State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

A judge says attorney general candidate Scott Drury's name can remain on ballots for the March 20 primary while a decision to remove his name from the ballot is being appealed.


A stay was granted Monday after a Cook County judge determined Friday that the Democratic legislator couldn't be on the ballot over paperwork issues. Drury immediately appealed on an expedited basis.

The case is one reason that early voting is being delayed around the Chicago area.

Candidates in the Illinois governor’s race blew through campaign contribution limits months ago, but recently a few state House races did too.

Dallas Krentzel / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

A Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that's been on prominent display at Chicago's Field Museum is being moved to make room for a cast of the biggest dinosaur ever discovered.


Officials with the Field Museum say the T. rex named Sue, which has been at the museum since 2000, will be moved today. The specimen will be updated and moved upstairs to a private suite opening in 2019.


More than 1,000 calls have come in to Illinois’ new helpline for opioid addiction and substance abuse.

Officials say they expected the influx of calls. The 24/7 helpline, run by Boston-based company Health Resources in Action, launched in December. It's part of efforts to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Ken Hawkins / Flickr Creative Commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - A majority of Americans who live in so-called fragile communities say they have respect for and confidence in the police who patrol their neighborhoods.

  That's according to the State of Opportunity in America survey released Sunday. The survey describes fragile communities as locations with high proportions of people struggling in their daily lives who also have limited opportunities for social mobility.

The Illinois legislature will soon discuss if good Samaritans should be allowed to rescue kids and pets left inside hot vehicles. The plan would decriminalize breaking windows or opening locked doors when the temperature makes it a potentially deadly situation.

Time For Medicaid Recipients To Choose A Managed Care Plan

Feb 5, 2018
Christine Herman / Illinois Public Media

  In an effort to save money and improve the quality of care, Illinois recently cut the number of private insurers that offer coverage through the Medicaid managed care program from 12 to seven.

The change affects more than 500,000 Illinois residents insured through Medicaid - the joint state-federal program that provides coverage for low-income, elderly and disabled people.

Now is the time to enroll in a new plan that will take effect on April 1, says Claudia Lennhoff with the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

Part 1: Radium poisoning took the lives of perhaps thousands of female factory workers, many in Ottawa, Illinois, in the last century.

A Cook County judge has ruled attorney general candidate Scott Drury be removed from next month's primary ballot over questions about whether he complied with the rules in filing of a statement of economic interest. 

GOP Governor Challenger Cancels Fundraising Speaker

Feb 2, 2018

An Illinois legislator challenging Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for the GOP nomination canceled a fundraising speech by a man who contends whites are intellectually superior to African-Americans.

Governor Bruce Rauner sparred with Republican primary challenger Jeanne Ives before the Chicago Tribune editorial board this week; the Democratic challengers continued to jockey for position; and Rauner delivered the annual State of the State Address.

NPR Illinois' Daisy Contreras and the Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson join the panel.

Customers across Illinois could see lower utility bills as early as next month. The state’s regulatory body has ordered Illinois companies to slash their rates.

Illinois' state climatologist says January weather was colder and drier than normal in the state without much snow.

Southern Illinois University says its spring enrollment fell 8.8 percent this year compared to last spring.

The mayor of Springfield says he's lobbying Illinois legislators to let the city annex the State Fairgrounds and use some city sales tax revenue generated there to repair several of its buildings.

The Illinois State Police is warning people that if they drink too much at Super Bowl parties this weekend they may end up having a not-so-super time on the way home.

Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker stopped in Bloomington on Friday to deliver a fiery stump speech exclusively targeting Gov. Bruce Rauner, looking past the Democratic primary just 46 days away.

An investigation into hiring at SIU Carbondale is being elevated to the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General.

Governor Goofs Honest Abe Quote

Feb 2, 2018

As Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner built toward the crescendo of his State of the State address on Wednesday, he implored lawmakers to cut taxes and spending to ensure a more “prosperous future.”

To drive home his point, he ripped out a page from Speechwriting 101 for Illinois politicians.

He quoted Honest Abe.

“Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it,’” said the Republican governor.

But there’s a problem.

After one year of Donald Trump’s presidency, the business community is largely pleased with the results: reductions in tax rates and a rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations. But there are concerns about the president's positions on immigration, and the general chaos of the White House.

For more on the business perspective of Trump's first year in office, I spoke with with Todd Maisch, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. I began by asking him what, from a business perspective, were the best things to come out of Washington this year.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been in power for a year now. “State of Trump” is our series discussing what’s changed in the state and what might be ahead.

Diane Doherty is the executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition. She talks about federally funded programs for low-income individuals — such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — and their future in 2018.

Rauner And Lawmakers Tour Carbondale Manufacturer.

Feb 2, 2018

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) said he is trying to educate his urban counterparts about rural issues ahead of a vote on the next Farm Bill.

Plans for a passenger train linking Chicago and Iowa were sidetracked several years ago, but that hasn’t slowed efforts by some passionate rail enthusiasts to keep the vision alive.

Amtrak operated the Black Hawk line from 1974 to 1981. Before that, there was the Land O’Corn route between Chicago and Waterloo, Iowa, but that ended in the 1960s.

The future of the Quincy Veteran's Home remains uncertain, as 13 deaths have occurred there in recent years related to Legionnaires' disease. The outcome may impact an entire region. 

Police officers face some scary, illicit drugs when responding to crime scenes, including synthetic painkillers where contact with even the smallest amount can be fatal. That was a concern, in hindsight, after emergency responders found an overdose victim in Bloomington who used heroin mixed with deadly carfentanyl, which can be easily absorbed on contact.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a state law banning guns within 1,000 feet of public park violates a Second Amendment right to self-defense.

The University of Illinois is launching a new bioenergy research center that will be used to generate new fuel products directly from plants.

A Republican Illinois lawmaker is calling on the governor to resign. He’s also endorsing the governor’s opponent in the primary.

State Rep. John Cabello told Rockford television station WREX that a lack of credibility was the main reason he thinks Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican, should resign.

More than 24,000 families across Illinois were unable to submit applications to the state's new private school scholarship program because the online registration system shut down due to ``extreme demand.''