State Board of Education Calls For In-Person Learning Next School Year

school buses

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday calling on all public schools to return to in-person learning during the upcoming school year. The resolution doesn’t institute any mandates or requirements for Illinois schools to follow, but shows unified support from ISBE for an upcoming decision by State Superintendent Carmen Ayala. In […]

Pritzker Now Says Budget Can Include Added $350 Million For K-12 Schools

State Capitol of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Citing an “improved” economic outlook, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday his support to increase evidence-based education funding in the state by $350 million in fiscal year 2022 which begins July 1. In his February budget proposal, Pritzker originally proposed flat spending for education, citing “financial uncertainty” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It would have […]

Chicago Auto Show To Return In July As State Prepares For Return Of Large Events

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday the Chicago Auto Show will return in July, signaling the return of some larger-scale events amid declining COVID-19 positivity rates. The announcement comes one day after Pritzker announced the state could be moving forward to the “bridge” phase of reopening as early as next week, which allows for […]

Illinois Economy Shrinks 4% In 2020 Despite 4th Quarter Growth

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois economy shrank by 4 percent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many of its sectors, although there were signs of a recovery taking place late in the year. Those preliminary numbers, released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that the leisure, hospitality and […]

Report Into LaSalle Home Deaths Raises Questions About Criminal Probe

SPRINGFIELD — Some Republicans in the General Assembly, including House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, are calling for a criminal investigation into the COVID-19 related deaths at the state-run LaSalle Veterans’ Home. The push for a criminal probe comes after a state investigative report was released Friday that found there were widespread failures at the LaSalle […]

New State Program Aims For ‘One-On-One Connections’ In Communities To Combat COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new state program Monday that aims to increase vaccine access in low-income, vulnerable communities and to connect residents across the state to COVID-19 assistance programs for transportation, food, utilities or other resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic Health Navigator Program serves areas of the state outside of Chicago and Cook […]

U.S. Suggests ‘Pause’ On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Shots Over Clot Reports

UPDATED at 2 p.m. with information from the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health officials in east-central Illinois. WASHINGTON — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease […]

Illinois Prisons To Restart In-Person Visits, Over A Year After COVID Stoppage

SPRINGFIELD – Within a month, Illinois prisons will be allowing in-person visitation again. It’s been over a year since the Illinois Department of Corrections stopped visitation to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Department spokesperson Lindsey Hess said plans to restart visitation have been in the works for months. IDOC has been working with the Illinois Department of […]

Tourism And Hospitality Leaders Call For State Support, Guidance Amid COVID-19 Recovery

SPRINGFIELD – Leaders from the state’s tourism and hospitality industry asked legislators for additional support and reopening guidance during a Thursday committee hearing as the state plans next steps for its COVID-19 economic recovery. Michael Jacobson, President and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, told the House Tourism Committee Thursday that hotels have […]

Judge Declines To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Indoor Dining Ban

SPRINGFIELD – A Kane County restaurant’s legal challenge to Gov. JB Pritzker’s ban on indoor dining can continue, a Sangamon County judge ruled this week. Attorneys for Pritzker tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow on Wednesday declined to do so. While Grischow decided not to dismiss the case, she did […]

State Tops Single-Day Vaccine Record At 154,201 As Universal Eligibility Nears

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker reiterated Thursday that all Illinois residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, April 12, as vaccine supply – but also virus transmission rates and hospitalizations – continues to increase. More than 80 of the state’s 102 counties have already opened eligibility to […]

COVID-19 Positivity Rate Reaches Highest Level Since Late January

SPRINGFIELD – Public health officials on Wednesday announced 3,790 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 out of 80,628 test results reported over the previous 24 hours, bringing the statewide seven-day rolling positivity rate to 4.1 percent, the highest that figure has stood since Jan. 30. Statewide, COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased Wednesday, as the Illinois […]

Pritzker Urges Schools To Focus COVID Relief Funds

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker took to the road Monday to urge local school districts in Illinois to carefully target the roughly $7 billion in federal funds they will soon receive in order to help students overcome the learning loss they may have suffered during the pandemic. “We’re all wondering if this was a lost […]

Housing Advocates Plan Next Steps Amid Pandemic Economic Uncertainty

SPRINGFIELD – As economic uncertainty continues to linger one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, housing advocates across the state are planning next steps to protect tenants and landlords and create additional affordable housing opportunities. Over the past several weeks, the General Assembly has considered various bills on the subject, including emergency rental assistance, lifting the […]