Latest Illinois state government News

Vaccine distribution slow, but Illinois expands eligibility

Jan. 22, 2021 6:17 PM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that the state's COVID-19 vaccination program would expand next week to include the second tier of priority recipients. More than 616,000 first doses of the two-round vaccine have been administered, although inoculations for a priority...

FILE - In this Monday, January 11, 2021, file photo, Illinois lawmakers gather on the floor of the Bank of Springfield Center for the lame-duck session of the Illinois House during the COVID-19 pandemic in Springfield, Ill. The pandemic is costly, not only in lives and livelihoods, but in lawmaking. The Illinois House fled the coronavirus this month by renting Springfield's convention center over seven days to jam in important business at the end of the legislative cycle, documents show. (Justin L. Fowler//The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

Documents: Illinois House spent $330K for 2 weeks of rent

Jan. 21, 2021 8:41 PM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House spent $187,000 to rent out Springfield's downtown convention center last week due to fears about conducting business at the Capitol during the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents disclosed to The Associated Press. Lawmakers in the House have now spent...

Ex-Chief Justice James Heiple dies after brain hemorrhage

Jan. 20, 2021 9:41 PM EST

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — James Heiple, a former chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, has died from complications following a brain hemorrhage, the court announced Wednesday. Heiple, 87, died Monday at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, the court revealed in the announcement posted on its website....

Illinois Editorial Roundup:

Jan. 19, 2021 6:52 PM EST

Here are excerpts of editorials from newspapers around Illinois. January 17, 2021 The (Champaign) News-Gazette Acting swiftly, not wisely Hats off to members of the Black caucus in the Illinois General Assembly. They introduced four major bills — criminal justice, education, health care and economic equity...

COVID-19 rules eased, state hiring more health care help

Jan. 18, 2021 6:06 PM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois public health officials reported 3,385 fresh cases of coronavirus illness Monday, and 50 more deaths as Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration eased social interaction restrictions in most parts of the state. Daily diagnoses of new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by...

Danville officials still hopeful for casino, despite delays

Jan. 16, 2021 8:43 AM EST

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials in an eastern Illinois city are still hopeful their community can land a casino, despite delays in the state's application process caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed gambling-expansion legislation in June 2019 that allowed for six new casino...

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2021 file photo, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gives an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois during a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, Pritzker said the spread of COVID-19 has slowed sufficiently that he's easing restrictions in three Illinois regions, although strict rules will remain in place in Chicago and other parts of the state. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP File)

Governor eases COVID restrictions in 3 Illinois regions

Jan. 15, 2021 7:04 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP) — The spread of COVID-19 has slowed enough to ease restrictions in three Illinois regions but in other areas, including Chicago, tougher restrictions will remain in place, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday. Pritzker also announced some encouraging news for bars and restaurants, saying during...

Illinois National Guard activated to secure state capitol

Jan. 15, 2021 1:58 PM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois National Guard members will be on duty this weekend in Springfield in response to state capitols being threatened across the country, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday. Members of the National Guard "will be working closely with our State Police as well as local and federal...

Positive COVID-19 test at venue where Illinois House met

Jan. 15, 2021 11:10 AM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A positive test for COVID-19 at the venue where the Illinois House has been meeting is prompting calls for precautions. A positive result came back from a rapid test that was offered Thursday to House members, staff and workers at the Bank of Springfield Center while the House was...

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2021, file photo, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan appears on the floor as the Illinois House of Representatives convenes at the Bank of Springfield Center, in Springfield, Ill. House Speaker Madigan on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, said he was “suspending” his campaign for a 19th term in the leadership post. Madigan, the longest-serving leader of a legislative body in U.S. history, issued a statement that began, “This is not a withdrawal.” But it urged House Democrats to “work to find someone, other than me, to get 60 votes for speaker.” (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP File)

Illinois replaces longest-serving legislative leader in US

Jan. 13, 2021 7:37 PM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House on Wednesday elected its first Black speaker to replace the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history, picking Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch for the job and pushing aside Michael Madigan after he was implicated in an ongoing...