New state laws taking effect Jan. 1

SPRINGFIELD – Minimum wage workers in Illinois will see a boost in their hourly pay to $12 per hour starting Jan. 1, while tenants in affordable housing units will be allowed to keep pets. Those are just some of the more than 300 new laws that take effect in the new year. The minimum wage increase is […]

Illinois Supreme Court lifts hold on judicial redistricting

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court will lift its pause order on judicial redistricting on Jan. 1, fully implementing new judicial boundaries passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker earlier this year. The judicial district boundaries will change for the first time since they were established in 1964. The […]

1 million EVs: Inside the state’s plan for electrifying the transportation sector

SPRINGFIELD – With a pair of major policy victories in hand, Gov. JB Pritzker traveled to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, at the beginning of the month and shared a vision for his home state: “Illinois intends to become the best place in North America to drive and manufacture an electric […]

New state law bans ‘dark money’ in judicial races

SPRINGFIELD – A new law in Illinois aims to ban out-of-state contributions and so-called “dark money” in judicial campaigns by requiring all candidates to disclose the sources of their contributions. Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday signed Senate Bill 536 into law, an omnibus elections bill that makes a number of other changes to the way elections are […]

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday urged eligible Illinoisans to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and called on skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to patients and staff by Thanksgiving. Currently anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine and is over 65 years of age or at higher risk of COVID-19 because […]

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached agreement with multiple trade unions requiring certain state workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is extending the deadline for workers to get their first shot to Oct. 26 while negotiations continue with the state’s largest public employees union. Pritzker issued executive orders in […]

As Pritzker admin. pushes for nursing home reform, report details weaknesses in oversight

This story has been updated. In the early days, weeks and months of the pandemic, COVID-19 ravaged nursing homes, killing thousands of elderly and frail residents and forcing the isolation of thousands more. Though long-term care facilities statewide locked down, forbidding outside visits from family members, staff from the Illinois Department of Public Health charged […]

Plaintiffs: New legislative maps dilute Latino vote

SPRINGFIELD – Plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting plan have filed new complaints in federal court charging that the district maps that lawmakers approved in August dilute Latino voting power and thus violate the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational fund, or […]

Supreme Court Eviction Order Extended To Coincide With Governor’s Moratorium

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday extended its order limiting judgements in certain eviction cases to Oct. 3, putting it in line with the governor’s latest executive order. The only thing changed in the Supreme Court order was the date it is set to expire, from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3. It still prevents dispositive […]

Lawmakers Question Enforcement Of School Mask Mandates

SPRINGFIELD – Expressing concern that the Illinois State Board of Education might have overstepped its bounds by threatening to withhold funding from school districts that do not enforce its mask mandate, a legislative panel on Tuesday urged the agency to put its policies into formal rules. The unanimous vote by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, […]

House To Return To Springfield Thursday For Further Energy Negotiations

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House is scheduled to return to Springfield Thursday to try again at passing an elusive energy regulation overhaul days after the governor’s office announced support for a new proposal. It’s the latest push for a legislative accomplishment that has eluded Gov. JB Pritzker in his three years in office, and it’s […]

Ambulance Carveout Is Latest Medicaid Managed Care Battleground

SPRINGFIELD – Stakeholders are calling on Gov. JB Pritzker to sign a bill that passed the General Assembly unanimously and would remove non-emergency ambulance services from the state’s Medicaid managed care program in favor of a fee-for-service model. While an association group representing ambulance services says House Bill 684 is needed to counter arbitrary denials of claims […]