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(WTTW News)

Illinois’ ban on evictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been extended amid a steady increase in confirmed cases and hospitalizations that has complicated efforts to lift restrictions designed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Plus: Members of Illinois’ congressional delegation talk infrastructure and Capitol security on ‘Chicago Tonight’

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President Joe Biden walks from Marine One with first lady Jill Biden on the Ellipse on the National Mall after spending the weekend at Camp David, Monday, April 5, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

With an appeal to think big, President Joe Biden is promoting his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan directly to Americans, summoning public support to push past the Republicans lining up against the massive effort they sum up as big taxes, big spending and big government.

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The coronavirus pandemic and mitigation measures to control it have led to a huge drop in ridership on public transit. As more and more people get vaccinated and the economy reopens, are riders going to come back? (WTTW News)

The coronavirus pandemic and mitigation measures to control it have led to a huge drop in ridership on public transit. As more and more people get vaccinated and the economy reopens, are riders going to come back?

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(WTTW News)

Some retired firefighters could see their pensions grow after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure to boost the annual cost-of-living increase added to their checks. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the measure would create an “unfunded mandate” that would force Chicago officials to raise taxes or cut services.

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Legislation awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritker's signature could shut down the payday lending industry in Illinois. Payday proponents say that could lead to a host of bigger problems. (WTTW News)

The Illinois Predatory Lending Prevention Act was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The legislation had support from organizations around the state, but critics say the law could shut down the payday lending industry in Illinois, leading to a host of bigger problems. 

Plus: Our Spotlight Politics team weighs in on ‘Chicago Tonight’

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President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden on Wednesday outlined a $2.3 trillion plan to reengineer the nation’s infrastructure over the next eight years in what he billed as “a once in a generation investment in America” that would undo his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement of giant tax cuts for corporations in the process.

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President Joe Biden speaks during an event on COVID-19 vaccinations, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden is aiming for summer passage of an infrastructure plan that is expected to cost more than $3 trillion, and the White House hopes to take a more deliberate and collaborative approach with the contentious Congress than it did on the COVID-19 rescue package, officials said.

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Last week, Chicago aldermen approved a resolution calling for the city to use dollars from federal relief funds for a basic income pilot program. (WTTW News)

Chicago aldermen recently approved a resolution calling for the city to use federal relief funds for a basic income pilot program. Some organizations have already been testing out the idea, but skeptics are looking to build up social services instead.

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(WTTW News via CNN)

Two bills in the Illinois General Assembly would expand eligibility for the earned income tax credit. As part of our Firsthand initiative exploring poverty in Chicago, we take a look at the credit, and what it could mean for low-income households.

Plus: ‘Chicago Tonight’ on what the plan could mean for the city, state

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President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden will lay out the first part of his multitrillion-dollar economic recovery package this week, focusing on rebuilding roads, bridges and other infrastructure, followed by a separate plan later in April addressing child and health care.

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City’s ‘Hidden Gem’ faces down COVID-19, anti-Asian hate

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Businesses line a street in the Albany Park neighborhood. (WTTW News)

For the latest in our reporting series, we visit the diverse Northwest Side community to see how it’s supporting Asian American residents amid a rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. 

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(WTTW News)

The plan is designed to give developers incentives to build in parts of the city where there is little affordable housing or where longtime residents are vulnerable to displacement, officials said.

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Pedestrian traffic on State Street. (WTTW News)

Sundays on State would shut down the thoroughfare from Lake to Madison streets on Sundays for up to 12 weeks, starting in July. It’s just one part of the Chicago Loop Alliance’s efforts to bring pedestrian traffic and retail dollars back to the city center as Chicago’s COVID-19 recovery continues.

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A scene from the “Fanciful Fish” outdoor exhibit along Halsted Street in Greektown. (WTTW News)

A Chicago neighborhood is preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Greek independence. And while traditional festivities have been canceled for the second year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Greektown community has still found a way to brighten area streets.

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Erica Lopez speaks with “Chicago Tonight” about the death of her mother and father, who both contracted COVID-19. (WTTW News)

From rates of infection to unemployment following the economic shutdown, some residents of Chicago have been cut deeper by the pandemic. We talk about the specific challenges facing hard-hit communities, and some of the support systems in place.

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Many Chicago businesses have not survived the pandemic and many more are only just hanging on. News that a full reopening is on the horizon is offering hope for struggling businesses. (WTTW News)

With the announcement Thursday that the state could soon begin easing restrictions as more people get vaccinated, there’s hope for struggling businesses. Business owners from across the city tell us how they’re staying afloat and share their hopes for a better year ahead.