Sam Dunklau

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

Illinois lawmakers Wednesday advanced a plan to pool more than 650 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds. Passing the measure out of both chambers by week’s end is a top priority for Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker’s office has been arguing for weeks that combining all of those funds would make more money for retired police and firefighters, while cutting fees and reducing the need to raise local property taxes.

The Illinois Senate approved a move Tuesday that would allow Illinois to stay on daylight saving time permanently.

The second and final week of the Illinois legislature’s fall veto session begins Tuesday. State lawmakers will have just three days to get a number of proposals — big and small — over as many legislative hurdles as possible.


Illinois Capitol Development Board

Final construction work on the long-awaited Chicago Veterans Home is on schedule, and a state official says the facility will be fully operational by next summer.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says he’s "furious" about the behavior of state lawmakers ensnared in federal probes this year. Now he’s calling for changes in the way lobbyists disclose their finances.

State lawmakers are now formally considering legislation to pool the resources of nearly 650 local Illinois police and fire department pension funds.


The Illinois House approved legislation Wednesday to further restrict the use of ethylene oxide gas. Nearly no Republicans supported the move, and both sides of the aisle have concerns.


As a growing number of Illinois state lawmakers have been ensnared in recent federal probes, some of their colleagues want to ramp up punishment for public corruption.


State lawmakers are considering whether to ban flavored tobacco products in Illinois. Both sides of that debate made their cases before a panel of state senators in Springfield Tuesday.


Ahead of next month’s open enrollment period for Medicaid health insurance, a new report shows more Illinois residents are insured. But that same report shows nearly three quarters of a million Illinoisans still don’t have health insurance.

The report by insurance comparison website QuoteWizard looked at uninsured rates across the country over the last decade. It found as many 1.3 million Illinoisans were uninsured in 2008, but that number dropped by nearly half in the decade since.

An anti-abortion law firm is asking the federal government to block a portion of Illinois’ reproductive health law. They say it improperly says forces people to pay for health insurance that covers abortions.


Illinois’ September unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down by a tenth of a percent from August, and state officials are calling that a record low.


An overwhelming majority of Illinoisans say lawmakers should make dealing with climate change a priority. That’s according to the latest results from an NPR Illinois — University of Illinois Springfield survey.

In the wake of recent activity near the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Illinois’ Emergency Management Agency is urging participation in an earthquake drill scheduled for Thursday.


ROD WADDINGTON / FLICKR / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois residents across the state, and across party lines, largely support more gun regulations. That’s according to the results of an NPR Illinois - University of Illinois Springfield survey. We took a look at the new data and explored what might be behind the numbers.

Gun violence has touched all areas of the country, including here in Illinois. Less than a year ago, a mass shooting in Aurora, combined with high profile shootings in other states, re-opened the gun debate in Illinois.

The photos or videos you store in “the cloud” aren’t actually up in the air. They’re in computer systems housed in hundreds of vast buildings across the country.

Illinois is now providing tax breaks for companies that build those centers in the hopes of attracting more of them.


A growing number of Illinois church congregations are being forced to make a once-unthinkable decision: either change locations or disband altogether. But moving out doesn’t always mean the end.

Fire safety officials gathered in Springfield on Tuesday to warn against using smoke detectors with a removable battery. They also reminded Illinoisans about a law requiring newer detectors.


After months of controversy over allegations of cancer-causing emissions, medical sterilization company Sterigenics says it will not reopen an Illinois plant.

Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is delaying a planned health insurance switch for children in its care, but the public guardian of the state’s largest county says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Newly-released tax data from Illinois’ gambling businesses shows an industry in flux. 

Illinois brought in more tax money from gambling in the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s just one of several highlights from a new report released Monday.


Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services plans to put all 16,000 children in its custody on Medicaid health insurance. But at a hearing Tuesday, state lawmakers expressed skepticism, saying they’re worried those kids may fall through the cracks.

A new survey of Illinois hospital nurses shows a large majority feel overworked, undervalued, and even unsafe.

Several people in the Chicago suburbs are suing two medical companies for allegedly releasing unsafe levels of a cancer-causing gas into their communities.


State university officials were grilled by lawmakers Tuesday. At issue is a record of lucrative severance packages for outgoing administrators.


ILLINOIS CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES / IOCI

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.

At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


The minimum salary a teacher can be paid in Illinois will soon increase. Governor J.B. Pritzker joined educators and activists to sign a wage increase plan into law Thursday.


Immigrants to Illinois are now able to sue their landlords if they are evicted because of their citizenship status.


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