State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

The Illinois House has voted against increasing the smoking age from 18 to 21.

A resolution that would have Illinois ratify the Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be called for a deciding House vote. The House sponsor, Democratic State Rep. from Skokie, Lou Lang, says he's close to reaching the 3/5ths vote needed, but there are still "attendance issues."

The Illinois House has endorsed the idea of switching to a graduated income tax. 

Legislation allowing a major expansion of gambling in Illinois failed on Monday. It’s something lawmakers have been working on for years, as an effort to raise money for state and local governments.

The Illinois General Assembly has approved a plan aimed at making sure people in jails can exercise their right to vote.

First ladies are getting their own day in in the Illinois state capital.

A federal judge has ordered the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide mental health to inmates on "crisis watches" in segregated cells.

Graphic and industrial design students at the University of Illinois have created "immersive reality scenarios" to help prison inmates on the verge of release navigate the world outside. 

The Cook County, Illinois medical examiner's office is reviewing the work of a fired pathologist to determine if he made the correct rulings on 218 cases he handled.

The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds is offering a series of nature adventure days for kids each Wednesday in June in western Illinois.

Tonika Johnson

 

  CHICAGO - A Chicago artist has created a project to show disparities among residents while bringing them together for conversation.

 

Tonika Johnson's "Folded Map" multimedia exhibit features residents from opposite sides of the city. It examines economic, racial and other types of segregation. She began by connecting residents in her Englewood neighborhood with residents in a corresponding block in northern Chicago.

UPDATE: The House Tuesday voted down Senate Bill 2332, which would have raised the tobacco purchase age in Illinois to to 21.

A measure in play at the Statehouse would make it a crime to sell tobacco products,  including cigarettes and vaping devices, to those under age 21.

Laura Sido of East Alton worked in bars and restaurants all of her adult life.  She smoked on and off until earlier this month. Sido, a 49-year-old stay-at-home grandmother, now has a chronic lung disease, COPD. And she  says she is in favor of anything that could keep young people from smoking.

Illinois lawmakers say they've made real progress toward passage of a budget. But even if they can get it passed by the scheduled end of session next Thursday (May 31), the big question remains: Will Gov. Bruce Rauner sign or veto it?

The Illinois Senate has unanimously endorsed a plan to require reports on veterans' health after a Legionnaires' disease crisis at a state-run veterans home.

The Illinois House has approved a measure to provide back pay to thousands of state workers who've been waiting for it since 2011.

Legislation to allow Chicago police to use drones for surveillance of large crowds has failed in the Illinois House. 

The other driver in the crash that killed a Normal West student in March won't face additional charges, McLean County's top prosecutor said Friday.

It’s been just about six months since a new Illinois law allowing 16 and 17 year olds to donate organs went into effect. Has the change made a difference for those waiting for life-saving organ transplants?

SIU School of Law - Southern Illinois University

MARION, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois judge who went to Chicago for a temporary assignment and ended up helping convict dozens of judges, attorneys and police officers in one of city's most famous corruption cases has died.

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A man arrested in the killing of a 13-year-old Tacoma, Washington girl over three decades ago has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

60-year-old Robert Washburn pleaded not guilty Thursday in Tacoma, Washington, to murder with aggravated factors of sexual motivation and deliberate cruelty in the death of Jennifer Bastian.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers studying remedies to sexual harassment in state government say they are considering measures suggested by a colleague who claims retaliation by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A bipartisan group of Illinois legislators have introduced a bill that would reinstate the death penalty for convicted mass murderers and killers of first responders.

An Illinois House panel has endorsed a proposal expanding the use of medical marijuana to fight the state's opioid crisis.

A test program the state treasurer is promoting could increase the rate at which Illinoisans save for retirement.

Legislation that could have severed the Southern Illinois University board of trustees into two separate organizations may be put on ice to allow time for an independent study.

Think of it like a couple considering divorce, and the judge sends them to mediation instead.

State lawmakers are continuing to push Illinois gun legislation in the wake of a recent run of mass shootings. The Illinois House approved a measure Wednesday that would allow police to take guns away from someone if a court finds them dangerous.


Illinois lawmakers approved legisltation that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. Hemp is derived from the cannabis plant, but it has a non-drug use. It can create bio-degradable building materials, paper, textiles and more.

A measure that has passed the Illinois House would require hospitals to have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) who can treat and examine victims of sexual assault. Some say it would mean better collection of forensic evidence and better treatment of victims.

The Illinois lawmaker who says House Speaker Michael Madigan retaliated against her for statements about rooting out sexual harassment in the Capitol wants the process for investigating ethics complaints in the Legislature overhauled.

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CHICAGO - The Chicago City Council has given its backing to construction of the Obama Presidential Center in a park on the city's South Side.

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