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(WTTW News)

It’s been a violent start to 2021 in Chicago, which has recorded 131 homicides in the first three months of the year. Now, a measure sitting on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk declares violence a public health crisis and takes aim at racial inequities in the state’s health care system.

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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.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

President Joe Biden’s signature $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is expected to bring roughly $13 billion in aid to Illinois. We ask four state senators about the American Rescue Plan.

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(WTTW News)

Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed a criminal justice bill Monday that is massive both in its size – 764 pages – and scope. We discuss the the coming changes and what concerns the bill raises for opponents.

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For 50 years, Illinois’ 22nd state House district on Chicago’s Southwest Side was represented by one man: former Speaker Michael Madigan. Two months into 2021, the district has had three representatives in the span of a week.

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A billboard in Chicago promotes voting in favor of the so-called fair tax in the November 2020 election. (WTTW News)

Illinois voters in November rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed the state to overhaul how it taxes income. Now one of Springfield’s top leaders is suggesting another swing at the effort. 

Our Spotlight Politics team weighs in

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Edward Guerra Kodatt (WTTW News)

Just days after elevating a loyal ward employee to fill his former seat representing the 22nd District in the Illinois House, Michael Madigan called for Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt to resign due to “alleged questionable conduct.” Kodatt resigned Wednesday morning.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 at a bill-signing ceremony for a massive criminal justice reform bill. (WTTW News)

The massive, 764-page criminal justice reform bill will eliminate cash bail, require law enforcement officers to wear body cameras and create a certification program for police. “This legislation marks a substantial step towards dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. 

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A file photo of state Rep. Michael Madigan. (WTTW News)

A political era ends. A report slams the police response to summer unrest. Gov. Pritzker’s budget has no income tax hike but some pain for business. Vaccination rates lag in Black and Brown communities.

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

Michael Madigan, who has represented the 22nd District on Chicago’s South Side since 1971 and steadily amassed political capital, is exiting the Illinois House at the end of February. The announcement comes a month after Madigan lost the reigns as speaker.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker (WTTW News)

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on people’s lives, and also on government budgets. On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will propose his ideas for getting Illinois through it. Here’s a preview of that address.

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(WTTW News)

It’s been two years since an aggrieved worker at the Henry Pratt warehouse in suburban Aurora killed five people. Advocates for gun control say in that time, Illinois still hasn’t taken the necessary steps to fix problems with state firearms laws.

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State Sen. Mike Simmons appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. (WTTW News)

Neighbors in Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown and Ravenswood have a new state senator representing them in Springfield, and he says he plans to tackle the health and economic disparities his constituents experience.

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(NikolayFrolochkin / Pixabay)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker told lawmakers Tuesday that he will not propose hiking the state’s income tax on individuals to close the state’s projected $3 billion budget deficit in 2022.

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Cook County Jail (WTTW News)

Illinois is poised to become one of the first states to eliminate cash bail after the state legislature passed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill earlier this month. Now proponents who pushed for that change hope the measure can be used to reform pretrial services elsewhere.

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(WTTW News)

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus passes criminal justice legislation. Amanda Vinicky gives us the rundown on a week of sweeping changes in Springfield.