State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

About 35 of 80 Illinois inmates in who received mandatory life-without-parole sentences for crimes committed as juveniles have been resentenced since the Supreme Court ruled that punishment unconstitutional.

Democrats aren't planning on having a rally at this year's Illinois State Fair, foregoing a decades-long tradition.

Efforts to make Illinois to be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana are taking shape in Springfield.

The General Assembly decriminalized possession of small amounts of it last year. However, that measure was vetoed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, but his veto was overridden. Rauner also hasn't allowed many proposed changes or expansions to the state's pilot medical cannabis program.

Michael Vadon / Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Another ballpark brouhaha for Chris Christie.

Justin Fowler / AP Photo

 


 Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he will send the governor a bill Mon. that overhauls the way the state distributes money to schools.

Activists from South Korea are bicycling through Illinois as part of a journey meant to draw attention to certain victims of war crimes.

Dealing a serious blow to President Donald Trump's agenda, the Senate early Friday rejected a measure to repeal parts of former President Barack Obama's health care law after a night of high suspense in the U.S. Capitol.

Illinois legislators have adjourned the third day of a special session without wading into a school funding fight. 

Western Illinois University has renewed the teaching contracts of more than 100 associate faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Despite Governor Bruce Rauner calling the Democrat-controlled Legislature into special session to resolve the issue of school funding, there is still no agreement on funding for Chicago Public Schools.  Also, the next gubernatorial race is shaping up to be the most expensive in state history; we'll look at the potential money involved.  Joining Sean Crawford in the studio is IPR Education Reporter Dusty Rhodes, UIS Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield, and Law360 Springfield Reporter Hannah Meisel.

State investigators say the former head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services improperly awarded a no-bid contract to a person with whom he co-owned property. 

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pushing back against accusations that she has withheld money schools need to open.

Mark Schultz / Illinois Public Radio

 

 

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs honored a Champaign man for his work publicizing Rantoul’s connection to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

Rob Gorham received one of the Illinois Patriotic Volunteer and Appreciation Awards on Thursday, during a ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Urbana.

The award recognized Gorham for educating the public that the all-black military aviators group received its initial ground crew training at the Chanute Air Base in Rantoul, before moving on to Alabama.

Some Illinois lawmakers – including Elaine Nekritz, Christine Radogno and Tim Bivins – recently resigned or announced they will not run for re-election. Any options they may have for their next steps could even include lobbying for the time being, under the state’s revolving door policy.

Lawmakers in Springfield quickly adjourned after day two of a special session to resolve how the state funds schools.

The House and Senate met briefly but didn't take up any action.

Gov. Bruce Rauner summoned lawmakers with the task of resolving a fight over a new funding calculation; the Senate is holding off on sending it to Rauner.

He says he'll veto parts of the bill that give additional money for Chicago Public Schools.

Rauner chastised the Senate for not sending the bill already.

The state of Illinois says it's suspending the operation of all amusement rides similar to the one involved in a deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair.

The disappearance of a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois is leading to some difficult conversations about safety on college campuses.

Over 50 people rallied in Springfield Tuesday night to protest efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Signs had phrases like "Stop Repeal" and "Healthcare is a Human Right." On Tuesday, a close vote in the U.S. Senate led to the first potential legislative steps in dismantling the law.

After the first day of a special session on education, Democratic lawmakers and the Republican Governor Bruce Rauner appear no closer to resolving the dispute that could hold up money for school districts. Rauner continues to demand Democrats send him the funding plan so he can change it and remove additional money for Chicago teacher pensions.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has launched a website to show that most school districts stand to gain more state funding under his plan than under the Democrats' plan. How he calculated those numbers is a question reporters have asked repeatedly. We turned to the state board of education for answers.

A recent study by Prosperity Now shows Illinois is in the middle of the pack when it comes to family financial health.

It finds more than a third of Illinois households have virtually no savings. It also found that general prosperity is up since the Great Recession, but is heavily divided along racial lines, with white residents and businesses having significantly more growth on average than minorities.  Senior Researcher Lebaron Sims said the savings issue can be remedied by certain policy measures.

Democratic candidate for governor Daniel Biss took aim at Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday for trying to “drive a wedge in the middle of Illinois” over school funding and urged his own party to avoid nominating its own billionaire to challenge Rauner next November.

Major civil rights groups have joined a class-action seeking to force Chicago to reform the nation's second largest police force with direct court oversight.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner kicked off a series of special sessions by signing a measure that will limit how much lawmakers will be paid.

The measure halts increases in salaries and their mileage reimbursements. Rauner said it was an example of legislators working together, since the idea had received wide support.

“We're announcing a step in the right direction to protect Illinois taxpayers, I want to thank the members of the General Assembly who came together on a bi-partisan basis to pass this legislation,” he said.

After the first day of a special session on education, Democratic lawmakers and the Republican governor appear no closer to resolving the dispute that could hold up money for school districts.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs joined his counterparts in West Virginia and Pennsylvania to call on the McKesson Corporation to take greater action against the U.S. heroin epidemic.

The company is one of the country’s largest drug distributors and Frerichs wants it to do more to prevent drug abuse.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are among the Illinois politicians criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to bar transgender people from serving in the military.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back from their summer vacation to deal with a new school funding plan in special session starting Wednesday. The issue has turned into a showdown between the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature, with the fate of k-12 school children in the balance.

A Democratic candidate for Illinois governor says he would commute prison sentences for low-level drug offenders.

In a policy speech Tuesday in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar put a lot of the blame for today’s violence and criminal justice issues on poverty and the war on drugs.

“The war on drugs was a success because the war on drugs was never actually about drugs,” he said. “It was against black people.”

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