Illinois Capital News

State announces new federal funding to feed low-income students

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois smansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday, February 23, announced new federal funding to expand the state’s food assistance program for school-age children who would normally receive free or reduced-price meals. Pritzker said the additional funds to the existing Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program will help feed 200,000…

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Pritzker calls for $15 million loan program to assist areas hit by record-high gas prices

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News Illinois gbarbic@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a low-interest loan program Tuesday, February 23, to help alleviate the unprecedented financial burden from soaring utility costs for certain Illinois municipalities and their residents. The extreme weather that devastated Texas’ electrical grid last week has resulted in skyrocketing natural gas prices…

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Law enforcement groups respond to landmark criminal justice reform

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinois rtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Law enforcement groups have decried the Monday, February 22, signing of a massive criminal justice reform bill into law by Gov. JB Pritzker, referring to the legislation as anti-police with provisions that will lead to unintended consequences. House Bill 3653, referred to as the “Safe-T Act,”…

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Lame Duck Look Back: Education bill to revamp social studies classes

  By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing “Lame Duck Look Back” series in which Capitol News Illinois is following up on the major bills that passed both chambers of the General Assembly in the January 8-13 lame duck session. SPRINGFIELD – Social studies classes in…

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Lame Duck Look Back: The end of cash bail in Illinois

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinois rtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing “Lame Duck Look Back” series in which Capitol News Illinois is following up on the major bills that passed both chambers of the General Assembly in the January 8-13 lame duck session. This is one of several stories examining…

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Illinois aims to boost flagging tech economy with public-private research network

UI says development key to fighting brain drain, racial disparities in private sector By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinois | Report For America rtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — University of Illinois faculty say an ongoing statewide investment in a public-private research network is key to boosting the state’s economy. The Discovery Partners Institute, a UI-led research and…

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State gambling revenues plummet during pandemic

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Revenues flowing into state coffers from legalized gambling operations plummeted during the fiscal year that ended June 30 as casinos, racetracks and other video gambling venues were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people also slowed down on buying lottery tickets, according to a…

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Statehouse statues of Stephen Douglas, Pierre Menard to be removed from exterior

Office of the Architect board plans future discussion on statues, artwork inside Capitol By REBECCA ANZEL Capitol News Illinois ranzel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Statues of two slave-owning men with historical ties to Illinois will be moved from the Statehouse grounds in Springfield to a secure storage site, a panel of four officials voted Wednesday morning, August…

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Link charged with felony tax evasion

State senator accused of filing false 2016 return By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Terry Link was charged in federal court Thursday with a felony count of tax evasion. In a one-page document, federal prosecutors allege that Link filed a return for tax year 2016 in which he reported income…

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Lawsuit seeks $450 million payment to ratepayers from ComEd, Madigan

Case alleges violation of RICO, which feds used to dismantle organized crime groups By REBECCA ANZEL Capitol News Illinois ranzel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — A group of Commonwealth Edison ratepayers asked a federal judge Monday, August 10, to force the utility company, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and others to pay “at least” $450 million to be split…

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