Cook County

Jaclyn Driscoll

Cook County’s controversial sugary drink tax has been repealed roughly two months after it took effect. Following legal battles and an outcry from both consumers and business owners, the penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages will no longer be collected after December 1, 2017 which is the beginning of the county’s new fiscal year.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' high court has been asked to decide once and for all whether Illinois can pay government workers when there's no state budget.

Lisa Madigan at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

 A stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget has taken a new political turn. It comes as the Attorney General is asking a court to determine what bills Illinois can pay when the state has no spending authority.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has been feuding with Democrats, especially Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan. Now Rauner's taking aim at the Speaker's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.


Illinois students could get a day off of school come election day. Schools are often at the heart of a community, metaphorically, if not literally. That's part of the reason they've long been voting sites.

But with shootings at schools across the country, some lawmakers are concerned the practice is dangerous.

Most of the time visitors need to sign in before entering a school; they say allowing anyone in on election day is asking for trouble.

Wikimedia Commons/user: kmaschke

Jury duty could soon be open to people who are not fluent in the English language. The Illinois Senate today approved a pilot program to provide translators for jurors.

Illinois law currently says jurors must be able to "understand the English language." This proposal would allow jurors who speak other languages to have interpreters.

It's the idea of Dan Locallo, a retired Cook County judge.

One Illinois same-sex couple has gotten married after a judge ruled ruled gay couples in the Chicago area don't have to wait until June to marry.
Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe were married Friday afternoon in downtown Chicago. They have been together 22 years and have three children. Clerk David Orr said he would start offering the licenses Friday after the federal judge's ruling. It applies only to Cook County.
A judge waived the 24-hour waiting period for Santos and Volpe because they were plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Twenty years ago, almost no one would have thought to call the Fox River village of Oswego a “suburb.” Located 50 miles from Chicago’s Loop, Oswego was incorporated before the Civil War. By 1990, it still had fewer than 4,000 residents. But Oswego’s fortunes changed dramatically in the two decades that followed.

Bethany Jaeger
WUIS/Illinois Issues


Despite paying for such essential services as ambulances, libraries, pensions for police and firefighters and, most of all, public schools, the property tax is often described as the tax most homeowners love to hate. 

The sign on the door used to read “Men Only.” A woman could be at the top of her law school class, but she wasn’t getting into the judiciary. In recent years, though, women have chipped that figurative sign off the door of the Cook County Circuit Court, and a growing number of them are becoming judges.

This increase is attributed largely to the creation of judicial subcircuits within that county, and to a rise in the sheer number of women lawyers.

In the 36th Ward’s storefront office, just down the street from the Turner Bowl on Chicago’s Northwest Side, prosecutor Dennis Michael McGuire waited patiently on a Friday afternoon in November as candidates for the 5th Congressional District and other elected posts paraded before seven Democratic committeemen. McGuire wants to be a judge, and judicial candidates are last to be considered by the committeemen, last on the ballot and last to capture the attention of the media.