Capitol News

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Satanic Temple of Illinois debuted a new display in the Illinois Capitol rotunda Tuesday, taking its place next to the annual Christmas and Hanukkah displays. For Christmas, that means the Springfield Nativity Committee has once again placed a manger scene featuring Mary, Joseph and Jesus.…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers last week passed significant legislation dealing with electric vehicle manufacturing incentives and the availability of hygiene products for prisoners in the state’s correctional system. But some weightier issues, including a possible assault weapons ban, will wait until a lame duck session scheduled for early…

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can consider when determining…

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On the final day of their fall veto session, Illinois lawmakers on Thursday advanced a pair of bills that would infuse $1.8 billion into the state’s unemployment trust fund, which was depleted during the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan agreement came…

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can…

Contempt citations against DCFS director reversed by appellate court

Contempt citations against DCFS director reversed by appellate court

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] An appellate court on Wednesday reversed several contempt of court citations that were filed in recent months against Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith for failing to comply with court orders to place state wards in appropriate settings. The court found that Smith did not…

State lawmakers pass measure limiting state investment in Russian assets

State lawmakers pass measure limiting state investment in Russian assets

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House gave final passage Wednesday to a bill aimed at prohibiting state investment in assets tied to Russia and Belarus in retaliation for their participation in the war in Ukraine. House Bill 1293, by Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, urges the state’s five retirement systems…

Changes to cash bail statute surface before Thursday’s planned adjournment

Changes to cash bail statute surface before Thursday’s planned adjournment

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Two days before lawmakers were scheduled to adjourn for the year, one of the lead negotiators of the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform filed a long-awaited amendment detailing several changes to the landmark cash bail overhaul. Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, filed a 308-page amendment to House…

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces deal to pay down remaining unemployment debt

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces deal to pay down remaining unemployment debt

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Tuesday announced a bipartisan plan to use state revenues to pay down the remaining $1.4 billion in debt taken on by the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment trust fund is generally funded by the state’s businesses through insurance premiums collected via…

Lawmakers announce bipartisan plan to pay down remaining unemployment debt

Lawmakers announce bipartisan plan to pay down remaining unemployment debt

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Tuesday announced a bipartisan plan to use state revenues to pay down the remaining $1.4 billion in debt taken on by the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the agreement is expected to move through the General Assembly this…

Flagpole removed from Old State Capitol

Flagpole removed from Old State Capitol

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – People walking through downtown Springfield on Monday morning looked up to an unusual sight – a helicopter hovering over the Old State Capitol, dropping a rope and lifting away the flagpole that sat atop the bronze-colored dome. “We took off the flagpole of at the Old…

Welch, poised for another term as speaker, reflects on growing House majority

Welch, poised for another term as speaker, reflects on growing House majority

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who recently announced he has the support for another term as House speaker, says he looks forward to governing with an even larger supermajority than he had during his first two years. “Expanding our caucus was definitely a priority of…

Curran eyes ‘balance’ as he prepares to lead Illinois Senate’s GOP minority

Curran eyes ‘balance’ as he prepares to lead Illinois Senate’s GOP minority

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Senate Minority Leader-elect John Curran will take over a caucus that’s more than doubled in size by the majority-party Democrats. His goal: “Bring balance to state government.” “Because we’re going to produce better results with that balance for working families throughout all Illinois communities,” Curran said…

CAPITOL RECAP: Statehouse Republicans choose new leadership

CAPITOL RECAP: Statehouse Republicans choose new leadership

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Republicans chose new leadership for their caucuses in the Illinois General Assembly on Tuesday night, Nov. 15, while the two Democratic leaders have each announced they have the votes to maintain their positions. House Republicans elected Tony McCombie of Savanna and Senate Republicans chose John Curran of Downers Grove.…

With three session days left, SAFE-T Act changes could be forthcoming, ‘technical’ in nature

With three session days left, SAFE-T Act changes could be forthcoming, ‘technical’ in nature

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Changes may yet come to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform before its Jan. 1 effective date, but some of its major proponents in the General Assembly said the results of the Nov. 8 general election have signified that the ship has sailed drastic amendments to…

McCombie to take reins of House GOP caucus

McCombie to take reins of House GOP caucus

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Tony McCombie said Wednesday that her top priority when she becomes the next House minority leader will be to rebuild the GOP caucus following last week’s elections that were, for Republicans, a disappointment. “The top priority is to bring balance to the Republican Party,”…

GOP chooses new leadership in General Assembly as Dems retain control

GOP chooses new leadership in General Assembly as Dems retain control

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republicans chose new leadership for their caucuses in the Illinois General Assembly on Tuesday night, while the two Democratic leaders have each announced they have the votes to maintain their positions. House Republicans elected Tony McCombie of Savanna and Senate Republicans chose John Curran of Downers…

Right to unionize amendment projected to pass

Right to unionize amendment projected to pass

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois voters have approved a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing workers the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Estimates compiled by multiple media outlets projected Tuesday that the ballot measure had support on an estimated 53 percent of the total ballots cast in the election,…

Theis, sworn in as chief justice, says partisanship has no role on state Supreme Court

Theis, sworn in as chief justice, says partisanship has no role on state Supreme Court

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Mary Jane Theis was sworn in as chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court on Monday in a public ceremony, becoming the fourth woman to hold the gavel since the court was created in 1818. By next month, the Democrat will find herself presiding over a…

CAPITOL RECAP: Democrats maintain control in Illinois

CAPITOL RECAP: Democrats maintain control in Illinois

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – As votes continued to be tallied this week, returns showed Illinois Democrats would hold every statewide elected office and maintain supermajorities in the General Assembly while extending their majority on the Illinois Supreme Court. After a fiery election night speech in which Gov. JB Pritzker excoriated the Republican Party…

Report Finds “code of silence” at mental health facility where staff abused and neglected patients

Report Finds “code of silence” at mental health facility where staff abused and neglected patients

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois & MOLLY PARKER Lee Enterprises Midwest This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Lee Enterprises, along with Capitol News Illinois. Several employees at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center attempted to cover up a brutal assault on a patient, according to a new report…

Illinois Democrats maintain control of all levers of state government

Illinois Democrats maintain control of all levers of state government

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – As votes continued to be tallied Wednesday, returns showed Illinois Democrats would hold every statewide elected office and maintain supermajorities in the General Assembly while extending their majority on the Illinois Supreme Court. After a fiery election night speech in which Gov. JB Pritzker excoriated the…

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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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Bridgeview OKs Transit Center At Toyota Park

The Bridgeview Village Board meeting of Oct. 19 highlighted improvements to transportation within the village. An agreement for the lease and maintenance of a transit center at Toyota Park, 7000 S. Harlem Ave., in Bridgeview, has been reached between the Village of Bridgeview and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) better known as PACE bus service.{{more}}…

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Shocking comments from an Orland Fire Protection District trustee

Tuesday’s meeting of the Orland Fire Protection District continued its focus on cutting expenditures to save taxpayer monies and reduce the district’s large annual budget and taxes, but there was a sideshow. Three members of the six-member OFPD Senior Council quit, turning their resignations into a political move and declaring their support of former Fire…

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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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