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Capitol News Illinois

New Report Shows Illinois Job, Economic Growth In Electric Transportation Sector

Apr 14, 2021
Charging station in Springfield
Jerry Nowicki / WGLT

A national clean energy trade organization has released a report showing growth in electric transportation-related jobs in Illinois could position the state to lead the domestic supply chain.

Illinois Expands Medicaid Coverage For Mothers

Apr 13, 2021

Illinois will now provide Medicaid benefits to eligible mothers for up to 12 months postpartum, a major extension from the previous 60-day limit.

Pritzker Urges Schools To Target COVID Relief Funds

Apr 5, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker took to the road Monday to urge local school districts in Illinois to carefully target the roughly $7 billion in federal funds they will soon receive in order to help students overcome the learning loss they may have suffered during the pandemic.

Settlement Permits Release Of Up To 1,200 State Prisoners

Mar 25, 2021
 Logan Correctional Center
Seth Perlman / AP

The Illinois Department of Corrections and a number of elderly and medically vulnerable prisoners seeking early release from state prisons due to COVID-19 reached a settlement Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by the inmates against the department.

Illinois To Expand Vaccine Eligibility Ahead Of April 12 Universal Rollout

Mar 19, 2021
several people in safety gear at a vaccination clinic

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday that more groups of people will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of April 12 when everyone over age 16 will become eligible.

Everyone Will Be Vaccine Eligible April 12; Reopening Changes Announced

Mar 18, 2021

All Illinoisans 16 years of age and older outside of Chicago will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning April 12, and the state announced a “metric-based” phase-in to greater reopening Thursday.

Illinois Senate To Begin Redistricting Process

Mar 16, 2021
Don Harmon
Capitol News Illinois file photo

An Illinois Senate committee will hold its first hearing Wednesday to begin the process of redrawing congressional and state legislative districts in line with the 2020 census, despite the fact that detailed census data will likely be unavailable until September.

Commission To Call For Overhaul Of Early Childhood Education Funding

Mar 15, 2021
Will Davis

A commission that Gov. JB Pritzker appointed in 2019 will soon issue a report calling for a complete overhaul in the way the state handles its budget for early childhood education along with a massive increase in funding for early childhood programs.

Pritzker Signs Education Equity Bill Into Law

Mar 8, 2021
Pritzker signs

Gov. JB Pritzker joined members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on Monday to sign a measure aimed at advancing equity in education in the state.

Governor's Eviction Moratorium Extension Expands Tenant Protections

Mar 8, 2021
For Rent sign
Nati Harnik / AP

Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest executive order extending the eviction moratorium for residential tenants adds a new legal protection for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to the pandemic.

Report: Illinois' Pension Debt Tops $300 Billion

Mar 4, 2021
Bar graph
Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability

A new report by the credit rating agency Moody’s says Illinois will set a new record this year when it reports a total net pension liability of more than $300 billion, the highest of any state in the nation.

Madigan Resigns As State Democratic Party Chairman

Feb 22, 2021
Madigan at a podium
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan announced Monday that he is resigning as chairman of the state Democratic Party, a post he has held since 1998.

The announcement came just days after Madigan resigned his seat in the House after a 50-year career in the General Assembly.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Feb 22, 2021
Pritzker holds up paper

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a criminal justice omnibus bill backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Monday, abolishing cash bail, overhauling police certification and reforming use-of-force standards among numerous other provisions.

Ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan To Resign Seat

Feb 18, 2021

Former House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, 78, announced Thursday he will step down from the state House of Representatives after 50 years in office.

Panel Approves 'Culturally Responsive' Teaching Standards

Feb 17, 2021
Andre Thapedi
Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois

A legislative panel on Wednesday allowed the Illinois State Board of Education to move forward with new rules that call on colleges and universities in the state to change the way prospective teachers and administrators are trained in order to make them more accommodating to diverse students.

Pritzker Outlines $41.6 Billion Budget With Flat Spending

Feb 17, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker outlined a $41.6 billion budget proposal Wednesday that would hold most state agencies at flat funding levels but which relies heavily on increased federal funds as well as changes to the state’s corporate tax structure that lawmakers have not yet approved.

Weather Causing Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Delays

Feb 16, 2021
Woman receiving COVID-19 vaccine
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

State officials have been notified that winter weather across much of the U.S. is causing delays in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine shipments, according to a Tuesday release.

State To Expand Vaccine Eligibility To Individuals With Underlying Conditions

Feb 10, 2021
Pritzker at a podium

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday that the state plans to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals of all ages who have comorbidities and underlying conditions by Feb. 25.

Pritzker's Office Says No Tax Hikes, Flat Spending In Upcoming Budget

Feb 9, 2021
Pritzker at podium
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Gov. JB Pritzker’s office says he will propose a budget with no tax increases for the upcoming fiscal year, and the deficit is now projected at about $2.5 billion less than previously thought.

Illinois To Ramp Up Vaccine Distribution

Feb 3, 2021
Julie Pride with Pritzker

The state will soon start ramping up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as part of its effort to further limit the spread of the disease.

DCFS Reports 17% Decline In Child Death Cases

Feb 3, 2021
DCFS building
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Child welfare officials in Illinois reported a 17 percent decline in the number of child death cases they investigated during the previous fiscal year — an indicator, they say, of progress in addressing previous shortcomings.

How Illinois' Criminal Justice Bill Would Overhaul Officer Certification

Feb 1, 2021
Kwame Raoul
Capitol News Illinois / File

A criminal justice package that passed both chambers of the General Assembly last month contains provisions that would grant the state increased power over police discipline and standards of conduct starting in 2022.

Pritzker Activates National Guard As FBI Warns Of State Capitol Protests

Jan 15, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photos by Peter Hancock

Gov. JB Pritzker has activated 250 members of the Illinois National Guard amid FBI warnings of potential armed protests at the 50 U.S. state capitols in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Crews could also be seen Friday placing plywood over the windows of the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield.

McLean County Improves Into Tier 2 COVID Mitigations

Jan 15, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker announced revisions to his COVID-19 mitigation tiers Friday that would allow earlier indoor dining, but no regions have thus far met the requirements.

Welch To Become State's First Black Speaker Of Illinois House

Jan 13, 2021
Gordon-Booth and Welch

UPDATED 9:05 p.m. | One of the most transformative six-day periods in the history of Illinois government came to an end Wednesday with the election of Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, as the state’s House speaker – the first Black man to hold the title.

Black Caucus Passes Criminal Justice Omnibus Bill Through Senate

Jan 13, 2021
Elgie Sims speaks

The Illinois Senate passed a criminal justice omnibus bill early Wednesday morning after a grueling 20 hours of politicking during Tuesday’s lame duck session.

Black Caucus Puts Welch Forth As Speaker Candidate; Williams And Kifowit Withdraw

Jan 13, 2021
Welch on the floor
Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

One day after state House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, announced a suspension – but not a withdrawal – of his campaign for another term as speaker, a state representative who has been accused of being a staunch Madigan protector has launched a bid for the post.

Governor Weighs In On Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Jan 12, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Gov. JB Pritzker took questions on a massive criminal justice omnibus bill backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on Monday, noting he was generally “in favor of the process and the work that the Black Caucus has done overall.”

When pressed on specific provisions in the bill that have been seen as controversial, especially as it relates to changes in how policing is done in the state, Pritzker said he would wait until the final version of the bill is presented to him.

Some Counties Entering Next Phase Of Vaccine Distribution

Jan 11, 2021
Ezike speaks at podium
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

Some regions of the state could see loosened COVID-19 restrictions as early as Friday as some counties have already transitioned to the next phase of vaccine distribution, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday.

Madigan Suspends Speaker Campaign: 'This Is Not A Withdrawal'

Jan 11, 2021
Madigan on the floor
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

UPDATED 2:25 p.m. | Michael Madigan announced he would suspend his campaign for House Speaker of the 102nd General Assembly on Monday, but his statement made clear he was not withdrawing from the race.