Mike Smith

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

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.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Wednesday aimed at bringing more young people into the civic conversation.

Two universities have formally announced a collaboration intended to bring a new higher education presence to downtown Springfield.

Officials at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, known as the ALPLM, are once again trying to verify the authenticity of a hat once thought to belong to Lincoln.

A day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for a massive culture change over corruption in Illinois, state lawmakers were considering how to make that happen — especially when it comes to local units of government.

A central-Illinois election official told a Congressional panel Thursday some of the voting machines Illinoisans used in the last election are still susceptible to tampering. But he said efforts are underway to prevent it from happening again.

Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday grilled officials about the practice of locking kids in “seclusion rooms” in schools. It’s the first legislative hearing since a news report brought attention to the practice late last year.