State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

Bernard Thomas / AP Photo

Immigrant and refugee groups were pushing their legislative agenda today in the Illinois Capitol. They want the state to restore adult English classes and limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

CQC Press Office / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A legislative panel in Illinois has failed to block a new overtime rule for home care workers that is expected to be in place by late summer.

CHICAGO (AP) - A nonprofit organization says people living in poverty in Illinois are more likely to become violent crime victims than higher wage earners whether they live in cities, suburbs or rural areas. However, geographic disparities persist. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State lawmakers are attempting to revive an effort that failed last year to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois.

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A lawsuit accusing the company that runs the Illinois Lottery of fraud has been moved from county court to federal court.

The ACLU said Tuesday that Zachary Fardon mounted a "blindside attack" on the deal. 

Governor Bruce Rauner’s new rules restricting overtime pay for home health aids passed a major test today.

Starting August 1st, caretakers will be limited to a 45-hour work-week. If people require more care, they’ll have to find an additional worker.

A news release touted the administration’s “cost saving efforts.” But Fred Flather, chief of staff for the Illinois Department of Human Services, says money is not the driving factor.

Dakota Access Pipeline Legal Battle Continues

Mar 14, 2017
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  The company building the Dakota Access pipeline has asked a federal judge to reject the latest attempt by two American Indian tribes to halt the project.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners says in court documents filed late Monday that it has suffered enough delays and that the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes are employing "a last-gasp litigation tactic."

Pritzker Explores Bid for Governor in 2018

Mar 14, 2017

J. B. Pritzker says he’s putting 200-thousand dollars of his own money toward a possible run for Illinois governor. The Democratic billionaire today formed an official exploratory committee.

Other Democrats Pritzker may face in next year’s primary include Chris Kennedy, the nephew of former President John Kennedy; Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar; and Bob Daiber, the Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools.

Illinois House members are picking up education funding reform where they say a commission convened by the governor left off.
 
Lawmakers gathered Tuesday to discuss proposals to revise the way Illinois finances its public schools. They plan this spring to write legislation to overhaul what many say is an outdated education funding model.
 

AP Photo

CHICAGO (AP) - A new advertising campaign is aiming to reduce human trafficking in Illinois and help victims reach out for help.

AP Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker is seeking $25 million to help Jewish organizations tighten security after a series of threats and vandalism at Jewish institutions nationwide. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library / Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Seven locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers are under consideration by President Donald Trump's administration in his stated push to make the nation's infrastructure "second to none."

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 CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez is leading a sit-in at a federal immigration office in Chicago, saying he and other activists won't leave until demands are met. 

The U.S. attorney in Chicago who oversaw the prosecution of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has resigned.
 
A prosecutor's spokesman in Chicago says Zachary Fardon submitted his resignation Monday. It comes days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 prosecutors who were holdovers from President Barack Obama's administration to step down.  
 

A state lawmaker from Chicago has announced a plan to raise Illinois' minimum wage to $15 by 2022.

Parents alarmed by the realization that their teenagers cannot decipher cursive handwriting have inspired one Illinois lawmaker to propose requiring schools to offer a course on the art of the flowing font.

Kids use computer keyboards for most communication these days, but what if they need to sign a legal document or read a letter from grandma? State Representative Chris Welch, a Democrat from Hillside, says they’re going to need cursive for that. He’s sponsoring a measure that would ensure students receive at least one class in old-school slanted script. 

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A group of Illinois contractors is accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner of violating the state Constitution.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Immigration officials in the Chicago area have shifted where they detain immigrants being deported to Mexico. 

Property taxes, PE, police, twins, tampons, Title I funds, teacher evaluations, lactating students and lottery dollars — these are a few of the legislative measures working their way through education committees in the General Assembly.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office has filed paperwork to ensure a new deputy governor isn't paid from an insurance fund that is $4 billion behind on medical payments.  The state comptroller received a letter from Rauner's fiscal officer. It requests that a portion of Leslie Munger's $138,000 salary come from a professional services fund. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Sholeh

Enrollment in Illinois’ public universities and community colleges continues to decline. That’s according to figures released  by the state Board of Higher Education.  The three University of Illinois campuses and Governors State University all experienced slight gains in undergraduate enrollment over the past year, but all other public universities reported declines. 

Final arguments have been given in the retrial of a former Illinois prosecutor charged with murder in the 2006 death of his first wife.  Special prosecutor David Robinson summarized the evidence against former Adams County Assistant State's Attorney Curtis Lovelace, who is accused in the death of Cory Lovelace. 

Governor Bruce Rauner is predicting companies would flee the state if Illinois changed its income tax structure.  Currently the personal income tax rate is 3.75%.  Some Democratic candidates for governor are starting to campaign on changing to a graduated income tax rate - so wealthy people pay more.  Rauner says that proposal would result in business owners leaving Illinois.

Rookie doctors can work up to 24 hours straight under new work limits taking effect this summer. Supporters say the move will enhance training but foes maintain it will do just the opposite. 

Rauner Accuses Comptroller of Leaking False Story

Mar 10, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner is accusing Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza of leaking a false story about his administration.  The accusation comes a day after the AP published a story about Rauner paying his deputy governor’s salary out of an employee health care account.  That account is already more than 4 billion dollars in debt.  Rauner says the story was "a political plant that should never have been reported."

A Singapore teenager awaiting a Chicago immigration judge's ruling on his asylum request says he's fearful of returning home after scathing blog posts criticizing his government landed him in a Singapore jail.  Amos Yee says he fears the Singapore government will target him if his asylum application is denied. However, the 18-year-old says he'll keep speaking out whether or not he's allowed to stay in the U.S.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has little to say to journalists, and that's not just a problem for reporters.

Healthcare leaders are voicing concerns about the Republican repeal plan to the Affordable Care Act.

Democrat Dick Durbin is traveling the state to meet with those who would be affected by the House changes.

Illinois Democrats want to make it harder for outside political groups to confuse voters with absentee ballot schemes.


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