Mike Smith

Mike Smith is the graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legisltive session.

An Illinois high school sports coach has mixed feelings about the state’s new guidelines on high school athletics.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a health organization in East St. Louis will lend its help to the state's COVID-19 contact tracing initiative. Meanwhile, the governor said Wednesday the state’s casinos will remain shuttered for now.

Workers who caught COVID-19 on the job will be eligible for workers compensation benefits.

A health advocacy group said a type of water-borne disease may be spreading at Illinois’ unoccupied workplaces.

A senior Pritzker administration staffer tested positive for COVID-19, and all employees in the Governor’s office are now working from home as a precaution.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said state government has been extending help to communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic . The governor also offered a stern warning to employers failing to protect their employees from contracting the virus on the job.

This story has been corrected to include an official response from DCFS.

A group of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services workers said the agency is failing to protect them from being exposed to the new coronavirus. The union representing those workers, meanwhile, is demanding more protections be put in place.

Betsy Goulet has worked to help and protect children since the late 80s. After a brief stint as a Child Protective Investigator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, she went on to found such groups as the Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center and advise public leaders on at-risk youth and victims of childhood violence.

Illinois colleges and universities might not be hosting in-person classes, but many school newspapers are still operating.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the highest one-day death toll due to COVID-19 with 125 lives lost. The total confirmed cases has reached 29,160, with 1,259 deaths. Sangamon County reported another death Friday, bringing its total to five.

A group of Illinois employers say they are not happy with recent changes to the state’s workers compensation rules.

Illinoisans owe a combined $58 billion on their federal student loans, and with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order leaving some residents unable to work, making payments on those loans can be an impossible task.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order starting Saturday at 5 p.m. through April 7 to slow the spread of COVID-19. State public health officials reported Illinois’ fifth death from the virus Friday.

With Illinois residents practicing isolation inside their homes, the marijuana industry is making adjustments to meet consumer needs.

A group of Republican lawmakers is criticizing the state for failing to process FOID card renewals in a timely manner.

With a fourth case of COVID-19 announced in Illinois Monday, coronavirus continues to dominate headlines. But experts say there’s another, more common disease that ought to be getting more attention.

The Illinois House on Wednesday approved legislation Wednesday that would ban certain red-light cameras. It would only apply in communities with fewer than 25,000 people that have not been granted a special status known as “home rule.”

Illinois lawmakers want to research the rising costs of prescription drugs, especially the price of prescription drugs.

An Illinois lawmaker wants people who injure or kill domesticated animals to face a harsher punishment.

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to waive the concealed carry license fee for qualified veterans.

Illinois lawmakers want to reduce delays in medical care caused by the requirements of insurance companies.

The Illinois State Police is supporting legislation that would fingerprint applicants for the Firearm Owners Identification card.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has fired a transportation company after learning it shackled a young foster child for several hours.

As Illinois lawmakers consider whether to change ethics laws after recent scandals, former legislative inspector general Julie Porter is urging them to start with themselves.

Illinois Senators overwhelmingly override Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s veto of a sales tax exemption Wednesday, a day after member of the House did the same. It’s the first time that’s happened during Pritzker’s time in office.

Illinois lawmakers grilled state officials Tuesday about significant problems with health care for thousands of kids with ties to the Illinois child welfare system.

A pair of gun-rights groups have sued the Illinois State Police for taking too long to process paperwork required to own and carry firearms.

The Illinois Supreme Court says a woman convicted of domestic violence should be able to get a Firearm Owners’ Identification card.

A pair of Illinois lawmakers are taking on the practice of offering tax breaks to lure companies from other states.

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether the state should begin paying for deferred prosecution programs. They’re intended to give non-violent offenders a second chance.

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