Sam Dunklau

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

Illinois lawmakers Wednesday advanced a plan to pool more than 650 downstate and suburban police and fire pension funds. Passing the measure out of both chambers by week’s end is a top priority for Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker’s office has been arguing for weeks that combining all of those funds would make more money for retired police and firefighters, while cutting fees and reducing the need to raise local property taxes.

The Illinois Senate approved a move Tuesday that would allow Illinois to stay on daylight saving time permanently.

State lawmakers are now formally considering legislation to pool the resources of nearly 650 local Illinois police and fire department pension funds.


State lawmakers are considering whether to ban flavored tobacco products in Illinois. Both sides of that debate made their cases before a panel of state senators in Springfield Tuesday.


Ahead of next month’s open enrollment period for Medicaid health insurance, a new report shows more Illinois residents are insured. But that same report shows nearly three quarters of a million Illinoisans still don’t have health insurance.

The report by insurance comparison website QuoteWizard looked at uninsured rates across the country over the last decade. It found as many 1.3 million Illinoisans were uninsured in 2008, but that number dropped by nearly half in the decade since.

An anti-abortion law firm is asking the federal government to block a portion of Illinois’ reproductive health law. They say it improperly says forces people to pay for health insurance that covers abortions.


The Illinois Department of Transportation on Monday released details for how it plans to spend billions of dollars on road construction in the coming years.


Illinois’ September unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down by a tenth of a percent from August, and state officials are calling that a record low.


Illinois residents across the state, and across party lines, largely support more gun regulations. That’s according to the results of an NPR Illinois - University of Illinois Springfield survey. We took a look at the new data and explored what might be behind the numbers.


The photos or videos you store in “the cloud” aren’t actually up in the air. They’re in computer systems housed in hundreds of vast buildings across the country.

Illinois is now providing tax breaks for companies that build those centers in the hopes of attracting more of them.


Fire safety officials gathered in Springfield on Tuesday to warn against using smoke detectors with a removable battery. They also reminded Illinoisans about a law requiring newer detectors.


Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is delaying a planned health insurance switch for children in its care, but the public guardian of the state’s largest county says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

After months of controversy over allegations of cancer-causing emissions, medical sterilization company Sterigenics says it will not reopen an Illinois plant.

Newly-released tax data from Illinois’ gambling businesses shows an industry in flux. 

Illinois brought in more tax money from gambling in the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s just one of several highlights from a new report released Monday.


State university officials were grilled by lawmakers Tuesday. At issue is a record of lucrative severance packages for outgoing administrators.


At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


The minimum salary a teacher can be paid in Illinois will soon increase. Governor J.B. Pritzker joined educators and activists to sign a wage increase plan into law Thursday.


Immigrants to Illinois are now able to sue their landlords if they are evicted because of their citizenship status.


The Illinois Republican Party’s top brass says it’s optimistic about its chances in 2020. Officials rallied the base Thursday at the Illinois State Fair.

Illinois’ medical marijuana program is getting a second wind. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a pair of bills on Monday expanding who can get a medical card, and when they can use it.


At least three young people in Illinois have been sent to the hospital in recent months after having used e-cigarettes, also known as “vapes.” That’s according to an investigation by the state’s Department of Public Health.


Ahead of the start of the Illinois State Fair next week, organizers say they’re optimistic about attendance and attractions. But the fair’s success is an open question.


Illinois farmers now have until July 15 to officially say they won’t be planting crops this year. A key deadline has been extended for claiming some types of crop insurance.

It's been one of the wettest springs in state history. Just last month alone, Illinois averaged more than five inches of rainfall, a whole inch above normal. It’s been so wet for so much of the planting season, farmers across the state haven’t had much of a chance to get their crops in the ground.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is rejecting a push to take on Chicago’s pension debt. But local pension costs are a growing problem across the state.

Illinois’ weed legalization law won’t take effect until next year, but the Illinois State Police is wasting no time. That agency is preparing to enforce new regulations surrounding legal cannabis.


The age to buy tobacco products in Illinois will officially be raised from 18 to 21 next week. Supporters say the move is aimed at stopping young people from starting a bad habit.


Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana. That makes the state the 11th to approve recreational use.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a controversial bill expanding access to reproductive healthcare, including abortions. The move comes as several other states have all but banned the procedure.


Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker is starting to act on the flurry of bills sent to his desk in the wake of this year’s spring legislative session. Among the first that he’s signed requires schools to provide a minimum of five hours of learning time.


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