State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

Creative Commons

CHAMPAIGN - Weather experts say February was cold and stormy in Illinois with above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures.

Creative Commons

CHICAGO - Illinois is launching a new state website aimed at helping people affected by gambling addictions.

SPRINGFIELD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker has named leaders in three cabinet-level agencies.


DECATUR - Illinois lawmakers plan a hearing about the death of a 2-year-old Decatur girl who died from starvation and deprivation.

Creative Commons/Movieing Memories

CHICAGO - The killing of a pioneer in a new genre of news in which videographers interview street gangs and rappers in high-crime areas has unnerved other gangland reporters nationwide.

CHICAGO - Gov. J.B. Pritzker hopes the burgeoning sports-gambling industry will help solve Illinois' budget troubles, but state lawmakers must first legalize expanded wagering.

An Illinois study of racial profiling in police stops is set to expire in July. State lawmakers are considering whether to keep collecting data.

Western Illinois University emailed layoff notices on Friday to 132 employees, which is about 8% of the total workforce.

House Republicans Vow To Fight Graduated Income Tax

Feb 28, 2019

Republicans in the Illinois House are speaking out against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax.

Last summer, Chantil was forced to leave the townhome she shared with her two daughters and her mother in Des Plaines. (We’re withholding Chantil’s last name to protect her family’s privacy.) Her landlord wanted to sell the building, and Chantil had only about a month to find a new home. Landlords, however, kept turning her down because of her credit, and her income. Chantil makes $12 an hour at a department store.

Wisconsin National Guard officials said Tuesday they're looking into whether to punish an Illinois congressman who belongs to the Wisconsin detachment for criticizing Gov. Tony Evers' decision to withdraw troops from the U.S. southern border.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger is a Wisconsin Air National Guard pilot with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He criticized Evers Monday on Twitter and on Fox News for ordering Wisconsin troops to pull out of Arizona.

After a harsh winter, potholes are an increasing problem along Illinois roadways.  Collisions can cause damage to cars such as flat tires or misalignment. Even steering around them can lead to erratic driving. AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher says a recent survey shows there’s a consensus on the impact of these road hazards. 

“The majority of Illinois drivers don’t think that our roads and bridges are well-funded but they don’t want to pay for the additional funding that’s likely needed to maintain and build better roads,” she said.

The Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies conducted research on the direct and indirect losses for the northern Illinois economy as a result of the announced third shift cutback. You can hear that interview Friday, March 8 and 6:50 and 8:50 on WNIJ's Friday Forum.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent a long weekend in Washington, D.C. He was meeting with other governors, and even got a special shout-out from President Donald Trump.

Nicole Davis said her uncle was diagnosed with late-stage cancer after his release from prison in 2014. He was confined to his home because of an electronic monitoring device strapped to his ankle. He missed many necessary doctor appointments before he died, Davis said. She said that’s because he couldn’t get permission from his parole officer for the medical visits.

Approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with Autism in the U.S. About a decade ago, Illinois  started requiring private insurers to cover autism treatment. It was a hard fought battle. But, the signing of the bill was overshadowed by other headlines and advocates are still fighting to expand that coverage.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker replaced most of the state board of education this week and appointed a new superintendent.

The board includes seven women and two men. The new superintendent, Carmen Ayala, is the first woman and the first person of color appointed to hold that position full-time.

"It's amazing. It's such an honor, I mean, it still hasn't hit me today,” she said. “Somebody texted and said, ‘You know, Carmen, today you made history in Illinois,’ and I was like wow! That's just amazing. It's an honor."

Office of Illinois Governor

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been appointed to the Council of Governors to advise the federal government on national security, disaster relief and the National Guard.

Millikin University


DECATUR - Millikin University will conduct a national search for a new president after President Patrick White announced plans to retire next year.

Creative Commons

CHICAGO - A suburban Chicago man has been charged in the deaths of his wife and son.

Nearly 100 Illinois children who died within the last two years were involved with the state’s Department of Children and Family Services. That’s according to a recent Inspector General report


A new proposal in Illinois aims to reduce the time juveniles spend behind bars before their trial, but some argue it might not be in the best interests of the young people accused of wrongdoing.

A measure gaining support in the Illinois legislature would have schools teach students the concept of consent in sexual relationships.


Beyond “no-means-no,” this law would require any sex ed course offered in grades 6 through 12 to include a comprehensive definition of consent. For example: Consent to one activity doesn't constitute consent to another activity. Consent to sexual activity in the past doesn’t equate to consent in the future. A person's manner of dress or lack of active resistance don't imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Slow internet service can slow a business down, adding up to lost time and money. And often the problem is worse in rural areas.

That’s one reason John Sullivan, acting director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said improving internet access is a top priority for him.

“If there isn’t adequate access to high-speed internet, it really drags and holds back the possibility for jobs and opportunities in those areas,” he said.

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker rolled out his budget proposal on Wednesday, he acknowledged that he needs more than $1 billion in new revenue to make it work. The question is: Where will he find all that dough?


SPRINGFIELD - Officials say an out-of-state buyer has purchased the giant yellow slide that's been a visitor favorite at the Illinois State Fair for more than a half-century.


ROCKFORD - Colleges and universities in Illinois are struggling to combat a trend of declining enrollment that's been spurred by low unemployment rates, a shrinking population, unstable funding sources and increased out-of-state competition. 

Creative Commons


KALAMAZOO, Mich.  - Michigan State Police say three people were killed when their car collided overnight with an Amtrak train near Kalamazoo.

University officials are praising Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget increases for higher education. 

Driving around Illinois, chances are you’ve experience the jarring crack of a tire hitting the bottom of a pothole. This week, acting transportation secretary Matt Magalis put a cost on that feeling: between $13 billion and $15 billion.