This image provided by Heritage Auctions, shows 21-star U.S. flag. Illinois state investigators are scrutinizing the purchase by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum of this 21-star U.S. flag reportedly from 1818-1819 at the time that Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state. At the same time, one of the nation’s top vexillologists, or flag experts, says the flag is not from 1818 but from the Civil War period and is likely a so-called Southern exclusionary flag, reserving on its b

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is once again under the spotlight after a manager failed to consult a collections committee before purchasing a 21-star flag whose description as a rare banner marking Illinois’ 1818 admission to the Union is disputed.

Lawmakers in the Illinois Senate celebrate late on May 26, 2024, after passing a budget. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

The fiscal year 2025 spending plan, which came together over a stretch of late nights and closed-door dealmaking, spends $400 million more than what Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed in his February budget address.

State Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, speaks in favor of her bill to limit the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage or steer individuals toward lower cost, and sometimes less effective, treatments. (Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois)
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The Illinois House gave final approval Saturday to a pair of bills that limit the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage or steer individuals toward lower cost, and sometimes less effective, treatments and medications, strategies sometimes referred to as “utilization management.”

The Illinois State Capitol is pictured in Springfield. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Amid the flurry of legislation was a measure prohibiting state universities from admitting students based on familial and donor ties, an expansion of the ban on sales of e-cigarettes to minors and a bill prohibiting stores from stocking alcoholic beverages near non-alcoholic lookalikes.

Chicago City Council bucks the mayor and votes to keep ShotSpotter. And it’s a wrap — almost — on the legislative session in Springfield.

State Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, speaks on the Senate floor in favor of her bill to ban authorities in Illinois from aiding another state’s investigation of people coming to the state for reproductive health care. (Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois)

The bill is one of several responses Illinois lawmakers have passed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2022 that overturned Roe v. Wade. It came in response to legislative efforts in other states to ban or severely limit access to abortion services.

The Rev. Ira Acree holds a news conference to withdraw his nomination to the RTA board on Friday, May 24, 2024. (WTTW News)

The Rev. Ira Acree, who was selected by Mayor Brandon Johnson to serve on the board, announced Friday he is no longer seeking that seat due to aldermanic resistance that began after he faced pointed questions during his confirmation hearing earlier this month.

File photo of person in a medical setting. (WTTW News)
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The programs rolled out during the pandemic, providing benefits for immigrant adults and seniors. They offered health coverage for low-income individuals who did not qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status.

Antonio Lightfoot, deputy director at the nonprofit Workers Center for Racial Justice, speaks at a news conference in the Illinois State Capitol. Advocates wore orange jumpsuits to symbolize the restrictions placed on people who return to society from prison. (Dilpreet Raju / Capitol News Illinois)
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Illinois legislators this week approved a bill to restructure an oversight board in charge of distributing state money to courts that provide prison alternatives, while other criminal justice measures introduced throughout the session remain stalled.

Hemp Cafe in Chicago. (WTTW News)
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Starting in July, Illinois would ban the sale of any hemp-derived THC, or delta-8, from being sold, except at state-licensed cannabis dispensaries. That means those products would no longer be sold at breweries, gas stations and specialty lounges and stores. 

Northwestern University President Michael Schill testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce regarding pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses on Capitol Hill, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo / Mariam Zuhaib)
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The presidents of Northwestern and Rutgers universities defended their decisions to end pro-Palestinian encampments through negotiations rather than police force, telling a House committee on Thursday that they defused the danger without ceding ground to protesters.

People show documentation as they prepare to vote in the April 4 Chicago runoff election at the Budlong Woods Library polling location. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

The law put an end to the long-standing Illinois practice of letting a political party slate candidates for the general election in contests that are open because no one from that party ran in the primary election.

Left: Mayor Brandon Johnson speaks at a news conference Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Right: CTA President Dorval Carter speaks at a Chicago City Council meeting Feb. 27, 2024. (WTTW News)

Allies of the mayor used a parliamentary maneuver Wednesday to prevent a vote on the nomination of the Rev. Ira Acree to serve on the board of the Regional Transportation Authority, an acknowledgment they did not have the votes to confirm the politically connected pastor.

House Bill 2900, which would ban contests that reward the killing of “fur-bearing mammals,” is unlikely to move before lawmakers adjourn this month, according to its Senate sponsor. (Credit: Dylan Ferreira / Unsplash)

The bill would ban the practice of holding wildlife contests that reward participants with cash, prizes or inducements for killing fur-bearing animals. Much of the floor debate centered on contests that award the killing of coyotes as a method of population control.

ShotSpotter screen. (WTTW News)

The vote represented a significant rebuke of Mayor Brandon Johnson and the central promise of his campaign, which vowed to address the root causes of crime and violence rather than focusing on law enforcement.

Chicago Police Department Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)
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Before the newly confirmed members can be sworn in to serve four-year terms on the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, reform advocates introduced a proposal to expand the board’s power through a binding ballot measure.