Stories by amanda vinicky

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his state of the state and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune / pool)

Pritzker’s $52.7B Budget Proposal Funds Migrant Care and Early Childhood Education, Angers Business Community

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday unveiled a $52.7 billion budget that he described as filled with “hard choices.” The plan builds on priorities like funding preschool, supporting Black residents, funding the neediest schools and caring for asylum seekers.

A rendering of a White Sox stadium at The 78 site with additional development. (Credit: Related Midwest)

White Sox Owner Meets With State Lawmakers as Team Seeks Public Funds for New Stadium

The White Sox have played in Bridgeport for more than a century, but owner Jerry Reinsdorf and developer Related Midwest proposed building a new stadium in the South Loop as an anchor to a 62-acre site dubbed The 78.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pictured in a July 2023 file photo. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Migrant Spending, Education Funding and a Projected Shortfall Among Issues Facing Gov. J.B. Pritzker Ahead of Budget Address

If Illinois continues spending next fiscal year as it has been this year, the state will face an $891 million deficit. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to spell out exactly how he plans to address that on Wednesday, when he delivers an annual combined state of the state and budget address. 

File photo of voting booths in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Early Voting Temporarily Paused in Chicago to Remove Candidate From Illinois Primary Ballot

Voting machines must be updated after a local judicial candidate was knocked off the ballot by an appellate court.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

DNC Host Committee Releases Chicago-Area Vendor, Venue Guides Showcasing Scores of Local Businesses

The online portal of entertainment options serves as a reminder of the opportunity for local establishments seeking a bite of the estimated $150-200 million pie the Democratic National Convention is expected to bring.

(WTTW News)

Illinois Finalizes Rules for Assault Weapon Registration, as New Lawsuit Seeks to Strike Law Completely

Illinois’ assault weapons ban passed after a July 4, 2022, mass shooting in suburban Highland Park. The law banned the sale of AR-15s and scores of other guns beginning in January 2023. People who previously owned guns subject to the law are allowed to keep them, but the weapons must be registered.

(StockSnap / Pixabay)

Insurers Would Be Required to Cover Expanded Infertility Care Under Proposed Illinois Laws

“Some people feel it’s a stigma, and I don’t want people to feel like it’s a stigma,” state Sen. Cristina Castro said. “There’s great treatment out there. We’re just trying to help lower the barrier to that treatment.”

(WTTW News)

Lurie Children’s Hospital Systems Have Been Down a Week Over ‘Cybersecurity Matter’

It’s been seven days since Lurie Children’s Hospital first cited a “network outage that impacts internet and phone service.” The systems have been offline since Jan. 31, and there’s no telling when they’ll be back up and running.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a news conference Feb. 1, 2024. (WTTW News)

Pritzker ‘Disappointed’ With Chicago’s Gaza Cease-Fire Resolution, Says It’ll Have No Impact on Foreign Policy

“The City Council, if they’re going to talk about the challenge of war in the Middle East, you’ve got to make sure that you include all the perspectives,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “They did not do that.”

Arne Duncan, former Chicago Public Schools CEO and the founder of the gun violence prevention nonprofit Chicago CRED, speaks at a news conference Feb. 1, 2024. (WTTW News)

New Anti-Violence Initiative Aims to Reduce Chicago Shootings by 50% in 5 Years

The Scaling Community Violence Intervention for a Safer Chicago initiative aims to link local community groups. The goal is to coordinate care and spending between the city, county and state governments, community organizations and the business community.

Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana, File)

Effort to Remove Donald Trump From the Illinois Primary Ballot Continues in State Court

Donald Trump is “not qualified for the presidency and cannot be placed on the ballot because he is ineligible under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, for having engaged in insurrection having previously sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution,” Illinois residents argue in a petition asking the Cook County Circuit Court to take the case. 

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in Las Vegas. (John Locher / AP Photo)

Illinois Election Board Votes to Keep Trump, Biden on March Primary Ballot

The Illinois State Board of Elections on Tuesday voted to reject attempts to knock former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden off the ballot. The bipartisan board was unanimous in each of the rulings.

Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana, File)

Hearing Officer Says Donald Trump Should Be Removed From Illinois Ballot, but It’s a Decision for the Courts

Election officials should vote Tuesday to allow President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to run in Illinois’ presidential primary contest, hearing officers and the state election board’s top lawyer recommend.

The Illinois State Board of Elections building is pictured in Springfield. (Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois)

Illinois Election Officials to Decide Whether Trump, Biden Can Be Excluded From Primary Ballot

State election officials are set to decide Tuesday whether President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will be on Illinois’ presidential primary ballot, following Friday hearings at which objectors to both men allege they don’t qualify because of the 14th Amendment.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at the Economic Club of Chicago on Jan. 25, 2024. (Treasury Department / X)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Touts Biden’s Economic Initiatives, Meets With Pritzker During Chicago Visit

“The Biden administration has put in place the most extensive set of policies and investments to benefit the middle class and grow the economy that our country has seen in my lifetime,” Yellen said in a speech before the Economic Club of Chicago.

State Sen. Celina Villanueva speaks at a news conference about “Karina’s Bill” on Jan. 24, 2024. (Amanda Vinicky / WTTW News)

Advocates Urge Illinois Lawmakers to Pass ‘Karina’s Bill’ to Take Away Guns From Accused Abusers

“Without this law, Illinois is putting targets on the backs of domestic violence survivors,” said Yolanda Androzzo, the director of the gun control advocacy group One Aim Illinois.

(Caio / Pexels)

Illinois Officials Look to ‘Knock the Dominoes Down’ and Ban Some Additives, Dye Used in Ultra-Processed Foods

A group of Illinois lawmakers have a proposal that would ban a handful of common additives in food made and sold in Illinois starting in 2027. California last year became the first state to ban the substances that are common in mass-produced and ultra-processed cereals, candies, salad dressings and sodas.

A migrant shelter located at 2241 S. Halsted Street. (WTTW News)

Tensions Between City and State Officials Continue as Pritzker Pushes Back on Johnson’s Migrant Shelter Expansion Pause

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he’s “deeply concerned” that Chicago is not going to add bed space, as the flow of nearly 35,000 asylum seekers who’ve come to the city since August 2022 shows no signs of abating. 

The Illinois Supreme Court building is pictured in Springfield. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Law Consolidating Police, Firefighter Pension Funds

The 2019 law consolidated some 650 retirement funds for municipal public safety workers into two funds — one for firefighters and another for police officers. Chicago is not included.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Organizers Share What to Expect Ahead of the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago

Thousands of delegates, journalists and likely protestors will descend on Chicago for the DNC from Aug. 19-22 — tying up traffic and hotel rooms while also giving the city and its bars, restaurants and shops an opportunity to show off.

(WTTW News)

Metra Passengers Who Threaten, Harm Someone Can Be Banned Under New Policy

The new code of conduct prohibits pushing, waving a gun at someone, harassment and “acts of public indecency.”

State Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, is pictured at the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing Jan. 16, 2023, in Springfield. (Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois)

Illinois Lawmakers Inch Closer to Finalizing Rules Around Assault Weapon Registration

The law, named the Protecting Illinois Communities Act (PICA), has banned the sale of hundreds of specific guns and types of guns since Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed it in early 2023.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

E-Learning or a Snow Day? Here’s How Illinois School Districts Decide

State law allows districts to switch to e-learning if an emergency like weather prevents students from being in school physically. But if districts want the option, they must have an electronic learning program established in advance.

(WTTW News)

Illinois Secretary of State Says Updates Will Make Booking Previously Hard-to-Get License, Driving Test Appointments Easier

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias says another round of updates should make it easier to book in-person appointments and reduce the number of people who actually need to make those appointments.

A migrant shelter opened Jan. 10, 2024, at a former CVS in Little Village. (WTTW News)

Little Village Shelter to House 220 Migrants as Asylum Seekers Continue to Arrive in Chicago Area

Illinois officials said they don’t know when or where migrants will arrive, nor how many — making it difficult to coordinate care, particularly given that many asylum seekers don’t have coats and clothing appropriate for Chicago’s winter weather.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools Receives $20M to Buy 50 Electric School Buses

Chicago Public Schools was among 67 winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first Clean School Bus Program.