Illinois Issues

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?

'Moneyball' : The 2018 Illinois Governor's Race

Jan 11, 2018
PHOTOS BY BRIAN MACKEY AND KEITH COOPER / CC BY 2.0 / A DERIVATIVE OF MONEY / PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS

This year’s campaign pits a multimillionaire incumbent against a field that includes a multibillionaire in what could be the costliest governor's race in U.S. history.

Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan

The federal government returned the East St. Louis Housing Authority to local control last fall, a sign of confidence in the city's new leadership. But challenges remain, including millions of dollars in repairs and concerns about the conditions at its aging public housing complexes.

New Illinois Laws In 2018

Dec 28, 2017
Meagan Davis / FLICKR

Laws about divorce, pets and traveling elephants will take effect January 1.

With Gov. Bruce Rauner's approval, Illinois legislators designated August 4 as Barack Obama Day in the state. That law along with more than 200 others take effect January 1.

In addition to overhauling the school funding formula and passing a spending plan for the first time in two years, lawmakers approved new consumer protections, rules for electric bikes and animal welfare measures.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois lawmakers ended the state budget impasse and made big changes to how the state pays for public schools. The state also wrestled with the debate over abortion and a nationwide rise in hate incidents.

A derivative of photo by Erik Hersman, licensed under CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

A recent federal appeals court decision struck down the requirement that minor parties offer a full-slate of candidates for statewide or countywide offices, while another court battle looms.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Sexual harassment at the Capitol, workers' rights and student loans — a look at recent action in the state legislature.

Alex Proimos
Flickr Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0

During the more than two years that Illinois went without a state spending plan, hospitals, dentists and other health care providers waited months or even years to get paid for services to state employees and Medicaid patients.

Football players on sideline
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

A 2015 state law required high schools to develop concussion response procedures to protect student-athletes from further injury, but smaller schools may be at a disadvantage.

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

Commentary: Gov. Bruce Rauner recently criticized the Democrats for passing a spending plan that is more than a billion dollars out of balance, according to analysis from his budget office. That same report noted that if one-time revenues are included, the state could see a surplus at the end of the year.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Buying shoes, a new computer or even toilet paper online can be convenient and cheap, but officials in cities across central Illinois say it’s taking a bite out of their budgets.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois and New Jersey are in dire financial straits, but experts hope California's fiscal gains can be duplicated in those states now struggling.

Nancy Hudspeth, who lived in Chicago for nearly 30 years, says she feels as if she escaped the state’s current fiscal problems when she left to pursue a teaching job in California two years ago. Before her move, Hudspeth spent six years analyzing Illinois’ finances with the University of Illinois’ Fiscal Futures Project.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

NPR Illinois and WVIK hosted the eighth Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse on the Quad Cities community. 

DAISY CONTRERAS

Psychologists in Illinois talk of fears they have for young recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Luis Gomez says his anxiety has been exacerbated by the ongoing debate over whether to end DACA.

Last month, the Trump administration announced it was terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also known as DACA. Created by President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential order, DACA grants undocumented youth who entered the country as children temporary protection against deportation, as well as the right to work.

MOLLY ADAMS / FLICKR

Commentary: Is democracy a root cause of the state's budget woes?

State Sen. Andy Manar shepherds historic school funding reform through the legislature after years of failed attempts.

Keith Freeman / Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Illinois' child poverty rate is just as high as it was in 2010. Is the state doing enough to bring it down?

Kellia Phillips’ teen-aged daughters Jaleece and Janae run track. They have had to do so in ill-fitting shoes sometimes as old as three years.

Janae, 13, loves to knit and crochet. Her mother, says, “I could only get her yarn like every three months and she was so much into knitting and crocheting. I still can’t do that for her right now because I have no income.’’ 

Illinois Issues: The Rural Exodus

Aug 10, 2017
Chumlee 10 / Flickr

Analysis: What should be done to respond to loss of rural population?

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

NPR Illinois hosted its fifth Illinois Issues forum August 9 at the Union League Club of Chicago. The listening tour of the state focuses on the financial health of Illinois and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse. 

c/o Eagle Forum (L) & Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth

Illinois remains a battleground over women's rights.

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of  sex. 
—   The proposed Equal Rights Amendment. It might sound simple. It’s not.

Amanda Vinicky

We talked to leaders at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and The Civic Federation to learn about their insights on the state's first spending plan in more than two years.

Cyndy Sims Parr / Flickr

The Land of Lincoln is the country's largest de facto nuclear waste dump.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

The issue pits business interests against privacy concerns.

For Carolyn Parrish, a privacy professional based in Evanston, data privacy is just as important in her personal, everyday life, as it is to keeping her business running.

Credit Carter Staley

NPR Illinois and WDCB hosted an Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget and how it has impacted DuPage County on May 23. 

padlocked keyboard
BLUECOAT.COM

In 2016, the Illinois Board of Elections and the state Republican Party were victims of cybersecurity breaches. But uncertainty lingers as to what the hackers wanted and whether future attacks can be prevented. 

KENT KRIEGSHAUSER / GALESBURG REGISTER-MAIL

Who has been hurt the most by shifts in the Illinois economy?

Protester wearing oversize Madigan mascot head.
Illinois Policy Institute

Anti-Madigan effort fails to sway House members in speaker election.

Jamey Dunn headshot
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. 

Illinois Issues: Great American Divide

Dec 8, 2016
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/darronb/23678720834/in/album-72157663272187471/">Darron Birgenheier</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>) / Michael Davidson - <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillaryclinton/albums">Hillary for America</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>) (derrivative composite)

The presidential election highlighted a divide that is so deep, citizens in Illinois and across the country can’t even agree on the same set of facts.

Flickr/SEIU1

Editor's note -  More than 40,000 undocumented Illinois residents, who came to the country as children, are protected from deportation and are able to work under an executive order put in place by President Barack Obama. But during his campaign, Donald Trump pledged to “immediately terminate” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — often referred to as DACA. 

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