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Capitol News Illinois

State Announces Winter Sports Restrictions

Oct 27, 2020
Pritzker speaks

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced new guidelines for youth and adult winter sports on Tuesday that temporarily put a halt to competitive basketball, hockey and wrestling events.

State To Fund 2 Manufacturing Training Academies

Oct 27, 2020
Pritzker at a podium

The state of Illinois plans to invest $15 million to construct two new manufacturing training academies at downstate community colleges.

Lawmakers Push To Reform State's Bail System

Oct 23, 2020
Robert Peters speaks

Some state lawmakers are looking to reform the cash bail system in Illinois, mainly by ending the use of money bonds as a factor in preventing a suspect’s release.

People testify
Capitol News Illinois

Despite a temporary rule that extends the expiration dates for Firearm Owners Identification cards and concealed carry permits, many Illinois gun owners are still finding it difficult to buy weapons and ammunition.

Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

One of the major questions Illinois voters will answer on Nov. 3 will be on the ballot statewide – whether to amend the state’s constitution to allow for a graduated rate income tax.

The top Republican in the Illinois House on Thursday called for Democrats, including Gov. JB Pritzker, to either demand that Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan answer questions before a Special Investigating Committee or resign immediately.

During a virtual news conference, Minority Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, openly accused the investigating committee’s chairman, Hillside Democrat Emanuel “Chris” Welch, of deliberately stalling the investigation until after the Nov. 3 election, a move that Republicans warn could thwart the entire investigation.

AARP, Senior Groups Stump For Graduated Tax, Address Retirement Income Claims

Oct 7, 2020
State Treasurer Michael Frerichs
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A group of retirees organized through the senior advocacy group AARP held a virtual news conference Wednesday to express support for a graduated tax constitutional amendment and opposition to a tax on retirement income – two things that they note are mutually exclusive.

Pritzker and Stratton
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker announced seven “guiding principles” Tuesday to “build a more equitable criminal justice system,” a series of policy recommendations the governor says are priorities for his administration as it works with the General Assembly.

State Health Officials Issue Halloween Guidance

Sep 30, 2020
Dr. Ngozi Ezike

The state announced Halloween COVID-19 guidance encouraging social distancing while trick-or-treating, and the governor took questions in a virtual news conference Wednesday.

More Than 2 Million Mail-In Ballots Requested In Illinois

Sep 30, 2020
i voted stickers
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

More than 2 million Illinois voters have requested vote-by-mail ballots and more than 26,000 such ballots have already been returned, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Madigan Declines To Testify To Investigating Committee

Sep 25, 2020
Madigan walks
Ted Schurter / The State Journal-Register

House Speaker Michael Madigan said Friday that he will not testify before the House Special Investigating Committee that is probing his role in a bribery scheme involving utility giant Commonwealth Edison, and it’s not likely that most of the other potential witnesses that Republicans want to hear from will testify either.

Pritzker, Lightfoot Condemn Breonna Taylor Decision

Sep 23, 2020
Protestors in Louisville
John Minchillo / AP

Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned a Jefferson County, Kentucky, grand jury’s decision to not charge Louisville officers in the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor and called for protests of the decision to be peaceful.

State-Regulated Utilities Extend Shutoff Moratorium To Winter 2021

Sep 23, 2020
"Thermostat" by midnightcomm is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Several state-regulated utilities have voluntarily extended a moratorium on disconnections into next year after requests from the Illinois Commerce Commission. 

Illinois Won't Take Part In Trump's Payroll Tax Deferral Program

Sep 17, 2020
Comptroller Susana Mendoza
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Illinois plans to continue withholding federal payroll taxes on behalf of its 62,000 employees despite a program President Trump launched in August that allows workers to defer paying those taxes through the end of the year.

Child Welfare Officials Say They’re Coping During Pandemic

Sep 14, 2020
Department of Children and Family Services building in Springfield
Capitol News Illinois

Child welfare officials in Illinois told a panel of state lawmakers Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered but not completely prevented their efforts to monitor children at risk of abuse or neglect.

Lawmakers, Stakeholders Ask Pritzker To Pause Marijuana Licensing Process

Sep 9, 2020
Toi Hutchinson

Some lawmakers and stakeholders are asking Gov. JB Pritzker to hold off awarding 75 marijuana dispensary licenses amid concerns that just 21 applicants qualified for the first round of licenses.

GOP Investigators Hope To Get Answers From Madigan

Sep 9, 2020
State lawmakers at a podium
Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois

Republicans who will serve on a special investigative committee looking into House Speaker Michael Madigan’s role in a bribery scandal involving utility giant Commonwealth Edison said Wednesday they hope the Democratic leader will speak directly to answer questions.

State's Wealthiest Person Gives $20 Million To Anti-Graduated Tax Committee

Sep 4, 2020
Cash in a jar
Mark Lennihan / AP

Illinois’ wealthiest man and frequent Republican political donor Ken Griffin has pledged $20 million to a group dedicated to defeating a graduated tax constitutional amendment.

After Republican Petition, Special Committee Will Investigate Madigan's ComEd Ties

Sep 2, 2020
Madigan at a podium
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A special House committee will look into House Speaker Michael Madigan’s ties to Commonwealth Edison and determine whether discipline is needed after House Republican leadership filed a petition to initiate the process.

Legislative Black Caucus Unveils Anti-Racism Agenda

Sep 1, 2020
Elgie Sims sentencing

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus released its agenda of “sweeping reforms” meant to address systemic racism in the state at a news conference Tuesday.

Advocate Warns Of Moving Foster Children To Managed Care

Aug 31, 2020
Department of Children and Family Services building in Springfield
Capitol News Illinois

The state is moving ahead with its plan to shift an estimated 18,000 children from the child welfare system into a health care coverage plan despite warnings from children’s advocates that the change will cut many of those children off from access to the critical care they need.

IDPH Voting Guidance Specifies Social Distancing, Recommends Masks

Aug 31, 2020
I Voted stickers on a roll
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The Illinois Department of Public Health has released in-person voting guidelines for election authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 this year.

Kindergarten Readiness Improves For Second Straight Year

Aug 24, 2020
Illinois State Board of Education

The number of Illinois children entering kindergarten who are fully prepared to start school grew for the second consecutive year in 2019, a possible indication that the state’s increased spending on early childhood education is paying off.

Four Republican Legislators Demand Ethics, Lobbying Reform Commission Hold Meetings

Aug 24, 2020
Grant Wehrli

Four Republican lawmakers implored the co-leaders of a bipartisan, bicameral and multi-branch panel designed to present ethics and lobbying reform proposals to restart meetings that have stalled since the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Senate GOP Demands Governor Open IDES Offices

Aug 21, 2020
Chapin Rose speaking at podium
Seth Perlman / AP

Ten “frustrated” Republican senators demanded Gov. JB Pritzker allow state offices tasked with processing unemployment claims to reopen in a letter sent exactly five months after Illinois’ first stay-at-home order was issued.

Redistricting Reformers Seek To Change To Mapping Process

Aug 17, 2020

Reformers say it’s time for Illinoisans to “advocate for themselves” when lawmakers redraw the state’s political boundaries in a few months.

Pritzker: All Regions Of The State 'Going The Wrong Direction'

Aug 13, 2020
Pritzker at YMCA
Capitol News Illinois

Illinois has now recorded more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic first arrived in the state.

Supreme Court Moves Bailey's Lawsuit To Sangamon County

Aug 13, 2020
Exterior of IL Supreme Court
Capitol News Illinois

Illinois’ highest court on Tuesday moved Rep. Darren Bailey’s ongoing lawsuit to Sangamon County, effectively ending a Clay County court's role in the case regarding the limits of Gov. JB Pritzker's authority to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.