Capitol News

Pritzker unveils energy plan amid session’s final stretch

Pritzker unveils energy plan amid session’s final stretch

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s office unveiled a 900-page energy overhaul bill Wednesday, accelerating a yearslong negotiating process which advocates hope will end in a comprehensive clean energy platform as the session nears its final month. The stated goal of the bill is to drive Illinois to 100…

State lawmakers consider lifting ban on betting on in-state colleges, universities

State lawmakers consider lifting ban on betting on in-state colleges, universities

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State lawmakers are considering a number of changes to Illinois gambling laws, including a measure that would lift the prohibition on gambling on in-state colleges and universities. Other measures discussed by the House Executive Committee Wednesday would legalize and regulate certain internet gambling programs, or I-gaming, and…

State invests $15 million to fuel two new manufacturing programs downstate

State invests $15 million to fuel two new manufacturing programs downstate

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday the state was distributing funds to two downstate Illinois community colleges for electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy generation training programs. Pritzker made the announcement at Heartland Community College in Normal, where one of the new programs will launch. “I’m committed to…

GOP calls out Pritzker for backtracking on independent maps

GOP calls out Pritzker for backtracking on independent maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate Republicans on Wednesday harshly criticized Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, accusing him of breaking a campaign pledge to support an independent commission to redraw congressional and legislative district maps. “What I want to say is, the gerrymandering train is on the tracks,” Senate Republican Leader Dan…

Officials provide vaccination update as doses administered top 9 million

Officials provide vaccination update as doses administered top 9 million

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Public health officials gave an update on the status of the state’s vaccination efforts Tuesday as the number of vaccines administered in Illinois topped 9 million. Speaking in a joint hearing of the House Human Services and Health Care committees Tuesday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director…

Pritzker signs health care reform measure backed by Black Caucus

Pritzker signs health care reform measure backed by Black Caucus

By TIM KIRSININKAS & RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News [email protected]@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker declared health care “a right, not a privilege” Tuesday as he signed a massive reform bill backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the last of four policy pillars introduced as part of an anti-racism agenda last year. The “Illinois Health…

Trial date set for state senator charged with embezzlement

Trial date set for state senator charged with embezzlement

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Tom Cullerton, who was indicted in 2019 on charges of embezzlement, is set to go to trial in February next year, a federal judge said on Tuesday. Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park, is scheduled to be tried in the U.S. District Court in Chicago,…

Illinois to lose congressional seat based on 2020 census

Illinois to lose congressional seat based on 2020 census

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday Illinois will lose a seat in Congress based on the results of the 2020 census. Illinois will move from 18 to 17 seats in the U.S. House, an expected result after some advocates had warned that an undercount could lead to…

New state program aims for ‘one-on-one connections’ in communities to combat COVID-19

New state program aims for ‘one-on-one connections’ in communities to combat COVID-19

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new state program Monday that aims to increase vaccine access in low-income, vulnerable communities and to connect residents across the state to COVID-19 assistance programs for transportation, food, utilities or other resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic Health Navigator Program serves areas of the…

Illinois General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session end approaches

Illinois General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session end approaches

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — The state Senate and House passed more than 750 bills between them last week, addressing isolated timeouts in schools, youth vaping, teaching Muslim history, the commemoration of Juneteenth and automatic voter registration in prisons, among other topics. Friday was the deadline for the General Assembly to pass…

CAPITOL RECAP: Revenue discussions progressing at Capitol

CAPITOL RECAP: Revenue discussions progressing at Capitol

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Members of an Illinois Senate committee on Friday, April 23, sparred with officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration Friday in a hearing on tax changes proposed by the governor in an effort to balance the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. In his budget proposal released in February,…

Bills creating liaisons for homeless college students, addressing dental care in schools advance

Bills creating liaisons for homeless college students, addressing dental care in schools advance

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate advanced several bills to the House Wednesday, including one establishing a housing insecurity liaison for homeless college students and another allowing routine dental care to be provided at schools. Senate Bill 190, sponsored by Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton, D-Western Springs, would require higher education…

House passes bill to reclassify small-amount drug possession as misdemeanor

House passes bill to reclassify small-amount drug possession as misdemeanor

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — A bill to lessen penalties for possessing and selling small amounts of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, narrowly passed out of the state House of Representatives Wednesday after a contentious debate. The discussion over House Bill 3447 provoked strong emotions on both sides of the aisle, passing…

CAPITOL RECAP: Lawmakers begin review of state monuments

CAPITOL RECAP: Lawmakers begin review of state monuments

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – A House committee tasked with reviewing statues and monuments on state property held its first meeting Wednesday, April 21, hearing from historians and state government associations on what steps are being in other states and what frameworks can be established to guide the review process. Rep. Tim Butler, a…

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A bill allowing a person who must register with a state agency due to a criminal conviction to change their name under specific circumstances passed the Illinois House on Thursday with bipartisan support. House Bill 2542, introduced by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, amends several state statutes…

House passes leadership term limits, source of income protections for renters

House passes leadership term limits, source of income protections for renters

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House advanced several bills Thursday, including one which would implement term limits on leadership positions in the General Assembly and another that would create additional protections for tenants’ sources of income. House Bill 642, introduced by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, would bar any individual…

Lawmakers question Exelon audit

Lawmakers question Exelon audit

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of a state Senate committee sharply criticized a recent audit of Exelon’s nuclear power plant operations that suggested ratepayers may need to subsidize two of those plants by as much as $350 million over the next five years. Gov. JB Pritzker’s office and the Illinois Environmental…

Illinois House OKs bill to license professional midwives

Illinois House OKs bill to license professional midwives

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — The certified professional midwife profession in Illinois moved one step closer to becoming an officially licensed occupation on Thursday with the passage of House Bill 3401. HB 3401 creates the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which would license individuals who perform out-of-hospital births and have…

Springfield Republican calls out Democrats for placing bill 'on review'

Springfield Republican calls out Democrats for placing bill ‘on review’

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — Republican Rep. Tim Butler on Thursday accused the new Democratic leadership in the state House of Representatives of preserving practices from previous leadership which Republicans say unfairly benefits the majority party. “So, what the speaker said back in January about this place being different and running…

House passes bill reducing barriers to telehealth

House passes bill reducing barriers to telehealth

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House passed a bill Friday which would make COVID-19-related expansions to telehealth services permanent through state statute. House Bill 3498, introduced by Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, aims to reduce barriers in access to virtual and telehealth services and would bring standards for virtual care…

Lawmakers, Pritzker administration spar over projected fiscal year revenues

Lawmakers, Pritzker administration spar over projected fiscal year revenues

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of an Illinois Senate committee sparred with officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration Friday in a hearing on tax changes proposed by the governor in an effort to balance the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The Senate Revenue and Appropriations committees held the joint…

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Local News

With the color guard flags whipping in the breeze, the Shepard High School marching band rehearses their new field show. (Supplied photos)

Marching Astros take the field

Weeks before the start of the new school year, marching band members from Shepard High School baked in the summer sun to prepare for the coming competitive season. As much as any event, marching band camp signals the start of a new school year. For a week, the Marching Astros arrived early and stayed late…

Ryan Clancy talks about his sister, Chicago Police Officer Patricia "Patsy" Swank, 29, who committed suicide last month. Clancy said the pressure on all police officers is a heavy burden and supports the Oak Lawn Police Department following a controversial arrest of a teen last month. Clancy made his comments during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning.(Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn residents offer staunch support for police

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn residents came out in force to offer support for the village’s police department after a well-publicized arrest of a teen following a traffic stop last month. Residents jammed the Oak Lawn Village Hall for the board meeting Tuesday morning to provide testimony in support of officers after the arrest of…

American English, an award-winning Beatles cover band, entertained the large crowd for over two hours, despite on-and-off rain, as the final act of Sunday's event. (Photos by Isabella Schreck)

Tunes and tons of local restaurants come together at the Taste of Orland

By Isabella Schreck The Supremes, John Mellencamp and The Beatles came to the Taste of Orland. Well, really, tribute bands brought their music and presence to Orland Park Village Center’s stage. “I was really impressed with American English,” Rebecca Whealan, of Palos Heights, said. “From the costumes to their sound [Eric Michaels] as Paul McCartney,…

election 2022

Calandriello announces Biking the 17th District on Sunday

From staff reports Daniel Calandriello, the Democratic nominee for the Cook County Board 17th District, announced a “Biking the 17th District” event from Elk Grove Village to Orland Park on Sunday to raise awareness of the Cook County Forest Preserve. Calandriello, of Orland Park, plans to bike several trails located within the Cook County Forest…

Bob Krusza shows off his 1964 Chevy Impala SS at Thursday night's Auto Show. (Photo by Steve Neuhaus)

Willow Fest 2022

Willow Springs Willow Fest will take place through Sunday at Willow Springs Village Center, 1 Village Circle, Willow Springs (corner of Archer Avenue and Willow Springs Road). Hours are 4-11 p.m. Friday, 1-11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Special needs hours 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Free parking. Free shuttle service…

Joan Hadac

If you’re young, grab the baton

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] If you’re a young adult in Clearing or Garfield Ridge—or even a middle-aged man or woman—it’s easy to look at the senior citizens leading our local civic leagues or neighborhood watches and assume it’s always been that way. But you’d be mistaken.…

Thomas McGill

Campaign 2022: Garfield Ridge man to run for state senate

McGill to focus on law enforcement issues By Bob Bong As it turns out, Democratic state Senate candidate Mike Porfirio looks like he will face a Republican challenger in November’s general election. Porfirio, a Lyons Township trustee, had filed to run for the 11th Illinois Senate seat on the same day incumbent Sen. Steve Landek withdrew…

Acting Police Chief Mel Ortiz joins some kids in the bounce house at Summit's National Night Out last week. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit police mingle with public at National Night Out

By Carol McGowan Summit police and firefighters hosted their annual National Night Out last week and entertained residents with games, food and music. Thousands of communities in the United States and around the world celebrate on the first Tuesday of August as people are asked to turn on outside lights and join first responders to…

Matt Duzak, Bridgeview’s newest fire lieutenant, was sworn in by Mayor Steve Landek on Aug. 3. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

‘A fine man’ is newest fire lieutenant in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch Matt Duzak wanted to be a firefighter since he was a young boy. In his adult life, he drove trucks around the Chicago area for a living, working with his father-in-law. But that old desire to fight fires never disappeared. After a stint with the Roberts Park Fire Protection District in Justice…

State Rep. Fran Hurley

Hurley says August 15 is deadline to apply for Illinois State Police

State Rep. Fran Hurley is encouraging interested Illinois State Police candidates to apply by Monday, Aug. 15, to be considered for the January 2023 cadet class. “For those who want to pursue a career of service, this is a wonderful opportunity to work for a great organization that supports its members,” Hurley said. “It is…

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