Sam Dunklau

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

Early voting in this year’s primary election came a little late in some parts of Illinois. But officials say the polls are now officially open statewide.

Ted Eytan / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

A state legislative proposal would make sure schools teach about LGBTQ people who made history. Equality Illinois, an LGBTQ advocacy group, says many of the state’s school-aged children who don’t identify as heterosexual feel left out of history lessons. Mike Ziri is the group’s Public Policy Director.

A group of Illinois state legislators want to lower check cashing rates at currency exchanges — while the industry is pushing to raise those rates.

 

Last summer, the industry told Illinois’ financial regulator it hadn’t been allowed to increase service fees since 2007, and the time had come for a raise. 

The polls have opened for Illinois’ primary election, as voters were allowed to start casting early ballots Thursday. But the state’s election technology needs to be overhauled, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

 

Democrats in Springfield are pushing ahead with a plan hospitals say can’t come soon enough. It’s worth billions of dollars for treating some of the state’s most vulnerable people.

It’s called the Hospital Assessment Program, and it’s how the state pulls in billions of dollars in federal money to treat elderly, poor and disabled patients on the Medicaid program.

The two political parties have been negotiating in private for months, and now Democrats are pushing the debate out into the open.

Illinois families could use their college savings plans to send their younger kids to K-12 private schools under a new plan.


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.

As Democrats and Republicans try to make local property taxes into an election-year political issue — state lawmakers are looking to cut tax rates for senior citizens.

AARP.com

AARP Illinois is launching a voter-education campaign aimed at putting pressure on state lawmakers.

Originally published on January 18, 2018 3:34 pm

Hospitals in Illinois are warning of dire federal funding cuts without quick action from the state legislature.