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‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A law recently signed by Gov. JB Pritzker will extend the deadline for the state to transfer criminal defendants deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial from jail to a mental hospital. That same bill, House Bill 240, also gives nursing homes in Illinois two more years…

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS [email protected] Longtime Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel has joined the Capitol News Illinois team as a full-time state government and politics reporter. She’s had a number of assignments covering the Statehouse and Illinois government since the 2014 legislative session, most recently serving as Statehouse editor for NPR Illinois from 2020 until after…

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For newly sworn-in Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, customer service is the central mission as he assumes the state’s second-largest constitutional office, replacing the man who had held it for nearly a quarter century. “Modernization and bringing new technology is going to be at the forefront…

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday filed a petition asking an appellate court to vacate a temporary restraining order that was issued late Friday afternoon blocking enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Raoul’s office filed the petition in the 5th District Appellate Court in…

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and legislative leaders said they were disappointed but not surprised by a judge’s decision late Friday putting a temporary and limited halt to enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison issued the temporary restraining order late Friday…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday was named in a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of children in state care who have been held in juvenile detention centers after a judge ordered their release. Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert is a…

At World Economic Forum, Pritzker plays role of Illinois’ ‘best chief marketing officer’

At World Economic Forum, Pritzker plays role of Illinois’ ‘best chief marketing officer’

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – After his second-term inauguration amid a frenzied “lame duck” legislative session last week, Gov. JB Pritzker took the global stage this week at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The governor and high-ranking members of his staff joined a bipartisan delegation of U.S.…

Watchdog seeks harsher penalties in wake of abuse at Choate

Watchdog seeks harsher penalties in wake of abuse at Choate

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois & MOLLY PARKER Lee Enterprises Midwest This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Lee Enterprises, along with Capitol News Illinois. The watchdog for the Illinois Department of Human Services is seeking harsher penalties against health care workers who obstruct abuse and neglect investigations. IDHS…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

Gun rights advocates file opening legal challenges to Illinois’ assault weapons ban

Gun rights advocates file opening legal challenges to Illinois’ assault weapons ban

By HANNAH MEISEL For Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A trio of gun owners and a firearms retailer in southeastern Illinois have filed the first two lawsuits in what’s expected to be a flurry of litigation against the state’s new law banning the sale and manufacture of assault weapons in Illinois. Democratic leaders who…

UPDATED: Report predicts billions in motor fuel tax revenue losses if state meets EV goals

UPDATED: Report predicts billions in motor fuel tax revenue losses if state meets EV goals

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Despite Illinois’ efforts to smoothly integrate electric vehicles into the state’s economy, a new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute is warning of a potential steep decline in transportation revenue as the process of electrification accelerates. The primary issue is motor fuel taxes, which will…

Report predicts billions in motor fuel tax revenue losses if state meets EV goals

Report predicts billions in motor fuel tax revenue losses if state meets EV goals

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Despite Illinois’ efforts to smoothly integrate electric vehicles into the state’s economy, a new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute is warning of a potential steep decline in transportation revenue as the process of electrification accelerates. The primary issue is motor fuel taxes, which will…

Pritzker signs reproductive rights expansion

Pritzker signs reproductive rights expansion

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Friday expanding access to abortion and other reproductive health care services. House Bill 4664, passed Tuesday during the General Assembly’s “lame duck” session, came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June overturning the 1973 Roe…

Sheriffs say they want no role in enforcing state’s assault weapon registry

Sheriffs say they want no role in enforcing state’s assault weapon registry

By HANNAH MEISEL For Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Dozens of county sheriffs in Illinois — approximately “80-ish,” per Illinois Sheriffs’ Association head Jim Kaitschuck — say they’ll refuse to enforce a provision of a new assault weapons ban that would require owners of such guns to register them with the state. In the…

Bill guaranteeing workers five days of paid leave will head to governor

Bill guaranteeing workers five days of paid leave will head to governor

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A bill that would guarantee a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year for all Illinois workers passed both chambers of the General Assembly Tuesday and will soon head to Gov. JB Pritzker, who says he will sign it. Under Senate Bill 208, workers…

After frenzied ‘lame duck’ session, 103rd General Assembly is sworn in

After frenzied ‘lame duck’ session, 103rd General Assembly is sworn in

By NIKA SCHOONOVER & HANNAH MEISEL for Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A mix of incumbents and newly minted lawmakers were sworn into their terms in the 103rd General Assembly Wednesday following a hectic week of “lame duck” action in the House and Senate. The crowning achievement from Democrats who wield total control of…

After stepping down as minority leader, Durkin to exit Illinois House

After stepping down as minority leader, Durkin to exit Illinois House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin will leave the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday for the last time as a state legislator. After a bruising 2022 election cycle in which House Republicans lost five seats, Durkin did not seek another term as leader of the caucus. But on…

Legal protections for abortion providers, seekers poised for Pritzker’s signature

Legal protections for abortion providers, seekers poised for Pritzker’s signature

By HANNAH MEISEL For Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the General Assembly on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging measure aimed at shoring up Illinois’ position as a “haven” for abortion access in the Midwest, including legal protections for health care professionals and patients traveling from states where abortion access is illegal or restricted.…

UPDATED: Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

UPDATED: Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected]newsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – On the first full day of his second term, Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed a bill banning the sale, distribution and manufacture of high-power assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and large-capacity magazines while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep…

UPDATED: Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

UPDATED: Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker gave final approval Tuesday to a bill banning the purchase, sale and manufacture of semi-automatic assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and large-capacity magazines in the state while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep them. The House had…

Legal protections for abortion providers, seekers poised for Pritzker’s signature

Legal protections for abortion providers, seekers poised for Pritzker’s signature

By HANNAH MEISEL For Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the General Assembly on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging measure aimed at shoring up Illinois’ position as a “haven” for abortion access in the Midwest, including legal protections for health care professionals and patients traveling from states where abortion access is illegal or restricted.…

After stepping down as minority leader, Durkin to exit Illinois House

After stepping down as minority leader, Durkin to exit Illinois House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin will leave the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday for the last time as a state legislator. After a bruising 2022 election cycle in which House Republicans lost five seats, Durkin did not seek another term as leader of the caucus. But on…

UPDATED: Lawmakers pass assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

UPDATED: Lawmakers pass assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House gave final passage Tuesday to a bill banning the purchase, sale and manufacture of semi-automatic assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and large-capacity magazines in the state while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep them. The House had…

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Local News

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Viking girls are golden

The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane de Chantal), Asia…

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She kept her promise

. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] . Never underestimate a woman’s love for her man. Gary and Kimberly Hughes met in 1996. They fell in love and were wed in 1998. They bought a home near 61st and Natchez and were on their way to raising…

Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

By Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the company of…

Michael Benjamin has a laugh after being named Orland Park’s Officer of the Year during a ceremony on Jan. 16. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park cops honored and defended

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park hosted its police awards ceremony last week and, as usual, Mayor Keith Pekau expressed his gratitude for the job the police force does. He also was irked by some comments he has seen online with negative comments on a post. On Jan. 7, Orland police responded to…

Sean Casten

Casten scolds sheriff on new gun control law

Says he can’t pick which laws to enforce By Tim Hadac U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) and several other Democratic members of the state’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, expressing concern over his Jan. 13 statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act (H.B. 5471).…

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2023 Illinois tax filing season now open

From staff reports The Illinois Department of Revenue began accepting 2022 state individual income tax returns on Monday, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service began accepting federal individual income tax returns. “Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible in the tax season and choose direct deposit in order to ensure…

Palos Park Police Officer Ross Chibe, shown at a village council meeting in 2021, and the Palos Park force are staying on top of a sextortion scam that has become prevalent. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park tries to stay ahead of the curve on sextortion scams

By Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Police Department is trying to stay ahead of a disturbing trend that has not been talked about publicly very much. When it comes to the topic of sextortion scams, the Palos Park police are monitoring things very closely and Detective Ross Chibe was called on to provide some wisdom…

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Former hospital employee charged in Palos Heights identity theft

From staff reports A Hazel Crest man was charged last week with aggravated identity theft stemming from an incident that happened on December 27. Palos Heights police took a report on December 27 from a patient at Northwestern Palos Hospital who reported their wallet was missing and then observed two unauthorized charges on her debit…

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed is running for the council again despite health issues. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Despite serious health woes, Reed ready to keep serving for Palos Park

By Jeff Vorva G. Darryl Reed knows his time on Earth could be short. He gets it. He doesn’t like it. But he gets it. The Palos Park commissioner has been dealing with intestinal failure for the past two years and his doctors have not been sugarcoating it. Reed, a former Marine and lawyer, is…

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LaGrange man charged in Summit phone store robbery

From staff reports A LaGrange man has been charged with the robbery last week of the T-Mobile store at 5640 S. Harlem Ave. in Summit. Michael Lang Anderson, 26, was arrested in LaGrange after he was found hiding under some stairs, police said. Police said he robbed the store on January 10. Community activist Raul…

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