Daisy Contreras | WGLT

Daisy Contreras

Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project.  She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield.  She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College.  Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has agreed to pay raises and money owed to the state’s more than 40,000 child care workers and home aides.  

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. All eyes now turn to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has yet to say where he stands on the idea. 

It's not the first time some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to end the so-called gender pay gap. The House of Representatives approved a measure Wednesday that could be a first step. 

Illinois lawmakers in the House voted Tuesday to raise the age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.  Last year, the proposal made it to the governor’s desk, but then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it. Supporters of the change are more optimistic this time.  

 

Illinois lawmakers are moving quickly to draft a plan for a minimum wage increase. But, there are competing ideas on how to approach it. 

JB Pritzker
Vishesh Anand / Illinois Public Media

It was a good day to be a Democrat in Illinois as Gov. J.B. Pritzker was sworn in on Monday along with a diverse group of statewide office holders.

On his way out of office, Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a few pointers to the Illinois Republican Party. He also touts what he views as the main achievements of his administration. 

Two small towns in rural Illinois recently lost their Walmart stores -- more than three decades after the retail giant came in and pushed out mom and pop shops. Now, the communities have lost convenience as well as major property and sales tax revenue. Some see it as an opportunity to revitalize main street, while others are not so optimistic.

Democrats dominated in Illinois Tuesday night — easily taking all statewide races on the ballot.  

Illinois lawmakers are trying to gauge whether legalizing sports betting could help the state earn some much-needed revenue.  Experts say the plan has long-term benefits, but only if it’s done right.  

With only three weeks until Election Day, the Illinois State Board of Elections wants to reassure voters their information is safe from cyberattacks. 

Vice President Mike Pence was in Springfield Friday, stumping for Congressman Rodney Davis. Pence has been crisscrossing the country to help GOP candidates maintain control of districts that could flip Democratic in the midterm election.


In the wake of the #metoo movement and the spotlight on assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, more states — including Illinois — are rethinking how sex education should be taught in public schools. 
 

Illinois roads and bridges are in major disrepair. But after a two-year budget impasse and a backlog of bills that the state is struggling to cover, infrastructure continues to take a backseat. This year, advocates and lawmakers plan to change that.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a plan last week that would bar employers from asking about salary history. Now, some lawmakers say these actions could impact the governor’s race in which Rauner is vying for a second term.

Alan Beaman with his mother
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday from a man trying to sue the police for wrongfully convicting him.

Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision to not seek re-election after over 15 years in office drew a plethora of candidates to the ballot. The last three standing, Republican nominee Erika Harold, Democratic candidate Kwame Raoul and Libertarian Bubba Harsy, continue to battle it out with just nine weeks until the general election.

Republicans held their annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield Wednesday with a message of party unity.  Bruce Rauner still holds the top office in state government. But as he pushes for re-election, he’s trying to appease conservatives who feel betrayed and whose support he needs to win a second term.   

With temperatures expected to reach the mid-90s over the next few days  -- and the heat index even higher, road buckling could become a problem for some Illinois motorists. 

The debate continues over whether Illinois’ law allowing for taxpayer-funded abortions violates the state constitution. A trial judge dismissed the case last year but anti-abortion advocates are fighting back.  

The Illinois General Assembly is considering a proposal to expand birth control access.