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Former lawmaker sentenced in bribery scheme

Former lawmaker sentenced in bribery scheme

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Former state Rep. Luis Arroyo was sentenced this week to nearly five years in prison for his role in a bribery scheme involving a state senator and one of Arroyo’s private lobbying clients who sought favorable legislation for the sweepstakes gambling industry. Arroyo, 67, is a…

Republican governor candidates on the issues

Republican governor candidates on the issues

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Abortion, January 6, Donald Trump, Critical Race Theory and whether Joe Biden is rightfully the president of the United States were the basis of questions asked to a field of six Republican candidates for Illinois governor Tuesday. A pair of debates took place on two stages…

CAPITOL RECAP: Republican candidates debate

CAPITOL RECAP: Republican candidates debate

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The six Republican candidates for Illinois governor faced off Tuesday night in Chicago, albeit on two separate debate stages, hours after a shooting at a Texas elementary school that dominated a large portion of the debates. A scheduling conflict between two TV networks – WGN and NBC 5 –…

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ official U.S. census numbers have not changed

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ official U.S. census numbers have not changed

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday that he is asking President Joe Biden and the federal government to increase Illinois’ share of federal funding to reflect the results of a recent Census Bureau study showing the state was very likely undercounted in the 2020 census. The news…

GOP debate: Candidates address rising crime, Texas school shooting

GOP debate: Candidates address rising crime, Texas school shooting

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The six Republican candidates for Illinois governor faced off Tuesday night in Chicago, albeit on two separate debate stages, hours after a shooting at a Texas elementary school that dominated a large portion of the debates. A scheduling conflict between two TV networks – WGN and…

GOP Floor Leader Batinick ready to ‘pass the baton’

GOP Floor Leader Batinick ready to ‘pass the baton’

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Floor Leader Mark Batinick, a self-described “policy guy,” came to Springfield with the goal of pushing good policy. A father of five who resides in Plainfield with his wife, Batinick said after eight years in the General Assembly, it was either time to…

Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’

Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the number two Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, never imagined landing the role of state representative – or that he would leave office feeling that he has been successful at it. The first openly LGTBQ leader in Illinois History,…

11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director

11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday afternoon, a Cook County judge found Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith in contempt of court for the 11th time for violating court orders to move children to proper placements. The 11-year-old girl at the center of the case has…

Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed

Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The official misconduct case against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center senior staff member was dismissed on Thursday. Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp dropped the charges, related to a cover-up of abuse at the state-run facility, against Choate’s quality assurance manager Gary Goins. The…

ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.” Those two sentences may be coming to a gas pump near you…

CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census

CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday, May 19, suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial census…

Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census

Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial…

Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program

Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has resumed participation in the federal Title X family planning program after refusing to take part for the past three years in protest over a Trump administration policy regarding abortion services. Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that the state has been awarded $5.4 million…

Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’

Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFILED – Owners of firearms that do not have serial numbers – referred to as ghost guns – will have 180 days to take them to a federal firearm dealer to have them serialized or they will risk being charged with a misdemeanor. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the…

What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved

What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Amid a campaign season in which every constitutional office and seat in the Illinois General Assembly will be up for vote, rising crime and a landmark criminal justice reform passed in 2021 have become dominant topics for Republicans trying to loosen Democrats’ hold on state government.…

Cost of Statehouse renovation higher than estimated but within state’s budget

Cost of Statehouse renovation higher than estimated but within state’s budget

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The cost of renovating the north wing of the Illinois Statehouse will be more expensive than officials initially estimated. Only one bid came in for the project, which is about to get underway. CORE Construction Services of Illinois Inc. priced the job at $243.5 million, well…

10th contempt citation filed against DCFS director as 13-year-old locked in psych ward

10th contempt citation filed against DCFS director as 13-year-old locked in psych ward

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Leah is a 13-year-old girl under Department of Children and Family Services care who lives in a psychiatric ward in a Chicago hospital. Capitol News Illinois is using a pseudonym to protect her identity, but has confirmed she’s been held for months behind locked doors despite a doctor…

Pritzker signs bill aimed at addressing organized retail crime

Pritzker signs bill aimed at addressing organized retail crime

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Friday that is aimed at cracking down on high-profile “smash-and-grabs” and other organized retail theft. “This important piece of legislation will help to combat these unlawful activities by addressing the problem from multiple angles,” Chauncey Rice, government relations manager for the…

ANALYSIS: Poll shows ‘undecided’ leads GOP governor field, followed by Irvin, Bailey

ANALYSIS: Poll shows ‘undecided’ leads GOP governor field, followed by Irvin, Bailey

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] We’re about a month and a half from the June 28 primary, and “undecided” was the lead vote-getter this week in a new poll of 1,000 likely GOP primary voters, with 36.9 percent of respondents falling into that camp. For those polled who have picked a candidate, Aurora…

Audit finds DCFS failed to implement reforms

Audit finds DCFS failed to implement reforms

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Ta’Naja Barnes was two years old when she was found wrapped in a urine-soaked blanket amid rodent droppings, garbage and rotting food. The temperatures dipped to 45 degrees inside the Decatur home on Feb. 11, 2019, the day Ta’Naja was found. Medical personnel couldn’t get a…

CAPITOL RECAP: Former lawmakers seek back pay for raises they voted against

CAPITOL RECAP: Former lawmakers seek back pay for raises they voted against

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Two former state senators who sponsored and voted for bills to reduce lawmakers’ pay and forgo annual cost-of-living adjustments are now asking the Illinois Supreme Court to declare those measures unconstitutional and award them their back pay. Former Sens. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and James Clayborne, D-Belleville, have been successful…

Pritzker urges Congress to ‘be like Illinois’ in protecting abortion services

Pritzker urges Congress to ‘be like Illinois’ in protecting abortion services

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on Congress Wednesday to “be like Illinois” and codify abortion access into federal law. Pritzker made those comments at a Fairview Heights abortion clinic, touting steps Illinois has taken to protect abortion services should a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973…

Illinois Supreme Court weighs ex-lawmakers’ case for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court weighs ex-lawmakers’ case for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Two former state senators who sponsored and voted for bills to reduce lawmakers’ pay and forgo annual cost of living adjustments are now asking the Illinois Supreme Court to declare those measures unconstitutional and award them their back pay. Former Sens. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and James…

Illinois Democrats’ public safety approach centers on funding infusion

Illinois Democrats’ public safety approach centers on funding infusion

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In the run-up to the early-morning April 9 adjournment of the spring legislative session, Illinois lawmakers passed a spate of public safety measures backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in the $46 billion Fiscal Year 2023 operating budget. The package, pushed by Democrats in an…

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Aid for Metropolitan Family

Madigan, Burke Assist in Raising Funds for Facility Illinois Speaker of the House and state Rep. Michael Madigan (D-22nd) and state Rep. Daniel Burke (D-23rd) were honored by Metropolitan Family Services in securing $825,000 in state funds to improve the agency’s Southwest Side facilities.{{more}} Metropolitan Family Services has been a support system for Southwest Side…

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Orland Park Leader Is Named Top Director

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Nancy Johnson has been named 2011 Activity Director of the Year by the Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA). The awards were announced during the IHCA Annual Convention. ÒNancy has the innate ability to encourage Alden Estates of Orland Park residents to live an active and healthy lifestyle; she plans special events…

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District 229 Asked For Help by Speech Team

Oak Lawn Community High School’s highly successful Speech Team is asking the school board to consider making room in the budget for additional coaches. The request was made at the Oak Lawn Community High School 229 board meeting on Oct. 19.{{more}} Due to low funding, the team was forced to make cuts, reducing the amount…

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Bridal Salon To Reopen In Oak Lawn

Eva’s Bridal in Oak Lawn will be ready to open its doors again on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Ronia Ghusein, owner of Eva’s Bridal, said they will be completing construction that began in June. The new store will be at 5269 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn. ÒIt’s been taking us a long time to get there…

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Halloween Curfew Remains

Oak Lawn Board Insists on 3 to 7 p.m. for Trick-or-Treaters Several residents stepped forward to the podium at the Oak Lawn Board Meeting on Tuesday night to persuade the board to change the Halloween trick-or-treating hours. The current Halloween hours that the board voted on at the Oct. 11 meeting were 3 to 7…

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Students From SW Side Pledge To Resist Guns

Several schools on the Southwest Side of Chicago participated in the 16th annual National Day of Concern. One of the schools was St. Mary Star of the Sea, 6424 S. Kenneth Ave. Technically, the full title is ÒDay of National Concern for Students Against Gun Violence.”{{more}} The Student Pledge Against Gun Violence is a national…

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In Theo We Trust

So Theo Epstein is a Cub, and it’s time to get excited. Right? Right? Well, yeah. But haven’t we Cub fans been excited before? Like when Corey Patterson arrived? Or when Felix Pie arrived? Or when Greg Maddux was signed as a free agent? Or when Kosuke Fukudome came over from Japan?{{more}} Or when Larry…

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Debate Lingers On Cameras For Area 14

The installation of video cameras that will focus on presumed high crime areas in Marquette Park Service Area 14 are on hold. Joe Polikaitis, the director of Marquette Park Service Area 14, was confident that a couple of cameras would be installed in October. ÒThe city will not allow us to use light poles,” said…

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Marquette School Marks ‘Lights On’ After School

The 12th annual ÒLights On After School” day, a celebration of after-school programs on Oct. 20, was put on throughout the country. One million Americans and more than 7,500 communities nationwide celebrated the after-school programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.{{more}} Some schools use this day to display their…

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Argue Length of School Days

Labor Board Backs CTU, But CPS Wants What’s Best for Students The Chicago Teacher’s Union has been adamant in opposing a policy that allows for a longer school day in some of the city’s schools. The CTU argues that implementing a longer school day this year would only affect teachers, who would be forced to…

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