State Senator Bennett passes away from brain tumor

URBANA – Colleagues are remembering State Senator Scott Bennett for his wit, his work on public safety, and his Central Illinois upbringing. In a statement Friday afternoon, his wife Stacy says Bennett succumbed to complications of a large brain tumor. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says the 45-year-old Champaign Democrat was pronounced dead Friday afternoon […]

End of Roe v. Wade increases out-of-state abortion patients in Illinois

  CHAMPAIGN — December 24 will mark half a year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortions.  The June 24 decision to overturn Roe and the related 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, individual states could suddenly regulate abortion in their jurisdictions. Bans and restrictions spread throughout the country. […]

The White House unveils a new system to track and better prevent opioid overdoses

WASHINGTON — For decades, the U.S. struggled to create a national system for tracking opioid overdoses. Critics including Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) say the lack of accurate, real-time data has made it harder for health officials to respond as black market pain pills, heroin and illicit fentanyl flooded communities. Listen to this story here.  “It […]

Why Warnock’s seat means so much to Senate Democrats

WASHINGTON — Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock’s win in the Georgia Senate runoff could have far-reaching consequences legislatively and politically for Democrats. “The truth is it’s not a 1% difference,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said earlier this week. “It’s a world of difference.” Warnock’s victory over former NFL and University of Georgia […]

Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker

ATLANTA — Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia. The victory by the state’s first Black senator ensures Democrats an outright majority in the chamber for the rest of President Joe Biden’s term. That means the party won’t have to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Republicans […]

With a 16-6 majority, the Champaign County Board reelects Kyle Patterson as their chair.

Newly elected Champaign County Board members held their organizational meeting Monday night. The meeting opened with Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons swearing in the assembled board members, which include six new Democrats replacing four Democrats and two Republicans. After losing two seats in the November election, Republicans have just six of their own on the […]

Inspector General slams Pontiac prison workplace culture

PONTIAC — A scathing report from the State Executive Inspector General show a climate of hazing and sexual discrimination created a hostile work environment at the state prison in Pontiac, including stating there is reason for disciplinary action against 10 employees for discriminating against a guard who was perceived to be gay. The guard was […]

‘Timing is right’: Barickman leaving Illinois Senate in January

BLOOMINGTON — Less than a month after winning an uncontested new term in office, State Sen. Jason Barickman said Monday he’ll resign instead of taking office again next year. The Bloomington Republican said it was not an abrupt decision. “Your kids develop so quickly. One year is quite different than another. I have really struggled […]

Supreme Court weighs ‘most important case’ on democracy

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case that could dramatically alter voting in 2024 and beyond. A Republican-led challenge is asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is hearing arguments Wednesday […]

AP sources: Biden tells Dems he wants SC as 1st primary vote

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says Democrats should give up “restrictive” caucuses and move to champion diversity in the order of their presidential primary calendar. His recommendation deals a major blow to Iowa’s decadeslong status as the state that leads off the process. In a letter to the rule-making arm of the Democratic National Committee, […]

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

Final vote on funding to come in lame duck session in January 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 […]

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

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

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 if a defendant is […]

Biden and Macron will hold a joint press conference as part of a state visit

President Biden will host a joint press conference with Emmanuel Macron on Thursday as a part of the French president’s three-day state visit. The joint press conference is set to begin at 11:45 a.m. ET. Watch it live: Traditionally leaders have answered two questions each at joint press conferences; topics that could come up include […]

Illinois Democrats propose banning assault weapons and raising age for gun ownership

Democrats say they hope to pass the massive legislation, which comes in response to the Highland Park shooting, in the lame duck session in January. SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Democrats plan to introduce a massive gun control bill that would outlaw the sale of assault weapons and prevent most residents under 21 from legally buying […]

Plaque dedicated marking the Springfield site of Obama’s presidential announcements

It was fitting that the weather was cold for a ceremony Wednesday, dedicating a plaque that commemorates former President Barack Obama’s key campaign moments at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Obama launched his White House bid on Feb. 10, 2007. He spoke to thousands who braved freezing temperatures to see and hear the then-U.S. […]