Capitol News

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday, Sept. 27, to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed individuals. The employer’s insurance premiums…

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed…

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Capitol News Illinois will significantly expand its operations as it enters the fifth year of operations in 2023 because of a significant grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The McCormick Foundation has announced a three-year, $2 million investment in Capitol News Illinois, a nonprofit news organization that provides…

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme involving a red light camera company. Jones, 44, is a Chicago Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2009. He is also the…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the Senate since 2009…

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In Illinois, the role of state treasurer is that of chief investment officer. Treasurer Michael Frerichs has held that position for two full terms, winning by less than 10,000 votes in 2014 before cruising to an 18 percentage-point victory in 2018. He boasts that Illinois has…

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the…

Capitol Briefs: State Fair sets record; jury awards $363 million in Sterigenics lawsuit

Capitol Briefs: State Fair sets record; jury awards $363 million in Sterigenics lawsuit

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The 2022 Illinois State Fair set an all-time attendance record with more than 636,700 visitors. Weekend attendance increased by 95,000 from one year ago. Attendance topped 2021 overall by more than 160,000 and 2019 by more than 127,000. There was no fair in 2020 for the…

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday, Sept. 16, to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme Court…

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday, Sept. 16, to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme Court…

CAPITOL RECAP: VP Harris visits Chicago

CAPITOL RECAP: VP Harris visits Chicago

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday, Sept. 16, to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme Court…

In visit to Illinois, VP Harris rallies voters around abortion rights

In visit to Illinois, VP Harris rallies voters around abortion rights

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme…

What happens when cash bail ends?

What happens when cash bail ends?

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, cash bail will be abolished in Illinois. The measure that will eliminate it has been on the books since early 2021, giving the justice system two years to plan for the major overhaul of the state’s pretrial detention system. It’s also given…

National Guard to assist migrant welcoming effort as Pritzker declares disaster

National Guard to assist migrant welcoming effort as Pritzker declares disaster

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday that Illinois will continue to welcome migrants bused here from Texas as he blasted that state’s governor for relocating them to other cities without sharing information or providing resources. Pritzker said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his agencies have been providing…

At a remote mental health facility, a culture of cruelty persists despite decades of warnings

At a remote mental health facility, a culture of cruelty persists despite decades of warnings

By MOLLY PARKER Lee Enterprises Midwest BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois and Lee Enterprises. Over a year ago, the security chief at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in southern Illinois sent an email to the head of the state…

Chief Justice Anne Burke to retire from Illinois Supreme Court in November

Chief Justice Anne Burke to retire from Illinois Supreme Court in November

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke announced Monday she will retire from the bench effective Nov. 30. She has served on the state’s high court since 2006 and has been chief justice since 2019. “The decision to retire was not an easy one,” Burke,…

Tax rebate checks begin going out this week

Tax rebate checks begin going out this week

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that Illinois taxpayers will soon start receiving rebates of their income and property taxes, either in the mail or by direct bank deposits. Speaking at a news conference in Chicago where he was flanked by other state officials and Democratic leaders…

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – As voters in Illinois prepare to decide on a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee workers the right to organize, a new study shows union membership in the state grew last year for the first time in four years. The study also showed, however, that the…

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – As voters in Illinois prepare to decide on a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee workers the right to organize, a new study shows union membership in the state grew last year for the first time in four years. The study also showed, however, that the…

CAPITOL RECAP: Gun rights group suing Highland Park

CAPITOL RECAP: Gun rights group suing Highland Park

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – A gun rights group is challenging the city of Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like the ones used in a mass shooting there on July 4. The National Association for Gun Rights, based in Loveland, Colorado, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal district court in…

Gun rights group sues Highland Park

Gun rights group sues Highland Park

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A gun rights group is challenging the city of Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like the ones used in a mass shooting there on July 4. The National Association for Gun Rights, based in Loveland, Colorado, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal…

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Martin Franek, of Oak Lawn, and his partner dance to the sounds of Electricland during the village’s Fall Music Festival. (Photos by Dermot Connolly)

Positive reviews for new Oak Lawn Fall Music Fest

By Dermot Connolly A little rain on Sunday afternoon was the only damper on Oak Lawn’s three-day annual festival, which was renamed Oak Lawn Fall Musical Festival this year. Fifteen of the top local bands, from American English to Radio Ga-Ga, played a variety of music genres on three stages over the three days from……

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Evergreen Park mayor praises Labor Day celebration

By Joe Boyle Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke said activities marking this year’s Labor Day holiday were impressive and memorable. “I want to thank everybody for the wonderful concert and fireworks show we had on Labor Day,” said Burke during the Evergreen Park Village Board meeting on Sept. 6. “It was a huge success. It……

Rich Matokar, who opened his first Arrenello’s 50 years ago in Glenwood, stands inside the Tinley Park location. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Arrenello’s Pizza celebrates 50 years

By Bob Bong Fifty years ago, Rich Matokar had to choose between buying a house or opening a business. He chose to quit his job at U.S. Steel South Works and open Arrenello’s Pizza in Glenwood and the rest, as they say, is history. “I did it on a whim,” he said. “A friend was……

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed said at Monday's council meeting that the payment system for residents needs to be upgraded. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park to offer online payment system for residents

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed introduced a resolution upgrading an enterprise resource planning system at Monday’s village council meeting. He said the last upgrade came in 2013 and the system is outdated. “We want the dinosaurs out of here and make room for the Jetsons,” he said. So, the council is……

Orland Park Trustee Joni Radaszewski, shown at a June 20 meeting, participated via phone at the Sept. 6 meeting. It was her first board meeting since being involved in a serious auto accident. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland trustee back on call after horrific accident

By Jeff Vorva Orland Park Trustee Joni Radaszewski phoned it in on Sept. 6. And the rest of her teammates on the board couldn’t be happier. Radaszewski was seriously injured during an accident in Homer Glen on June 21 which killed her parents, Adrian Spaargaren and Kathleen Repsis, who were passengers in the car. The……

Shepard High School's U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held a 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony September 9 at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

Shepard cadets pay homage to fallen heroes

By Kelly White Shepard High School students took time to remember fallen heroes during a 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony last week. For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held the ceremony at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights, on September 9. The school has been……

autumn in the park 2022

Palos Park’s annual Autumn in the Park kicks off today

Schedule Friday, September 16, 2022 6:00 pm – Grounds Open 6:00 to 10:30 pm – Food Vendors, Beer, Wine and Spirits 7:30 to 10:30 pm – Musical Entertainment -Hairbangers Ball – Main Stage 11:00 pm – Grounds Close Saturday, September 17, 2022 11:00 am – Parade Begins 11:30 am – Grounds Open Noon to 12:30 pm……

Michael Cozzi (second from left) and Nicholas Boynton (fourth from left) were promoted to sergeants during the Worth Village Board meeting on Tuesday night. They were congratulated by (from left) deputy chiefs Chis Fernandez and Rob Petersen, and Police Chief Tim Denton. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Two new police sergeants added in Worth

By Joe Boyle Two new sergeants have been added to the Worth Police Department with enthusiastic community approval. “You will notice that the room is crowded more than usual tonight,” said Mayor Mary Werner during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night. “We are excited to add two new sergeants to the department.” Michael Cozzi,……

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau and the board are against the Illinois SAFE-T act, which it feels gives more breaks to criminals and hurts victims. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park board calls SAFE-T Act ‘massive threat’ to residents

By Jeff Vorva It’s called the Safe-T Act. And, to hear the members of the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees talk about it, there is nothing very safe about it and it’s something they feel that people in this state should be very worried about, come New Year’s Day 2023. “I cannot even……

st. albert the great church

Health officials link Legionnaires disease to Burbank church

By Bob Bong St. Albert the Great Church held masses as usual last Sunday just days after state and Stickney Township health officials said bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease was detected in the Burbank church’s cooling tower. A cluster of cases of the disease reported to health officials put the onset dates of the disease……

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