Capitol News

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]illinois.com 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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Palos 118’s West Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

Palos West Elementary School in Palos Consolidated School District 118 has been named a National Blue Ribbon School award winner by the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made the announcement on September 16. “This is a moment of extreme pride for us here in District 118,” said Supt. Dr. Anthony…

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Palos Park Woman’s Club turns 120

The Palos Park Woman’s Club officially turned 120 years old on August 21, 2022. A celebration was held on that day at the Palos Park Rec Center with approximately 100 people in attendance including members, local dignitaries, family and friends. The Village of Palos Park recently proclaimed August 21 through September 17 as Palos Park…

Northwestern College Summer Quarter Nursing graduates hold lanterns during their Pinning Ceremony, symbolizing the passing of the flame from the founder of professional nursing, Florence Nightingale. (Supplied photo)

Northwestern College holds summer pinning ceremony

Northwestern College’s Violet L. Schumacher School of Nursing held a Pinning Ceremony for its Summer Quarter Nursing graduates on September 8. The ceremony was conducted at the Oak Lawn Public Library’s lower-level conference room, a new location following the college’s recent move from Bridgeview to Oak Lawn. The traditional ceremony marks the formal induction of…

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Join the Polish American Cultural Club Meetings of the Polish American Cultural Club are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at American Legion Post 1941, 900 S. La Grange Road, La Grange. Dues are $20 per year for individual membership and $35 for a family membership. The mission of our…

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9th annual Halloween run at Moraine Valley

Grab a costume, dress up the kids and head to the ninth annual Halloween 5K run/walk and Kid’s Dash on Saturday, Oct. 29, 9 a.m., at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills. Participants can walk or run the officially timed 5K (3.1 mile) path throughout campus. The Kid’s Dash will start…

Palos Heights Alderman Jack Clifford argues with resident Dan Nicholson during Tuesday's meeting. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Sparks fly during Palos Heights parking lot debate

By Jeff Vorva The City of Palos Heights is one step away from voting on a controversial new parking lot and the issue drew some fireworks Tuesday night. Nine people spoke on the topic during a 45-minute public comment session, but it was resident Dan Nicholson who pushed the buttons of Aldermen Jack Clifford and…

An American flag is draped in front of the McCook fire station during 9-11 ceremonies. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

McCook hosts celebration of heroes to honor sacrifices of September 11

By Carol McGowan Despite the drenching rain on Sunday, more than 200 people gathered for the annual Celebration of Heroes event at the McCook Fire Department to honor the people who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Five villages took part in Sunday’s event: McCook, Riverside, Forest View, Lyons, and Willow Springs.…

Bob Sprinkle (left) swears in Police Chief Garry McCarthy. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

McCarthy named permanent police chief in Willow Springs

By Carol McGowan Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was sworn in last week as the new permanent police chief in Willow Springs. McCarthy, who has been serving as acting police chief since April, was sworn in by Bob Sprinkle, longtime resident and chairman of the Willow Springs Police Commission. He served as Chicago’s top…

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Justice raises $5,000 for holiday baskets

By Carol McGowan Justice Trustee Jeff Allen said the village raised almost $5 ,000 at the annual car show in August, which will go towards the annual holiday baskets and gift cards program for less fortunate residents. Allen said the car show brought in just over $4,919. Otherwise, it was business as usual at the…

Lanie Reilly, 6, a first-grader at Pleasantdale Elementary School, was Countryside mayor for a day on Sept. 14. She started the city council meeting with Mayor Sean McDermott. Her mother, Jessica, said Lanie “checked out the whole building.” Lanie says she wants to be mayor when she grows up. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside to renovate baseball field at City Park

By Steve Metsch Youth baseball players in Countryside will have an improved ball field to play on in City Park next year. The city council at its Sept. 14 meeting unanimously approved paying Sportfields Inc., of Alsip, $29,800 to do the renovation work. Ald. Mark Benson (3rd) told the council the work “is long overdue…

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