Politics and Government

Fon du Lac Park District

East Peoria might get a swimming pool again...if voters decide they want it. 

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Developer Casey Baldovin is announcing a new project in the Warehouse District. 

(AP Photo, File)

Thomas Railsback, an Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974, has died at age 87. 

Google Maps Street View

The East Peoria City Council took the first step to approve Roy Sorce's application to start up a craft cannabis growing operation off Route 116. 

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Illinois Republicans are calling for an immediate hearing after 574 non-citizens were registered to vote through the state's automatic voter registration system. 

Grace Lutheran Church / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois lawmakers last year moved to crack down on acts of violence committed in a place of worship. The legislation, signed by Governor JB Pritzker, asks judges to increase the penalty for murder and assault in a church or against someone engaged in religious practice.

As Bradley University Political Science Professor Craig Curtis explains to WCBU, the measure comes at a time when lawmakers are moving away from mandating harsher criminal punishments — and does little to  protect congregations.

Twitter / Juliana Stratton

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton's office leads the state’s Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative. She joined The 21st show to discuss the state's efforts to bring more people of color into the cannabis industry, reinvest in struggling communities and help people with criminal records for low-level cannabis offenses get their records cleared.

Peoria City Council Talks Pension Fee Bills, Towing Rules

Jan 15, 2020
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The Public Safety Pension Fee bills generated some buzz at Tuesday's Peoria City Council meeting.

The bills landed in property owner’s mailboxes last week.

City Manager Patrick Urich estimates they’ve received 100 calls a day. With 47,000 bills sent out, he says he doesn’t consider the call volume to be that significant. The new fee funds Peoria’s portion of police and firefighter pensions for the state.

The amount owed is based on the size of the property with a majority paying $25 for 2019.

Chuck Herrera/Pixabay (CC0)

On just the first day of sales on January 1, legal marijuana in Illinois brought in nearly $3.2 million dollars, with a total of almost $11 million dollars in sales by the end of that week, according to the state.

But while recreational weed is now legal in Illinois, it’s still considered a schedule 1 drug at the federal level. That makes banking a challenge for weed businesses.

Both Peoria County State's Attorney candidates say youth outreach is how the county can begin to reduce its rates of juveniles charged with crimes. 

Courtesy Google Maps Street View

A local food distribution company wants to start up a new side business to stay open: craft cannabis growing.

Eugene Farrell of Roseville is calling it quits on his campaign for the Republican nomination for the 17th Congressional District. 

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Illinois isn't typically in play in presidential primaries. Peoria, even less so.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

With a record 25 homicides on the books in the city of Peoria last year, responding to violence and ensuring safety is a key campaign issue for both Peoria County State's Attorney candidates. But both candidates have different takes on how relationships play into that response.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The two Democratic candidates for Peoria County Clerk bring different philosophies on how to improve the office's operations.

Senator Chuck Weaver

State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) announced Thursday he's retiring at the end of his term. 

In his place, Widmer Fabrics CEO Win Stoller will fill the Republican nomination for the district, which stretches from Peoria to Galesburg. 

"With Central Illinois at a turning point, everyone must serve where they can cause positive change," Weaver said in a statement. "I believe I can now make the most positive impact closer to home by serving my community in a different position of service." 

J.B. Pritzker / Twitter

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a pair of ambitious criminal justice reform goals Thursday: the end of cash bonds and mandatory minimum sentences in Illinois.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) will run unopposed in March's Democratic primary.

Her challenger, Spanky Edwards of Peoria, was removed from contention by the Illinois State Board of Elections Thursday after a petition challenge was upheld. 

It now appears there is only one Republican contender in the race to succeed retiring state Rep. Mike Unes. 

The Illinois State Board of Elections sustained objections to the petitions of Pekin Republicans Corey Campbell and Samuel Goddard. 

This leaves only Pekin Mayor Mark Luft on the GOP ticket in March. He's set to face Democrat Josh Grys in November. 

Unes, an East Peoria Republican, announced his retirement last year as he takes a new job with UnityPoint Health. 

The seat covers swaths of Tazewell, Peoria, and Fulton counties. 

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos isn't endorsing a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary yet, but she says it's important for the eventual nominee to understand something about districts like hers.

All signs point to Illinois losing a congressional district following the 2020 census. And if current population trends are any indication, that will mean less representation for downstate Illinois.

PBS Newshour

Friday was the deadline for major party presidential candidates to try to get on the ballot for Illinois’ upcoming primary election.

The American Academy of Diplomacy

A veteran American diplomat says Iranian retaliation for America's assassination of one of their top generals in Iraq could take many forms.

The Defense Department says it took "decisive action" to protect Americans when it killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in an air strike. The move has inflamed an already tense state of affairs between Iran and the U.S.

Ronald Neumann is the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Algeria, and Bahrain. He's a Middle Eastern policy expert who now serves president of the American Academy of Diplomacy. 

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

The more than 255 new Illinois laws taking effect on New Year's Day may affect everything from your car to your paycheck.

We took a look at some of the biggest changes coming in 2020.

Higher Wages, Tip Ownership

Staff / WGLT

Central Illinois congressional representatives are praising the bipartisan House passage of an updated trade agreement among the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

As expected, Central Illinois' congressional delegation split along party lines on the roll call for two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) both voted no.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

A frequent forum for political protest in Peoria was the host for about 100 ralliers calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment Tuesday.

The Illinois State Board of Elections' general counsel is recommending tossing out a petition challenge to 17th District congressional candidate Bill Fawell. 

illustration by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As members of the U.S. House of Representatives prepare to vote on whether to impeach President Trump this week, Republican interest groups have been waging an ad war in selected districts across the country, including in Illinois.

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood says he won't vote to impeach President Donald Trump.