.

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the years they spent as lawmakers. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Republicans continue to struggle with their reactions to Donald Trump's bus video. Congressman Rodney Davis withdrew his endorsement while Gov. Bruce Rauner continues trying to dodge the question.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune editorial board is backing Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth over Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, citing concerns about Krik's ability to do the job following his 2012 stroke. And the advocacy arm of the conservative Illinois Policy Institute has screened its movie attacking House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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Adults with disabilities often face long waiting lists for services or placements in group homes. This leaves parents filling the role of primary caregiver, often with little outside help.

In recent years, there have been multiple incidents of parents in the Chicago suburbs killing their adult children with disabilities and then killing themselves or trying to kill themselves. 

These tragedies prompted the Daily Herald to look at the pressures caregiver parents face. Marie Wilson wrote a series of stories on that topic. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talked with Wilson about her stories. 

Jamey Dunn
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn and guests Brian Mackey (WUIS) and Bruce Rushton (IL Times) discuss a case of voter fraud in Kankakee County.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

Monarch Butterfly
Adele Hodde / Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The Monarch butterfly population has dropped dramatically in recent years, and the federal government is now considering endangered species protection for the butterfly. 

Monarchs travel through Illinois each year as part of their migration. Earlier this month, conservation experts and state officials held a summit to discuss the state's plan for monarch conservation. 

hourglass with dollar signs instead of sand filtering through
flickr/ Bill Brooks

Before he ran for governor, Bruce Rauner described a plan to use funding for social services as a “wedge” issue to persuade Democrats to support anti-union proposals. The fact that lawmakers did nothing to address the rollback of the temporary income tax increase, which was passed in 2011, set the stage for him to try out his strategy.

flickr/ 401kcalculator.org

The political spotlight has shifted to the election, but the state budget crisis continues to cost the people of Illinois. 

House Republicans

Several long-serving members of the General Assembly are not running for reelection this year.

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the years they spent as lawmakers.

Jamey Dunn and Brian Mackey
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn, Brian Mackey, and Andy Maloney (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) talk about the new movie about the Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

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

This week, discussion of a recent ruling on negotiations between AFSCME and Governor Rauner.  Also, enrollment numbers released for the state's public universities, and reflecting on the death of Phyllis Schlafly.  Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn and Ivan Moreno of the Associated Press join the panel.

Courtesy of Shannon Bumann

Last month, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law that will allow high school or middle school students excused absences from school for playing the song Taps at military funerals in the state.

Rep. Don Moffitt, a Republican from Gilson, sponsored the legislation. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn sat down with him to talk about it.

The measure goes into effect in January.  You can find out more about Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps, a service organization for high school students, here. 

Jamey Dunn
Network Knowledge

Host Jamey Dunn and guests Jordan Abudayyeh (WICS) and Bruce Ruston (IL Times) discuss the latest on the redistricting lawsuit and social service provider lawsuit.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

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

  Advocates for changing how Illinois’ legislative districts are drawn are not done yet, there’s continuing fallout from the ongoing unnatural disaster known as the Illinois budget, and Chicago violence hits a grim milestone.

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