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Pritzker urges child vaccination as changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act emerge

Pritzker urges child vaccination as changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act emerge

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – An amendment to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act that allows an employer to fire a worker for noncompliance with COVID-19 vaccine or test requirements surfaced Monday ahead of the final three scheduled days of legislative action this year. That bill language was introduced in…

Democrats unveil 2nd draft of congressional maps

Democrats unveil 2nd draft of congressional maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly released a second draft of proposed congressional district maps over the weekend as they prepare to head into the final three days of their fall veto session. Like the first set of maps that were released Oct. 15, the latest…

CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session's second week

CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session’s second week

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the Health Care Right…

Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals

Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced an executive order Friday that will add day care personnel to the list of professions that must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing. The governor’s office said it expects the order to affect 55,000 individuals in the state,…

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Cook County tax on gun purchases is unconstitutional, but it left the door open for a more tailored tax that specifically goes toward mitigating gun violence and its effects. The Cook County gun tax, which took effect in…

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of the public got their first chance to speak directly to state lawmakers Wednesday about a proposed set of new congressional district maps, and most of those who did were critical of the plan. Democrats in the General Assembly released a proposed new map Friday…

Heavy workload expected next week as lawmakers cancel Thursday session

Heavy workload expected next week as lawmakers cancel Thursday session

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the…

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the legislative redistricting plan that Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in June – before official 2020 U.S. Census numbers were available – was unconstitutional because the population variances among districts violated the “one-person, one-vote” doctrine.…

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday urged eligible Illinoisans to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and called on skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to patients and staff by Thanksgiving. Currently anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine and is over 65 years of age…

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached agreement with multiple trade unions requiring certain state workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is extending the deadline for workers to get their first shot to Oct. 26 while negotiations continue with the state’s…

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ first congressional remap draft is out but changes could be in store as lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for the first of their final two weeks of scheduled session in 2022. It’s customary for lawmakers to meet each fall to consider overriding or accepting any…

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census. The proposed new…

UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session

UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census.…

Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts

Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign released summary documents of his 2020 tax returns Friday, which showed the first family reporting $5.14 million in adjusted gross income, all from taxable interest and dividends. The campaign released seven pages summarizing the governor’s and first lady MK Pritzker’s returns, which…

Democrats release draft congressional maps

Democrats release draft congressional maps

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers released the first draft of new congressional maps Friday, the latest step in a process that occurs every 10 years after the U.S. Census and could impact the balance of power in the U.S. Congress. The new maps are only a draft and will…

Report: Nursing homes in crisis with staff shortages

Report: Nursing homes in crisis with staff shortages

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new report released Wednesday says staffing shortages at nursing homes in Illinois have reached crisis proportions and that people of color are most at risk of suffering the consequences. That’s because those individuals are more likely to live in understaffed facilities or in “ward” rooms…

Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion

Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A railway improvement project intended to greatly improve traffic congestion between St. Louis and Chicago reached a milestone Tuesday as work began on a multimodal transportation hub in the capital city. Gov. JB Pritzker was joined at a groundbreaking ceremony by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and…

CAPITOL RECAP: Congressional redistricting hearings begin

CAPITOL RECAP: Congressional redistricting hearings begin

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The process of redrawing congressional district maps in Illinois got off to a slow start Thursday when only one person showed up to testify at the first legislative public hearing, which was held in Chicago. Ryan Tolley, policy director for the advocacy group CHANGE Illinois, urged the House Redistricting…

Task force considers changes to qualified immunity for Illinois law enforcement officers

Task force considers changes to qualified immunity for Illinois law enforcement officers

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new state task force continued discussions Thursday as to what changes could be made to the way state law approaches qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. Qualified immunity is a court doctrine granting protection for law enforcement officers and other government officials from certain civil…

Only one testifies at first congressional redistricting hearing

Only one testifies at first congressional redistricting hearing

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The process of redrawing congressional district maps in Illinois got off to a slow start Thursday when only one person showed up to testify at the first legislative public hearing, which was held in Chicago. Ryan Tolley, policy director for the advocacy group CHANGE Illinois, urged…

Plaintiffs: New legislative maps dilute Latino vote

Plaintiffs: New legislative maps dilute Latino vote

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting plan have filed new complaints in federal court charging that the district maps that lawmakers approved in August dilute Latino voting power and thus violate the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Mexican…

Officials outline progress in Cairo river port development

Officials outline progress in Cairo river port development

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A proposed river port development in the southern Illinois town of Cairo is drawing much attention and interest from companies that believe it could open up greater access to international markets, officials behind the project said Tuesday. The Alexander-Cairo Port District project has been on the…

Report details disparities faced by aging LGBTQ Illinoisans

Report details disparities faced by aging LGBTQ Illinoisans

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Many aging LGBTQ Illinoisans face barriers to health care and financial security and fear discrimination in senior communities, according to a combined report from senior and LGBTQ advocacy groups released Tuesday. The Disrupting Disparities: Challenges and Solutions for 50+ LGBTQ Illinoisans report by the senior advocacy…

Law enforcement steps up efforts to fight online child exploitation

Law enforcement steps up efforts to fight online child exploitation

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined local and federal prosecutors Monday to announce new efforts to combat a rise in online child exploitation in Illinois. The efforts include greater outreach and education for parents and teachers, and a new mobile computer forensics unit that will…

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Local News

Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Teen helps others despite brittle bone disease

Family toy drive benefits Comer Children’s Hospital By Kelly White Early on in her life, Madelyn Rodrigues was diagnosed with Osteogeneis Imperfects, a brittle bone disease that has already resulted in more than 70 bone fractures in her 14 years of life. As a freshman at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, Madelyn’s inner strength…

The late CPD Officer Ella French.

‘They tried to taint Ella’s legacy’

Aldermen furious with mayor, COPA chief By Tim Hadac The three aldermen representing Clearing and Garfield Ridge are among 20 City Council members opposing the appointment of Andrea Kersten as the next Chief Administrator of Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Kersten, the current interim chief of COPA, came under fire recently for releasing a report…

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Roadrunners are state volleyball champs

Snack With Santa is an event founded by longtime Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Dybala near 40 years ago. It offers a bit of Christmas cheer for children and underscores the local business community’s commitment to the neighborhood. --File photo

Holiday warmth is straight ahead

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday of the year. I look forward to it because it’s all about family, whether it’s family of blood or heart or both. People actually slow down and catch up with each other. It’s not about…

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Pushback over ‘conscience’ law change

Measure would close vax loophole By Peter Hancock Capitol News Illinois and Tim Hadac A number of Southwest Siders are pushing back against a new state law designed to clear the way for employers to enforce vaccination, testing and other mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure, Senate Bill 1169, amends the Illinois…

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Back in their dancing shoes

  After the pandemic forced them off the stage for more than 20 months, the boys and girls of Ballet Folklórico Estrella del Mar donned their costumes and dancing shoes last week and performed for Big Shoulders Fund representatives visiting St. Mary Star of the Sea School in West Lawn. Founded in 2015 at the…

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