Illinois Issues

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With the impeachment investigation moving into a more public phase this week, members of Congress are calibrating their responses.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A majority of Illinoisans think the state is on the wrong track and have a dim view of the economy, but the pessimism doesn’t seem to be affecting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s job approval.

Christopher Fuller Photography

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

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democratic nominee for governor J.B. Pritzker and incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner haven’t taken a break from campaigning since winning their respective primaries last week. Pritzker won in a landslide, while Rauner squeaked by his opponent. Mary Hansen talked with Charlie Wheeler, who says the tight race was no surprise.

Charlie Wheeler is the director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois Springfield. 

Institute for Government and Public Affairs, U of Illinois

About 75 people attended last night’s Illinois Issues forum on the state budget at the I-Hotel in Champaign. The event was hosted by Illinois Public Media and NPR Illinois, and sponsored by AARP. The panel discussion included former Illinois governor Jim Edgar, University of Illinois president Tim Killeen, Director of the U of I Institute of Government & Public Affairs Chris Mooney, and President of Illinois AARP Rosanna Marquez.

The panel took questions from audience members for about 90 minutes, and heard from two Champaign-Urbana social service providers who have been affected by the nearly two-year budget impasse.  Courage Connection Executive Director Isak Griffiths spoke about the impact on her agency, the only service provider to domestic violence victims in Champaign-Urbana.

The state of Illinois owes Courage Connection more than $300,000 dollars, and they’re trying to raise funds to help make up the shortfall.  You can find more information at courageconnection.org.

Illinois Issues: LGBT In The Time Of Trump

Apr 17, 2017

As rapid-fire change comes at the federal level, advocates want  to keep Illinois' status as one of the leading states in offering protections.

Alex McCray didn’t want to believe Donald Trump had won the election. In the words of the transgender nursing student from downstate Sherman: “I was hoping it was all just one terrible nightmare. It felt like my rights were being ripped out right from underneath me.”

Tammy Duckworth is glad to be back working for the entire population of Illinois.

She has just completed her first three months as a U.S. Senator, following her defeat of Republican incumbent Mark Kirk last November.

Duckworth spent three years as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs before moving to Washington D.C. as Assistant Secretary for Veterans Affairs under President Obama. She returned to Illinois in late 2011 and won the Illinois 8th District U.S. House seat the following year.

Bill aims to protect abortion rights on the chance Roe v. Wade  is overturned.

With Democrats in firm control of the Illinois General Assembly, abortion rights might seem to be safe in the state. But what would happen if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal across the country in 1973?

ANN & ROBERT H. LURIE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF CHICAGO

Yvonne Hardcastle was at her wit’s end. Her son, Alfredo Mejia, was 7 years old. He was angry all the time and had been diagnosed with behavior problems and ADHD, but that didn’t feel right. She didn’t know what was wrong, but her mother’s intuition kept pushing her to find help for her boy.

 

The state has some of the most aggressive protections for transgender people in the country, but the issue still generates controversy here.

Illinois, with its expansive decade-old anti-discrimination law, is one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to transgender rights, but even in this state there has been a noisy response to rapidly evolving national and local policies on the issue.

Illinois political leaders’ performance on the budget is reminiscent of the losingest team in modern baseball. 

brucerauner.com

Last month, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan stood in his chamber and delivered a speech on his perspective of the budget impasse.

“The fact is, the current budget crisis was completely avoidable. While this crisis was avoidable, Gov. Rauner has refused to put an end to the crisis,” Madigan said.

Governor Bruce Rauner is scheduled to meet with members of his criminal justice reform commission this morning. He's set a goal of reducing Illinois' prison population by 25 percent over the next decade.