State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

Amazon unveiled its fulfillment center in southwest suburban Romeoville this afternoon.

Budget Impasse Hampering Social Services

Jun 8, 2017
Tamie Yost

People who rely on social services begged Illinois state lawmakers to pass a budget during a hearing. Lawmakers heard from rape victims, sexual assault survivors, and people recovering from drug addictions. Social services that serve those people have not been paid by the state in more than 6 months because of the ongoing political fight. Though their testimony didn’t seem to change any positions on the budget impasse.

Recent dog attacks on mail carriers in an eastern Illinois community have postal officials warning residents if they don't control their pets they might find themselves fetching their mail.

Stories of misery were told at a hearing on Illinois’ failure to pass a state budget. As IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, Democrats used the opportunity to attack Governor Bruce Rauner.

A massive hole in the ground in suburban Chicago is being fitted with facilities normally associated with the Grand Canyon. 

A federal judge says Aaron Schock isn't entitled to detailed evidence prosecutors gathered from a confidential informant on the then-congressman's staff as he prepares for trial. 

Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Police in Springfield have reported a rising number of copper thefts with rising temperatures. 

Mendoza Claims Rauner is State's Worst Governor

Jun 7, 2017

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she's never seen a worse governor than Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, and that includes one she helped impeach.

Rauner and Mendoza have had something of a rivalry since Mendoza was elected comptroller in November. 

Here she was speaking to the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce today: 

MENDOZA: as a Democrat who led the impeachment efforts against former Governor Blagojevich  . . . i was like for sure this is the litmus test for bad governor's in my lifetime . . . but I gotta say, governor Rauner proved me wrong.  

Paul Coussens

The Illinois House has blocked Governor Bruce Rauner’s attempt to merge the parts of state government that deal with discrimination complaints.
In Illinois, discrimination is investigated by the Department of Human Rights. Then, the cases are judged by the independent Human Rights Commission.
Earlier this year, Governor Bruce Rauner issued an executive order to combine the functions. The Republican says the two-step process is inefficient.

What is the Future of Lake Calumet?

Jun 7, 2017

Did you know there’s an area within the city of Chicago where you can find bald eagles flying in the wild?

 With plenty of open space and prairie grass so tall that you forget you’re in the city? You can find that at Lake Calumet on the South Side --- just east of the Bishop Ford Expressway.

New employees hired by the city of Decatur will be required to live within the city limits for at least five years. The residency requirement was part of a new labor contract approved by the city council. 

The retrial of a former Illinois prosecutor who was charged with first-degree murder has cost the Quincy Police Department and the Adams County circuit clerk's office nearly $36,000.

A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Archdiocese of Chicago in a lawsuit brought by a gay music director who was fired after announcing his same-sex marriage engagement.

A Northern Illinois prosecutor is launching a program to let some people who accept responsibility for their crimes to erase their convictions from their records.

An investment Russ Gremel made 70 years ago has paid off for wetlands preservation in north-central Illinois.

Democrat Chris Kennedy Talks Taxes

Jun 7, 2017

The Democratic candidate for governor criticized politicians who hold elected office while also working as property tax lawyers.

Medicaid Decision Looms

Jun 6, 2017

A federal judge could decide soon whether the state of Illinois should pay Medicaid providers faster during the budget impasse.

A Chicago suburb has agreed to pay $580,000 to settle two lawsuits that alleged the city violated a Bosnian Muslim congregation's religious freedom when it refused to allow the group to turn a vacant building into a mosque. 

Illinois gas prices have hit their lowest point in 12 years for the start of summer road trip season.


The former assistant U.S. attorney from the Chicago suburb of Highwood announced his 2018 bid in a news release. 

Chicago plans to dedicate a nine-story mural to blues music legend Muddy Waters before the city's annual blues festival this weekend.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for killing six coyote puppies.

A union representing hundreds of Chicago taxi drivers wants the city to ease vehicle restrictions, waive a tax and eliminate a fee to help what they call a struggling industry.

Federal officials say they're providing free summer meals for school children at numerous sites across Illinois. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that there will be a kickoff event for the program on June 23 at a Chicago city park. 

The planet Mars may have been wetter than previously thought, according to a new study led by a Northern Illinois University geography professor and released Monday in the journal Nature Communications.

Illinois' two Democratic U.S. senators are taking steps to ensure they have a voice in choosing the state's new U.S. attorneys. 

A federal appeals court again has rejected a request from former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for a rehearing on his request for another resentencing.

At least two incidents of drones found near a Chicago-area airport have prompted alerts and warnings.

Erosion along shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago's northern suburbs has been an issue for decades, but new research indicates it could be accelerating.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to deny requests from former Illinois U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock to throw out his corruption case. Prosecutors say Schock's reasons for dismissing the charges against him are "meritless." They made their argument in a filing in U.S. District Court in Springfield.