State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

A Cook County Republican is running for state Treasurer. 

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus says people with an Illinois permit to carry a concealed weapon should be allowed to carry their guns in other states.

A Chicago police spokesman say there is "no credible threat"  of any attack to the city's public transportation but after a pipe bomb exploded in New York, the department deployed more officers to train stations and other transportation centers as a precaution.

The Chicago Police Department is planning to expand a pilot program that gives detainees arrested for drugs the option of treatment or jail time.

Northern Illinois University trustees have again voted to freeze tuition and lower fees for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.

More than 200 young trees have been planted over the last three years at the Springfield, Illinois, fairgrounds as part of a four-year donation program.

The Northern Illinois University student newspaper will begin receiving student fees in order to save the student-operated Northern Star. According to an editorial published this week, the newspaper received student fees prior to 1996 but opted out due to its financial position at that time.

Jason Lenhart / AP Photo

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Police Department says all patrol officers are now equipped with body cameras.

Illinois transportation officials are asking for the public's input in its annual traveler opinion survey.

An email shows Gov. Bruce Rauner's office recommended the appointment of a state purchasing regulator whom the Republican now claims is under his Democratic rival's thumb.

Illinois has turned to an online database to help form policy decisions on health, safety, education and work opportunities for residents younger than 25.

Workers at restaurants, bars and coffee shops at O'Hare International Airport have voted to authorize a strike amid ongoing contract negotiations.

A suburban Chicago chiropractor has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for billing an insurance company more than $4 million for treatment that was unnecessary or never provided.

An Illinois man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to sexually exploit minors using the video game system Xbox Live.

Some 200 people protesting President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem took to the streets of Chicago.

The Bloomington City Council is moving its Dec. 18 meetings to a larger space due to the amount of public interest in the immigration ordinance topic it will be discussing.

The issue of gun ownership has returned to the forefront after mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music festival in October and in a Texas church last month. Most of the concerns revolve around restrictions on gun purchases and who can own what type of weapon.

Things could get a little murky from a legal standpoint if you happen to inherit a gun from a loved one. In This week’s Friday Forum, we look at the case of a Rockford woman who found herself in such a situation.

Next year the state will have a new way to dispose of dead bodies where no next of kin is found or families don’t have the means to pay for a burial… and it could benefit students.

Downstate Congressman John Shimkus will help negotiate the final version of the Republican tax reform bill. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner's health care chief says a $63 billion Medicaid managed care program will save up to $300 million a year because of the competitive process providers had to undergo. 

Illinois taxpayers will be paying an in-between rate on 2017 income as a result of the state's tax increase.

School districts had a year to implement a state law that banned zero-tolerance policies and emphasized restorative justice practices. We check back in with five districts we visited  in the summer of 2016 to see how school discipline has changed.

The $600,000 severance agreement with former President Doug Baker was approved again Thursday morning by the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees.

The re-vote came as the result of a lawsuit brought by DeKalb resident Misty Haji-Sheikh, who contended the trustees didn’t give the Presidential Transition Agreement proper public notice the first time in violation of the Open Meetings Act. A DeKalb County Circuit Court judge agreed and declared the original approval null and void.

Suburban Express / Facebook

The Illinois Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau is conducting an investigation into private bus company Suburban Express for possible violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act. The company said in a statement that they would find passengers like themselves on its buses and their passengers won’t “feel like they are in China.” Karyn Bass Ehler is the chief of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau. She can’t discuss much about the case. But she tells Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline the part of the Illinois Human Rights Act that Suburban Express may have violated.

L. Brian Stauffer / U of I News Bureau

A higher education professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says the tax cut bill working through congress is a bad deal for students.

Jennifer Delaney, associate professor of Higher Education, has been studying the GOP tax cut plan. She says the version of the plan passed by the House of Representatives taxes the graduate tuition waiver.

  The Illinois state comptroller has halted payment on a second contract that Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration signed last year because it's similar to one a state regulator invalidated.
    Comptroller Susana Mendoza notified the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Wednesday that she would not pay a $12.5 million contract with consultant McKinsey & Co. for Medicaid-program assistance.
    A day earlier, the state's chief procurement officer ruled it violated state procurement law.

Move Over Law Gets New Campaign

Dec 6, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Gov. Bruce Rauner joined state officials to announce a new roadway safety campaign aimed at raising awareness of Scott’s Law. That’s the law requiring motorists to move over for stopped vehicles with flashing lights.

The state law was first enacted in 2002, requiring motorists to slow down, move over and change lanes if possible to make room for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights. The law was expanded in January 2017 to include any vehicle with flashing hazard lights.

DCFS Ends Predictive Program

Dec 6, 2017

  The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will no longer use a program aimed at identifying children at risk. The $366,000 data mining program looks for children at risk for serious injury or death. The termination of the program comes after the DCFS director called the technology unreliable.

Director Beverly Walker says the agency is suspending use of the Rapid Safety Feedback program because it "didn't seem to be predicting much." The department is now seeking to change the way it indexes and links investigations.

Alex T. Paschal / AP

  Authorities in northern Illinois say a father and son were killed in a natural gas pipeline explosion while working on a farm field.

Several prominent Illinois Democrats are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal from imprisoned former governor Rod Blagojevich.

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