State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

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The Illinois Department of Corrections is being cited for a range of problems in an audit released Wednesday. There were 46 findings over a two-year period.

The woman who blew the whistle on Michael Madigan's silence in her #MeToo case is still searching for a job and closure.

Alaina Hampton says she is finally starting to heal emotionally, but she still wishes she could afford therapy. And she’s struggling to find work.

Sean Crawford / NPR Illinois

Illinois is offering an incentive to those who have outstanding state tax debt in an effort to get them to pay up.

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In Illinois, the quality of a child’s health, education, housing and economic situation often correlates with a child's race, ethnicity and geographic location, according to a new KIDS COUNT report from Voices For Illinois Children, an organization that advocates for state investments that benefit children across the state.

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Over the summer, public schools across Illinois received kits designed to help staff members respond in the event of life-threatening injuries. Each kit contains Nitrile gloves, a MicroShield mask, QuikClot bandages, and a tourniquet — just enough supplies to help save one person from bleeding to death. Schools can receive up to five more free kits if they train more staff on a curriculum called STOP the Bleed.

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The federal Child and Adult Care Food Program reimburses child care providers for serving up nutritious foods to children in their care. It serves more than 4.2 million U.S. children each day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Lee Gaines / Illinois Public Media

The Illinois Department of Corrections will implement a new publication review policy in October. The change comes after staff at the Danville Correctional Center removed more than 200 books from a college-in-prison program’s library at the facility earlier this year.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A small gathering of anti-abortion activists prayed in the Illinois Capitol Building Wednesday. It comes as lawmakers are considering whether to further relax the state’s abortion laws.

Rockford Woman Challenges License Rule

Sep 5, 2019
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A Rockford woman has filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Secretary of State. The action is done in partnership with a Chicago organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.

Courtesy of University of Illinois

Officials at the University of Illinois are investigating a report of a noose found in an elevator at Allen Hall, a student dorm in Urbana.

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This year, lawmakers approved a slew of new legislation intended to address Illinois’ teacher shortage. But Mark Klaisner, the new president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, said school districts across the state are still struggling to fill open teaching positions.

Christopher Fuller Photography

A recent report illustrates just how much harder it is for people who aren’t white to get small-business loans.

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A team of Illinois chemists are developing a more environmentally friendly form of polyurethane, a hard-to-recycle polymer that’s used in a variety of everyday products.

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A package of bills signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker is aimed at helping newly-released Illinois prisoners find their way back into the democratic process.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP File Photo

Illinois will soon require insurers to cover EpiPens and similar devices for children 18 and under. But questions remain about whether the law will really lower costs for consumers.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In the wake of two high profile mass shootings this month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office is making gun violence prosecutions a priority. A leader of the Illinois House, meanwhile, said new gun legislation will be on the table during the next legislative session.

NPR Illinois

Power in Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's office has been too centralized and its environment has fostered an atmosphere that condones bullying, intimidation, hazing and long work hours with inconsistent direction, according to an investigative report released Tuesday.

Fred Zwicky / UI Public Affairs

The family of University of Illinois visiting scholar Yingying Zhang has created an endowment fund in her memory. The money will be used to support international students in crisis and their families.

At a press conference Monday, U of I officials thanked the Zhang family for their initial gift of $30,000 to the fund. An additional $24,000 in contributions have poured in from more than 440 donors.

SENBARICKMAN.COM

State Senator Jason Barickman concedes a new law he co-sponsored to prevent further trauma to some sexual assault victims might not be enough to assuage victims' concerns.

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State Treasurer Mike Frerichs is among the first Illinois officials to endorse a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and he's backing Elizabeth Warren.

Frerichs made the announcement seemingly out of the blue this week. Other statewide officeholders — including Governor J.B. Pritzker — have so far kept out of the crowded Democratic primary.

He said Warren “stands out” among the 20-plus candidates — and particularly likes her plan to cancel student loan debt for a large swath of Americans, paying for it with a wealth tax.

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Illinois’ 45 billion dollar infrastructure plan is expected to attract a lot of outside contractors to help complete the work. But union worries over whether those contractors will pay the required salaries has spurred action from the Comptroller’s office.

John Flesher / AP

An electric barrier in a Chicago area canal is meant to keep Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes from downstate rivers. Now, a study led by University of Illinois researchers suggests another force may be keeping the invasive carp from making the trip: pollution.

John Locher / AP

A progressive Jewish organization is hosting a workshop in Champaign on Thursday evening to help educators identify and counteract white nationalism in schools. It’s one of a series of events hosted by Bend the Arc:CU focused on increasing community safety.

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Beginning next year, Illinois schools will be required to include the positive contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in their history curriculum.

Rene Begay / SING workshop

Many scientists are interested in studying the DNA of Indigenous populations in an effort to reveal the "human migration story" and contribute to our understanding about the genetic basis of disease.

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State lawmakers expressed outrage during a legislative hearing Thursday over the issue of affluent families from Chicago suburbs transferring guardianship of their children to another adult in order to qualify them for need-based financial aid they otherwise wouldn’t receive.

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It’s not uncommon for many Illinois farmers to ship much, or even all, of their commodities along the Illinois River. So a plan to close the river in 2020 for lock and dam repairs could have a huge impact.

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Banks in Illinois are more likely to lend to white-owned small businesses as opposed to their minority counterparts — to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Woodstock Institute, a social justice and research think tank.

Governor Signs Debt Collection Reform

Jul 30, 2019
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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday signed into law a debt collection reform package.

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