State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said he will cooperate with a special investigation over claims he used intimidation to pressure state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) to quit her part-time job with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office. Cassidy alleges Madigan retaliated after she criticized him over his handling of sexual harassment cases within his office earlier this year.

A showdown between two Democratic measures to close the wage gap ended with Illinois senators rejecting one considered more business friendly.

A federal judge has rejected the Illinois Department of Corrections' plan to address flaws in mental health care for 12,000 inmates. 

A school official says police have taken a student into custody after a threat prompted the closing of two southwestern Illinois high schools.

More than 260 girls and young women came forward to tell their stories of sexual assault by former USA Olympic doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving multiple prison sentences for the abuse. The trial resulted in more than a prison sentence and settlement money for victims. It shined a light on the mishandling of sexual assault reports by young athletes. And last week, Illinois took center stage in this national issue.

When a new employee is fingerprinted for a job in Illinois, the employer receives a snapshot of their criminal record, and they receive notifications for any future run-ins with the law in the state. But lawmakers are considering a proposal that would also allow employers to be notified of convictions that happen across state lines.

A woman who says her late father's head ended up in the Detroit warehouse of a body parts broker has confronted the man in court, and offered him the directive to "burn in hell."

The Gary/Chicago International Airport has reopened its main runway after a three-week closure to rebuild much of it.

Illinois lawmakers are pushing a measure to allow immigrants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse to more easily make their case to the police.


After more than two years of extensive renovations, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner moved back into the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield on Monday.

An Illinois House committee Monday discussed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty for mass shooters and for those who murder police officers. The proposal is part of a broader public safety plan put forth in an amendatory veto.  

A group of school superintendents is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner and the State of Illinois seeking more than $7 billion for schools.

The state's inspector general has found mismanagement on the part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office for improper hiring. 

WQAD

A school resource officer who was hailed a hero for shooting and arresting a gunman at a northern Illinois high school received a standing ovation as he led students into their graduation ceremony.

While other states have begun to recover since the great recession, Illinois has not. That's the conclusion of the latest annual study of poverty in the state by the Heartland Alliance, a Chicago-based non-profit that focuses on human rights, housing, health care, and employment.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - One lucky karaoke singer will open for country music star Brett Eldredge during this year's Illinois State Fair.

      EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - An East St. Louis police officer who made nearly $200,000 last year is now on administrative leave pending an internal department review.

GoFundMe To Save Lincoln Artifacts

May 21, 2018

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The crowdsourcing site where people seek contributions for school books or medical bills has a new campaign. It’s an effort to raise $9.7 million to keep artifacts belonging to Abraham Lincoln in his hometown.

Members of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) say State Rep. Jeanne Ives’ disparaging comments about graduate workers last week is a distraction from a bigger issue. Ives, a Republican from Wheaton, is opposed to legislation that would expand union rights to graduate research assistants.

Talks to legalize sports betting in Illinois have heated up after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban last week.

RLCD

  MARION, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a disaster proclamation for nine southern Illinois counties affected by a water main break that left cities short of water and forced schools and businesses to close.

Wikimedia Commons

  OREGON, Ill. (AP) - A group needs $500,000 to complete the restoration of a century-old landmark in northern Illinois known as the Black Hawk Statue.

Proposal to Reinstate IL Death Penalty Gets Hearing

May 21, 2018
John O'Connor / AP Photo

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois House committee will take up Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases.

 

     The House Judiciary-Criminal Committee meets Monday for testimony on Rauner's proposals. Rauner added the death penalty in an amendatory veto of legislation that would extend the waiting period for delivery of assault weapons to 72 hours.

 

Noah and Olivia Top 2017 IL Baby Names

May 21, 2018
Gabi Menashe / Creative Commons

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The most popular baby names in Illinois last year? Noah and Olivia. The Social Security Administration has released Illinois' top five boys and girls names for 2017. For boys, the top five were: Noah, Liam, Benjamin, Logan, and Alexander. The most popular girls' names were Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia, and Isabella. Nationwide, Liam and Emma topped the list. The Social Security agency says pop -culture has also had an effect on naming trends. There's been an increase in girls named Melania in a clear nod to the first lady of the United States.

Rauners Move Back to IL Gov's Mansion

May 21, 2018

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, say they're moving back into the Illinois Governor's Mansion as renovations wrap up on the historic home.

    The Rauners are scheduled to speak about the move and the renovation project Monday.

     The mansion in Springfield was built in 1855 and is one of the three oldest continuously occupied governor's residences in the U.S. It's been undergoing needed renovations, including a new roof, HVAC system and entrance to the building.

SIU President Randy Dunn says he won't resign - but acknowledges it will take some time to bring opposing groups back together within the university's system.


Governor Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order he says will mean more minority-owned businesses will get government contracts. But some are skeptical about his true intentions.

Gov. Bruce Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite a gun bill, simultaneously proposing more gun control than the original bill called for while also reinstating the death penalty.

Meanwhile, local governments are complaining about the state's attempt to share less money from the income tax, while gambling interests prepare to fight it out after the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for legal sports betting in every state.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is telling state lawmakers to hurry up and pass legislation centered around the Legionnaire's crisis at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

A judge has refused to lower bail for a teen charged with firing shots at an Illinois high school as seniors met for graduation rehearsal.

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