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A bipartisan group of lawmakers are backing legislation that seeks to modernize the way the Illinois State Police processes and issues Firearm Owners Identification cards and Concealed Carry Licenses, a change that supporters say would speed up the process and improve public safety. Contributed photo

Bills call for modernizing FOID, CCL systems

By Peter Hancock Capitol News Illinois
| April 15, 2021

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are backing legislation that seeks to modernize the way the Illinois...

An electric vehicle charging station is pictured outside of the Illinois State Capitol Complex in Springfield. Jerry Nowicki |Capitol News Illinois.

New report shows Illinois job, economic growth in electric transportation sector

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News Illinois
| April 15, 2021

A national clean energy trade organization has released a report showing growth in electric transpor...

Bill placing term limits on General Assembly leadership passes committee

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinois
| April 15, 2021

A bill which would implement term limits on leadership roles in the Illinois General Assembly advanc...

Illinois Emergency Management Agency shares lessons learned from pandemic

By PETER HANCOCK
| April 9, 2021

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency was forced to adapt quickly to a new role when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit last year, and the agency’s director told a legislative committee that more work needs to be done to prepare for the event of another statewide disaster.

Sen. Dan McConchie, a Hawthorn Woods Republican, introduces Senate Bill 2140 at a committee hearing to provide civil liability protection to people working for businesses, manufacturers, schools, institutions of higher education, units of local government, and religious institutions.

Senate Republican leader pushes for expanded COVID-19 liability protections

By SARAH MANSUR
| April 6, 2021

The top Republican in the state Senate has introduced a bill to shield healthcare providers and others from being held responsible for injuries or deaths related to COVID-19 exposure.

Raoul pushes back against fake vaccine cards

April 2, 2021

Attorney General Kwame Raoul has called on Twitter, eBay and Shopify to act immediately to prevent p...

The 57-year-old businessman is the owner and founder of Rabine Group, a national exterior services company specializing in commercial paving projects. Contributed photo (The 57-year-old businessman is the owner and founder of Rabine Group, a national

Businessman Gary Rabine announces run for governor

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinois
| April 2, 2021

Businessman Gary Rabine on Tuesday announced he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in ...

New data tracker shows decline in small business as lawsuits proceed

By Sarah Mansur
| March 31, 2021

Hospitality jobs in Illinois have declined nearly 52 percent since the pandemic began, according to new data, as lawsuits continue against the governor’s orders to close nonessential businesses.

Republicans propose independent redistricting commission

By Peter Hancock
| March 31, 2021

Republicans in the General Assembly have introduced a new bill that would hand over the process of drawing new legislative and congressional district maps to an independent commission that would be required to use official Census Bureau, rather than survey estimates, to draw the maps.

Automobile dealers in Illinois are suing the secretary of state and a pair of electric vehicle companies, including Rivian Motors, challenging the companies' ability to sell their vehicles online, rather than through a dealership. Contributed photo (A

Illinois auto dealers sue Jesse White’s office, electric vehicle companies

By Capitol News Illinois
| March 30, 2021

The Illinois Automobile Dealers Association has filed a lawsuit against Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office, alleging that White is allowing unlicensed, unregulated dealers to operate in Illinois, in violation of state law.

Nearly 69 percent of seniors vaccinated, but 'bridge' phase on hold.

Positivity rate, hospitalizations continue to trend upward

By Capitol News Illinois
| March 30, 2021

COVID-19 hospitalizations and case positivity rates continued to trend upward Monday, leaving entry into a recently-announced “bridge” phase of reopening uncertain even as the percentage of seniors vaccinated continued to increase.

Pritzker vaccinated as positivity rate rises

By Jerry Nowicki
| March 24, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker received a COVID-19 vaccine and briefly took questions from reporters at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Wednesday as the state’s seven-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity rate ticked up to its highest point since Feb. 11.

Lawmaker looks to lift ban on inmate voting

By Peter Hancock
| March 23, 2021

A bill that would repeal an existing law that prohibits prison inmates from voting is working its way through the General Assembly, although the chief sponsor of the bill says it’s only one part of a broader process to restore voting rights to prisoners.

The public release of the report came the same day as Gov. JB Pritzker's announcement on Friday that his administration appointed Terry Prince, a 31-year U.S. Navy veteran, as new Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs director. Contributed photo (

Report finds infection control policy deficiencies at Illinois veterans homes

By Sarah Mansur
| March 23, 2021

A joint report from two state agencies and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found Illinois’ four state-run veterans homes lack standardized infection prevention policies despite previous audits suggesting they be implemented.

Lawmakers have data options for redistricting, experts say

By Peter Hancock
| March 21, 2021

SPRINGFIELD – Two national experts on reapportionment and redistricting told an Illinois Senate panel on Wednesday that there are a variety of options at the state’s disposal besides using detailed census data to redraw the state’s congressional and legislative district maps.

Gov. JB Pritzker gives an update on the state's COVID-19 response Thursday from the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. He announced all of the state's residents outside of Chicago will be vaccine eligible beginning April 12, and he added a bridge ph

All outside Chicago will be vaccine eligible April 12; reopening changes announced

By JERRY NOWICKI
| March 21, 2021

SPRINGFIELD – All Illinoisans 16 years of age and older outside of Chicago will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning April 12, and the state announced a “metric-based” phase-in to greater reopening Thursday.

Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, speaks on the House floor Thursday in opposition to a bill that expands vote by mail and curbside voting in the state. The bill passed the House 70-41. Capitol News Illinois (Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, speaks o

Vote-by-mail, curbside voting expansion passes House

By SARAH MANSUR
| March 21, 2021

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House passed a bill Thursday that would make permanent some vote-by-mail and curbside voting expansions that the state adopted ahead of the 2020 presidential election due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rebuke from colleagues came minutes after the southern Illinois cattle farmer stood up and told the chamber that he had "no part in the violent events at the Capitol that day." The House rejected that defense on a partisan vote.  (The rebuke f

Dems pass resolution condemning Republican lawmaker for attending Jan. 6 rally

By Capitol News Illinois
| March 26, 2021

House Democrats adopted a resolution Thursday night to condemn Republican Rep. Chris Miller for attending a Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., which immediately preceded the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

Ezike says state ‘getting close’ to next phase of reopening

March 16, 2021

Illinois Department of Public health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said on Monday the state is “getting close” to the next phase of reopening amid increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates and decreasing positivity rates.

Initial vaccine shipment may be smaller than expected

By PETER HANCOCK | Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com
| November 25, 2020

SPRINGFIELD – The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Illinois may be less than one-quarter of what officials had originally been told to expect.