Bill Wheelhouse

217-206-6402

In the midst of protests this week, there were plenty of messages sent along on social media about looting.  In some areas, those messages were just outright wrong. 

There were many incidents of vandalism and looting across Illinois. There were also false reports.  In some towns, the violence was non-existent. Some posted and passed along rumors of busloads of people coming to towns to loot. They were not.  

Expanded voting-by-mail is coming to Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker said Friday he will sign the expanded voting measure into law.

A lawmaker who portrays himself as an outsider found himself on the outside Tuesday. A group of protestors, meanwhile, made their voices heard as state lawmakers convened for the first day of a special legislative session.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, along with other legislative leaders, are "ready to convene" a special session as early as next week, according to letters sent to lawmakers and shared with the media.

Colleges and universities in Illinois want their campuses to be open to students in the fall, after classes were forced online in March due to COVID-19.    A state panel is going to recommend the best approach for the fall semester.

Illinois appears to have a lot of potential for growth in wind energy.     One area that some say is ripe for development is wind farms off the shores of Lake Michigan.   However one expert is not so bullish on the idea.

A marijuana advocacy group is urging Illinois lawmakers to accept Governor Bruce Rauner's changes to a marijuana decriminalization plan. 

A new report details urban flooding problems in Illinois.  The report from the Department of Natural Resources says damage from urban flooding (flooding on higher ground outside a flood plain) cause more than $2 billion worth of damage between 2007-2014 in Illinois.

Last year, Illinois was one of a handful of states that lost population. More than 90,000 people moved elsewhere.  It became a campaign issue for Governor when then candidate Bruce Rauner criticized the state's lack of friendliness to business. And it has others  throwing up caution flags.   The numbers don't mean mean there is a crisis, or even a real clamor, to leave the state.                     

Governor Bruce Rauner has named an official with the U.S. State Department to lead the Illinois Department of Corrections.

A statement Monday from the Governor's office says Rauner selected 54 year old Donald Stolworthy to head Corrections.

According to the release from the Governor, Stolworthy has 15 years of corrections experience.  He currently works at the State Department in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs where he assesses foreign prison systems.

  A leading business group is hinting that it could loosen  its stance on opposition to a service tax.

During the campaign, Governor Bruce Rauner proposed a tax on certain services as a possible way to raise money.   The state Chamber of Commerce is gauging its members on what they could support when it comes to revenue for the state.

A new report predicts an uptick in home sales in Illinois in the coming year. Although a number of potential homebuyers are still sitting on sidelines. The forecast for housing prices in the coming year shows some increases, but not the kind of gains experienced in the last couple of years. 

Geoffrey Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois says while the housing market continues to recovery, he says millennials would rather rent than buy.