Illinois | WGLT

Illinois

Headlines from around the state, curated by the GLT newsroom. If you want more state news, listen to Illinois Public Radio's The 21st on Mondays-Thursdays at 11 a.m., and Statewide at 11 a.m. Fridays.

In one town in the Metro East, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, police are forcing landlords to evict tenants who have called for help during an overdose because they have heroin or other controlled substances in their rental property.

Illinois has officially proposed legalizing cannabis for adults 21 years and older by Jan. 1, 2020. But as details of the legislation emerge, so does the opposition. 

Illinois lawmakers say they’re ready to move ahead with a major road construction program. It would mean tax and fee increases on gasoline, license plates and driver’s licenses.

An audit released Tuesday paints a damning picture of Illinois’ child-welfare agency.

A group of eight Illinois transgender women with criminal records say a state law violates their First Amendment rights.  

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz says she’s concerned about how legalization could impact the juveniles she works with on a daily basis. She’s also concerned about how the state will address cannabis impaired driving.

You've heard a series of reports on the potential expansion of Cannabis in Illinois.

For WNIJ reporter Sarah Jesmer, her reporting created more questions than answers.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to legalize recreational marijuana to provide an economic boost for the state. At Rock Island’s Augustana College, students have different reasons behind their perspective, but as reporter Natalie Spahn found out, many identify themselves in the "pro" category.

Logan Chase wants his customers to know what they’re smoking.

“If I see something that I've never tried before,” he said, “I take it upon myself to try it.”

Can Cannabis Help Patients Avoid Opioids?

May 1, 2019

WSIU and Illinois Newsroom reported this story as part of a weeklong series from public radio stations around the state focusing on the potential impact of marijuana legalization.

Since February, patients in Illinois have been able to swap their opioid prescriptions for marijuana. And many are doing just that.

They’re part of a program designed to let patients who might not qualify for the state’s regular medical marijuana program exchange an opioid prescription, like Oxycontin, for weed.

Cannabis Merges Into Health Care

May 1, 2019

We are taking a closer look at what the legalization of cannabis could mean for Illinois. The State of Cannabis is a collaborative reporting effort by public radio stations across the state. This piece in the series looks at the potential health care considerations of recreational marijuana.

Authorities are investigating an anonymous letter threatening the lives of anyone in line to receive state-funded pensions. The letter was mailed to several legislators and at least one public radio station. In big letters, the mailing says “Dead people can’t collect fat state pensions,” and goes on to warn lawmakers and union leaders of death by arson, strangulation or other unspecified means.

Existing rules around the Illinois medical cannabis program could make the rollout for recreational use a less daunting task. But there are plenty of unanswered questions at the federal level which could complicate the process.

Northwestern Illinois’ Stephenson County is one area where changes in the status of cannabis are being embraced. The people doing it are not necessarily the ones you’d expect.

The O'Hern family in west central Illinois has long been involved in traditional farming. They grow corn, soybeans, and wheat, plus they raise cattle. In the last few years they have added another crop to their repertoire: medical marijuana.

Former Republican congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made a pitch Monday for Illinois to raise its gas tax.

The Peoria native told a panel of lawmakers he would champion the tax hike even though his fellow Republicans may be opposed.

“I remember the days like many of you do when Illinois was a great state, when we had great infrastructure, when we were able to attract business to our state,” said LaHood, who headed the U.S. Department of Transportation under former President Barack Obama. “That’s what we want to get back to.”

This week, public radio station across Illinois are tackling a once taboo topic.

Public health officials say they‘ll work to increase vaccination rates across Illinois.

The announcement comes as the the U.S. is expected to have the worst run of measles cases since the disease was deemed eliminated in the year 2000.

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn't the driving force. It's about promoting criminal and social justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, prominent activists from minority communities question whether these lofty goals are possible. 

Illinois lawmakers are moving to give judges more discretion in sentencing people convicted of certain crimes.

After years of campaigning, Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to change Illinois’ tax system. On Tuesday they formally introduced the language they want to change in the Illinois Constitution.

Advocates for children are pushing for expansion of a child care program for lower income families that was cut by former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration. 

The Child Care Assistance Program was cut severely in 2015 so that 90 percent of the participants lost services. The eligibility limits have increased since then.

Legislation under consideration would further increase the number eligible families by making the income limit higher.

Tobacco sales in Illinois will soon be off-limits to anyone younger than 21 under a law signed Sunday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Thursday he’s confident the legislature will approve a graduated income tax.

The Illinois law meant to prohibit distracted driving may not prohibit watching videos behind the wheel, so state lawmakers are trying to change it.

A long time ago, the tax was proposed by the GOP and opposed by Democrats. It became law, but it didn't last long.

As Illinois considers legalizing sports betting, state and national sports leagues are asking for a share of the money. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

Illinoisans can now get driver’s licenses and state ID cards that comply with Real ID, the strict federal security requirements that will soon be needed for air travel.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a variety of bills that would change the requirements to earn a teaching certificate.

 

Right now, to become a licensed teacher in Illinois, you have to pass at least three tests.

An estimated 10,643 people in Illinois are homeless according to federal data. Many of those are working - but still can’t make ends meet.

For the Stephens family, it all began with a landlord who refused to make repairs to their rental home.

“Our roof was a joke,” Jenny Stephens said. “Our roof had a big old huge hole in it, gaping hole. And when it snowed, we had snow in our kitchen.”

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