Leighton Criminal Court Building (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

According to findings from the Civic Federation and the League of Women Voters of Cook County, the Pretrial Fairness Act has worked as intended during the first six months of its implementation.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Illinois officially became the first state in the country Monday to officially eliminate the pre-trial practice of requiring that some criminal defendants pay a set cash amount in order to secure their release from custody ahead of trial.

Capitol News Illinois file photo. (Capitol News Illinois)

Illinois on Monday will become the first state to fully abolish cash bail through an act of the legislature — a major criminal justice overhaul spurred by the advocacy of a progressive faction of the Democratic Party that’s grown increasingly powerful in recent years.

Leighton Criminal Court Building (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

The long-anticipated elimination of cash bail officially takes effect in Illinois Monday, following extensive delays, legal challenges and pushback from critics who sought to keep the existing system in place.

(WTTW News)

In a 5-2 ruling, with Republican justices dissenting, the state's highest court found that the elimination of cash bail is constitutional and will take effect statewide beginning Sept. 18, overturning a lower court ruling that had put that implementation on hold and handing Gov. J.B. Pritzker a major victory.

(WTTW News)

When the Pretrial Fairness Act, a section of the Illinois SAFE-T Act, goes into effect Jan. 1, those charged in criminal cases in dozens of counties across Illinois will no longer have to pay any cash in order to be released from jail while they wait for their trial.

Political correspondent Paris Schutz dives into Mayor Rahm Emanuel's bond borrowing plan with Chicago aldermen. View a graphic.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to scale back its $85 billion a month bond-buying program. As Fed policymakers convene this week, financial insiders speculate what the timetable for a stimulus wind-down could look like. We talk with two Chicago economists about the stimulus program and what federal tapering means for businesses and consumers. Read an interview.

Did Illinois business leaders lobby ratings agencies to lower the state's bond rating? Paris Schutz has the latest details on a bizarre twist in the pension debate.

Sequestration grounds the Thunderbirds. Kris Kridel of WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM has that story, and more top business headlines.

Now that Standard & Poor's has lowered Illinois' credit rating to the worst in the nation, will it inspire lawmakers to tackle the state's pension crisis? Paris Schutz has more on the outlook, and the ramifications for taxpayers.

Carol Marin

How did the charity run by Mayor Daley’s wife end up getting nearly a million dollars from TIF recipients? Carol Marin talks with Chicago aldermen about that, and how the city plans to collect money owed by city workers.