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Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com A controversial proposal that would grant electric utilities more control over the construction of transmission lines is being revived in Springfield.  Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood, who chairs the Public Utilities Committee in the Illinois House, was behind a push last year that would have granted a temporary “right…

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

BY JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Republicans in the Illinois Senate indicated Tuesday that their sticking point for budget negotiations this year will be the same as it was last year – state spending on programs for noncitizens and recent arrivals from the country’s southern border.  In what’s been a rarity over the past…

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker will give his sixth state budget address this week, laying out his plan for a fiscal year that government forecasters in November predicted is on pace for a near-$900 million deficit unless corrective action is taken.  Those same fiscal forecasters in the Governor’s Office of…

Capitol Brief: Lawyers hope for Illinois Supreme Court answer to Trump ballot question

Capitol Brief: Lawyers hope for Illinois Supreme Court answer to Trump ballot question

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO — Lawyers representing Donald Trump and five Illinois voters hoping to see the former president removed from next month’s primary ballot sparred in a downtown Chicago courtroom on Friday.  The case, which began last month when the Illinois State Board of Elections declined to disqualify Trump from…

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After suddenly pleading guilty as his federal corruption trial was wrapping up this week, former state Sen. Sam McCann won’t be released to await sentencing, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless ruled Friday. McCann has been held at Macon County Jail since last Friday, when Lawless ordered…

With influx of state and federal funding, Illinois looks to add enough chargers to support 1 million EVs

With influx of state and federal funding, Illinois looks to add enough chargers to support 1 million EVs

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois’ electric vehicle charging infrastructure is on pace to double this year, buoyed by an influx of state and federal dollars. The investments are aimed at supporting both federal and state environmental goals. The Biden Administration set the goal of EVs making up half of all U.S. vehicle…

Pritzker commits another $182 million to migrant response, details to come next week

Pritzker commits another $182 million to migrant response, details to come next week

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – The state and Cook County announced Thursday a roughly $250 million plan to provide shelter, health care and other services for recently arrived migrants. But according to their own plan, there’s still a roughly $70 million funding gap for the rest of 2024.  That missing money…

In last-minute reversal, former Sen. Sam McCann pleads guilty to corruption charges

In last-minute reversal, former Sen. Sam McCann pleads guilty to corruption charges

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com This is a breaking news story and will be updated. As federal prosecutors were preparing to rest their case Thursday in the corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, the one-time gubernatorial candidate had a change of heart. His attorney announced McCann would reverse his position…

Customers pay for utilities' lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

Customers pay for utilities’ lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinoisans pay tens of millions of dollars each year to utilities to cover costs they accrue for lawyers, belonging to trade groups, making charitable contributions and purchasing advertisements meant to boost utilities’ public image.  Consumer advocates are pushing for a change to state law that would bar utilities…

Transportation workers rally for new contract amid negotiations with state

Transportation workers rally for new contract amid negotiations with state

By ALEX ABBEDUTO   Capitol News Illinois  abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com  Groups of Illinois Department of Transportation workers represented by local Teamsters unions rallied at facilities in Collinsville and Springfield Wednesday after recently passing a strike authorization and filing complaints against the state.  Teamsters Local 916 President JP Fyans said negotiations have been ongoing since before the contract expired…

In day 2 of trial, prosecutor’s detail former lawmaker’s alleged RV rental scheme

In day 2 of trial, prosecutor’s detail former lawmaker’s alleged RV rental scheme

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com This story will be updated with further details from the trial. Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann was back in federal court on Wednesday for day two of his trial for alleged misuse of campaign funds. Prosecutors delved into McCann’s alleged scheme to rent out a motor home…

Feds accuse ex-lawmaker of ‘greed, fraud and arrogance’ in misusing campaign funds

Feds accuse ex-lawmaker of ‘greed, fraud and arrogance’ in misusing campaign funds

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Bass pulled no punches in describing former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann on the first day of his federal corruption trial on Tuesday. “This case is about greed, fraud and arrogance,” Bass said. “Greed for a lifestyle far beyond his means…fraud in…

Ex-Madigan aide sentenced to 30 months in prison for obstruction of justice attempt, perjury

Ex-Madigan aide sentenced to 30 months in prison for obstruction of justice attempt, perjury

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – For most of his adult working life, Tim Mapes only had one boss: former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. And for the more than 25 years he served as Madigan’s chief of staff, Mapes was known for his extreme loyalty to the powerful speaker. His office…

Gun rights groups ask SCOTUS to review Illinois’ assault weapons ban

Gun rights groups ask SCOTUS to review Illinois’ assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In a long-expected move, national gun rights organizations are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Illinois’ ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. In separate petitions filed Monday, the Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights and the Nevada-based Firearms Policy Coalition asked the nation’s…

McCann trial delayed another day as he cancels plan to represent himself

McCann trial delayed another day as he cancels plan to represent himself

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The federal corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann was delayed again on Monday, but this time for only one day to allow a court-appointed standby attorney time to take over his defense. McCann’s trial has been delayed numerous times since his February 2021…

Former lawmaker taken into custody amid delays to his corruption trial after sudden hospitalization

Former lawmaker taken into custody amid delays to his corruption trial after sudden hospitalization

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann, a onetime third-party candidate for governor, was taken into custody Friday morning ahead of his federal corruption trial on charges he misused campaign funds. The arrest caps a bizarre week that was supposed to have seen his corruption trial begin…

Misdeeds by Carlinville funeral home director spur legislative proposals

Misdeeds by Carlinville funeral home director spur legislative proposals

By BETH HUNDSDORFER   Capitol News Illinois  bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com  The wrong cremains were buried in a national cemetery. Bodies cremated under the wrong name. The wrong ashes returned to families from coast to coast.  An investigation into the mishandling of human remains has affected at least 80 families so far and continues to ripple out from…

Capitol Briefs: IDOT workers authorize strike; attorney general warns of AI election scams

Capitol Briefs: IDOT workers authorize strike; attorney general warns of AI election scams

By ANDREW ADAMS & JENNIFER FULLER  Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Several Teamsters unions representing thousands of state highway workers have authorized strikes as contract negotiations between them and the state’s Department of Transportation continue.  The eight local unions that authorized strikes are spread throughout Illinois and represent around 3,800 employees, including drivers, highway maintainers and…

In crisis, she went to an Illinois facility. Two years later, she still isn’t able to leave

In crisis, she went to an Illinois facility. Two years later, she still isn’t able to leave

By MOLLY PARKER  & BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois mparker@capitolnewsillinois.com bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois.  Kaleigh Rogers was in crisis when she checked into a state-run institution on Illinois’ northern border two years ago. Rogers, who has cerebral palsy, had a mental health breakdown during…

Capitol Briefs: Tax credits for children, manufacturers among new legislative proposals

Capitol Briefs: Tax credits for children, manufacturers among new legislative proposals

By ANDREW ADAMS  COLE LONGCOR & ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com After failing to pass a child tax credit last year, advocates returned to Springfield Wednesday to propose a scaled back version of the policy which they say would still reduce child poverty and spur economic growth.  The proposal, contained in House Bill 4917…

Trump’s Illinois ballot challenge to move forward

Trump’s Illinois ballot challenge to move forward

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A Cook County judge ruled Wednesday that a case seeking to bar former President Donald Trump from the March 19 Republican primary ballot in Illinois will move forward independently of a similar case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Following a brief hearing conducted by videoconference,…

Capitol Briefs: Lawmakers introduce police reform measures, advocates look to end tipped wage

Capitol Briefs: Lawmakers introduce police reform measures, advocates look to end tipped wage

By ANDREW ADAMS & ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO — Families of gun violence victims are asking the state legislature to reform how police handle unsolved murder investigations through legislation introduced this week. House Bill 4753, sponsored by Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, would establish a procedure for families to request a review of…

Day in court postponed for former lawmaker who checked into hospital on eve of corruption trial

Day in court postponed for former lawmaker who checked into hospital on eve of corruption trial

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – On what was supposed to be the third morning of a weeklong corruption trial of former State Sen. Sam McCann, the onetime third-party candidate for governor instead videoconferenced into U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless’ courtroom from his hospital bed.  McCann, who checked himself into Missouri Baptist…

Indicted former lawmaker’s corruption trial up in the air after hospitalization forces delay

Indicted former lawmaker’s corruption trial up in the air after hospitalization forces delay

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Sporting a 5 o’clock shadow and a slight grimace, former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann held his phone very close to his face as he videoconferenced into a federal courtroom from his hospital bed in St. Louis late Tuesday afternoon. McCann’s sudden hospitalization has muddied the…

Local News

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Oak Lawn officials rip governor, legislators over crime 

By Joe Boyle  Two Oak Lawn officials are calling for Gov. J.B. Pritzker and local legislators to re-evaluate a police reform law that they say has resulted in a rise in crime. Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) served as mayor pro-tem during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday night in place of Mayor Terry Vorderer, who could…

New Eagle Scout Adrian Ayala with his parents, Lorena Sanchez and Lazaro Ayala. --Supplied photo

Troop 1441 Scout earns Eagle rank

From staff reports A journey that began years ago for Adrian Ayala recently culminated in Boy Scouting’s highest honor. Ayala, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1441 (sponsored by the St. Mary Star of the Sea Holy Name Society) was honored at an Eagle ceremony at Duggan Hall on Jan. 13. The Eagle rank is a…

Hog Wild is scheduled to open Monday in Oak Lawn, a week after it was originally set to open. (Photos by Kelly White)

Hog Wild to open Monday in Oak Lawn

By Kelly White   Dining choices will get a boost in Oak Lawn with the arrival of Hog Wild. The restaurant is  scheduled to open Monday, January 17, at 4040 W. 111th St. That’s a week later than originally scheduled. “We are very fortunate here in Oak Lawn to have attracted Hog Wild,” Oak Lawn Mayor…

Orland Park Trustee Sean Kampas said voluntary camera registration will help the police solve crimes quicker. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Home security cameras could be big help to Orland cops

By Jeff Vorva  Residents of Orland Park could have a hand in solving crime in the village. The board of trustees unanimously approved to move forward with a voluntary security camera registration program at its Jan. 4 meeting. It’s expected to start on Feb. 1. This program gives citizens and businesses a chance to assist…

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Ailing eagle on the mend

Several blocks northwest of Garfield Ridge—just west of 47th and Harlem–motorists late last month noticed an eagle flying low and acting erratically. The Villa Park-based Chicago Bird Collision Monitors was contacted, and its volunteers found and captured the majestic bird. It was transported to a facility owned and operated by Glen Ellyn-based Willowbrook Wildlife, where…

Joan Hadac

Can’t we just fast-forward to spring?

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com Hi everyone. Is it spring yet? Is the pandemic over yet? Not that I’m impatient or anything. I want to move forward past all the negative COVID-19 has brought to my life and everyone else’s life. I want to see the rebirth…

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas

Scavenger Sale different this year, Pappas says

From staff reports Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ 2022 Scavenger Sale will look different, as the Treasurer’s Office takes steps to help small developers, homeowners and investors rebuild neighborhoods and create generational wealth. Under Illinois law, the Treasurer’s Office is required to conduct a Scavenger Sale every two years, offering at auction the taxes on…

U.S. Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García (D-4th)

Give poor countries a break, Chuy says

From staff reports U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-4th) is one of 18 Members of Congress who recently sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, urging her to use the voice and vote of the United States at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to abolish the IMF’s surcharge policy, which requires countries with substantial…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

Stop sale of dangerous drugs online, Rush says

From staff reports Legislation designed to ensure that social media platforms and websites are held accountable for failing to prevent the sale of dangerous, illegal drugs on their platforms has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st). The Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers (DRUGS) Act also was introduced by U.S. David B. McKinley…

Circle K in Bridgeview sold a $1 million Lucky Day Lotto winning ticket. (Supplied photo)

$1 million Lucky Day Lotto jackpot won in Bridgeview

From staff reports If you bought a Lucky Day Lotto ticket in Bridgeview for Thursday night’s drawing, you may want to check it right away – that’s because you might be a newly-minted millionaire! Circle K gas station, located at 7050 S. Harlem Ave. in Bridgeview, sold a $1 million winning Lucky Day Lotto ticket…

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