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Illinois switching to ACT exams for state assessments

Illinois switching to ACT exams for state assessments

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – When Illinois high school students sit down to take their annual state assessments next year, they will take a different exam than in recent years. The Illinois State Board of Education recently announced that starting next spring, it will use the ACT exam rather than the…

Pritzker to meet with Biden, Dem governors concerned about president’s campaign

Pritzker to meet with Biden, Dem governors concerned about president’s campaign

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker traveled to the White House to meet with President Joe Biden and his fellow Democratic governors on Wednesday amid rising worry within the party about the president’s ability to continue running for a second term. Pritzker – whose name had been floated by the pundit…

State ends fiscal year with nearly $5B cash on hand

State ends fiscal year with nearly $5B cash on hand

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois entered a new fiscal year Monday with a bit of a financial cushion as the prior year’s revenues exceeded final projections by about $123 million.  The state ended fiscal year 2024 with about $4.7 billion cash on hand, or about 9 percent of the allocated spending for…

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Changes to primary election fundraising, the electoral college and the state’s voter registration database are now law after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a wide-ranging bill on Monday. The legislation, containing several unrelated election measures, passed near the end of the legislature’s spring session on a vote of 68-38 in…

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, for now

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, for now

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com The Illinois ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines will remain in place, at least for now.  The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will not take up any of the pending challenges to the law until the cases have been fully heard in lower courts.  Illinois lawmakers…

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com With fiscal year 2025 slated to begin Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker continues to tout available state tax incentives and promote Illinois as a site for business development. On the season finale of “Illinois Lawmakers” this week, Pritzker pointed to a pair of developments in East Alton and Normal…

After 9 months, state data begins to detail new pretrial detention system

After 9 months, state data begins to detail new pretrial detention system

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Nine months after cash bail ended in Illinois, the state is taking its first steps in publishing the data that crafters of the bail reform law saw as essential to judging its effectiveness. The data shows that judges in the 75 counties served by the Illinois Supreme Court’s…

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com With fiscal year 2025 slated to begin Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker continues to tout available state tax incentives and promote Illinois as a site for business development. On the season finale of “Illinois Lawmakers” this week, Pritzker pointed to a pair of developments in East Alton and Normal…

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Abortion remains legal as an emergency medical procedure in Idaho, for now, after a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court ruling, while a bill that would cement those protections in Illinois law awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.  The 6-3 decision saw the three liberal justices concur with the order. Three…

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com LINCOLN – On the eve of a scheduled vote to advise Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on plans to close and rebuild a pair of dilapidated state prisons, hundreds filed into a junior high school gymnasium Thursday evening clad in matching green T-shirts. Printed on the shirts was a…

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday narrowed the scope of a federal bribery law prosecutors have relied on in their cases against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and several of his allies convicted of bribing him. A jury last spring found those allies – former lobbyists and…

Quantum technology companies set for big tax incentives under new law

Quantum technology companies set for big tax incentives under new law

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday gave final approval to a plan to bolster the state’s tech industry, including an incentives package – backed by $500 million in the state budget – aimed at making Illinois the nation’s leader in quantum computing.  The package also expands tax…

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com In the final hours of their spring legislative session, Illinois lawmakers approved a tax credit of up to about $300 for families with young children.  The credit is available to Illinoisans with children under age 12 who qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. Although…

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois law banning the sale and use of “bump stocks” and other devices that increase the firing power of semiautomatic weapons remains in place, at least for now, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday striking down a federal ban on such items. “Illinois law…

Another Choate Mental Health Center employee indicted for abuse of resident

Another Choate Mental Health Center employee indicted for abuse of resident

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com Another caregiver at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Anna is facing charges for abusing a patient. A grand jury indicted Joseph A. Clark, 24, of Grand Chain, on a felony charge of aggravated battery and a misdemeanor charge of battery. Clark pinned a Choate resident to…

State highway shootings decline as critics sue over ‘dragnet surveillance’

State highway shootings decline as critics sue over ‘dragnet surveillance’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois State Police say an automated license plate reader program has helped the agency identify witnesses or suspects in 82 percent of highway shooting cases this year, including all eight that resulted in a death.  But as the state looks to further expand its network of more than…

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois law banning the sale and use of “bump stocks” and other devices that increase the firing power of semiautomatic weapons remains in place, at least for now, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday striking down a federal ban on such items. “Illinois law…

Just weeks before Republican National Convention, Illinois GOP chair announces resignation

Just weeks before Republican National Convention, Illinois GOP chair announces resignation

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Halfway through the 2024 election cycle and just a few weeks away from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Illinois GOP Chair Don Tracy on Wednesday announced his resignation as head of the state Republican Party. Tracy, who’d held the job since February 2021, explained his resignation in…

Pritzker signs bill creating new Department of Early Childhood

Pritzker signs bill creating new Department of Early Childhood

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Tuesday creating a new cabinet-level state agency dedicated to early childhood education and development. The new Department of Early Childhood, which will become operational in July 2026, will take over programs currently housed across three state agencies, including funding for preschool…

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is urging a Cook County judge to dismiss a lawsuit members of his staff filed against him last month seeking to force recognition of their union. In a new filing Monday, attorneys for Welch argued the Illinois Legislative Staff Association has no…

Advocates say SCOTUS ruling paves way for law ensuring abusers have guns confiscated

Advocates say SCOTUS ruling paves way for law ensuring abusers have guns confiscated

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com After the U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld a federal law that bars those under domestic violence-related restraining orders from owning guns, victim advocates say Illinois lawmakers should pass a measure to ensure firearms are actually confiscated in those situations. The legislation has been stalled for more than…

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Jimmy Soto spent more than 42 years wrongfully imprisoned in Illinois Department of Corrections facilities. In 2020, he was moved to the “F-House” at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, a condemned unit, not because he was being punished, but because it was where the facility was housing individuals…

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A hearing officer is recommending the Illinois State Board of Elections dismiss a complaint that alleged conservative radio host and political operative Dan Proft illegally coordinated with former Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey during his 2022 campaign for governor. Proft, a one-time gubernatorial candidate himself, is behind an…

State highway shootings decline as critics sue over ‘dragnet surveillance’

State highway shootings decline as critics sue over ‘dragnet surveillance’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois State Police say an automated license plate reader program has helped the agency identify witnesses or suspects in 82 percent of highway shooting cases this year, including all eight that resulted in a death.  But as the state looks to further expand its network of more than…

Local News

A statue from a monument lies on the ground at Resurrection Cemetery in Justice. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

EF1 tornado barrels through Justice and Bridgeview

By Carol McGowan An EF1 tornado, packing winds of 90 miles per hour, swept through Justice and Bridgeview Monday night. Village of Justice Public Works Director Joe Cekus said he knew trouble was on the way. “I was looking in the sky for rotation and I heard a train,” he said. “I quickly realized that…

Two pickup trucks in the 7400 block of Roberts Road in Bridgeview were destroyed by fire. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview family loses two pickup trucks, but house is saved

By Steve Metsch A Bridgeview family in the 7400 block of Roberts Road knows first-hand the damage weather can do. When high winds hit around 9:30 p.m. Monday as a tornado blew through Justice, a cemetery and then into Bridgeview, two power lines were brought down near their bi-level house. One line fell in the…

Rihanna will open her first Savage X Fenty store in Illinois at Orland Square Mall on Friday. (Photo by Allie Baar)

Rihanna to open Savage X Fenty store in Orland Park on Friday

By Bob Bong Barbados superstar Rihanna will open her first Savage X Fenty store in Illinois on Friday morning in Orland Square Mall in Orland Park. The singer, actor and businesswoman will open the store at the mall’s lower level near the Coach store at 10 a.m. Savage X Fenty will host a grand opening…

The Village of Palos Park encouraged residents to unplug their devices for a day at part of Unplug Illinois on July 13. (Supplied photo)

Palos Park encourages residents to unplug

By Kelly White The Village of Palos Park encouraged residents to unplug their devices for a day at part of Unplug Illinois on Saturday, July 13. The day is a state-wide effort, started in 2014, to encourage everyone to “plug into” the amazing recreational opportunities offered by local park and recreation agencies. The Village of…

Portillo's Hot Dogs (PRNewsFoto/Portillo's Hot Dogs)

Comings & Goings: Portillo’s coming to Orland Park

By Jeff Vorva After the Orland Park Village Board voted Monday night to allow for a special use program, it set the wheels in motion for a Portillo’s Hot Dogs drive through to be built at 20 Orland Square Drive, the site of the shuttered Denny’s. It will be a 3,305-foot square building and will…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said that pre-concert problems caused by the weather on July 13 are fixable.
(Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Mayor says Centennial Park West concert snafus ‘easily solvable’

By Jeff Vorva The weather gods hit Orland Park’s Pat Benatar concert with their worst shot. A major storm took place July 13 when the event at the refurbished Centennial Park West was scheduled to open the gates. That caused a delay in opening the gates for 40 minutes which resulted in massive lines and…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth approves $590,000 for street repairs

By Joe Boyle A variety of projects ranging from street repairs and a new pump station for the golf course have been approved for the Village of Worth. A bid was awarded to Lindahl Brothers during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night. Lindahl was the lowest bidder among four entries at $590,384.90 for future street repair…

Alumni Association members Heather Leininger, Emily Szymczak, Candice Mares and Miriam Cruz (at table) lead a crowd of LeaderShop alumni and community members waving posters saying Morals Matter, Demand Change, and Integrity for the Kids. (Photos by S. Kirchman)

LeaderShop alumni, board meeting turns testy at times

By S. Kirchman The LeaderShop Alumni Association rallied under the pavilion at The LeaderShop office in La Grange for the board’s scheduled 6 p.m. meeting after it was switched from in-person to virtual earlier on Thursday. The Alumni Association consists of volunteers, previous staff members, former members of the board of directors, funders, donors, and…

Cleveland Cavaliers guard-forward Max Strus hits a 3-pointer last season over the Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown. Photo courtesy of Max Strus

Hometown Hoops Hero: Stagg alum Max Strus discusses his rise through the NBA, hitting big shots and his annual youth hoops camp

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent A lot of changes have taken place for Max Strus during the past year. While the Cleveland Cavaliers guard has played in an NBA Finals and been featured as No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s “Top Plays,” among other noteworthy events, the Stagg alum is the same homegrown kid who grew up…

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press release posted…

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