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A cannabis cultivation facility. (WTTW News)

More than two years after a state law legalizing recreational marijuana was passed, an estimated 34,000 Illinoisans are still waiting to have their cannabis records expunged, according to the Sentencing Policy Advisory Council. 

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Teachers, police officers are others who are refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine are taking a shot at using a longtime Illinois statute to skirt compliance with state and city mandates: Illinois’ right of conscience law.

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Under a new law recently signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, students can take up to five mental or behavioral health days off from school, without having to provide a doctor’s note. (WTTW News)

Starting in January, students ages 7-17 can take up to five mental or behavioral health days off from school without having to provide a doctor’s note. Under the new law, students are referred to school staff for professional help after their second mental health day.

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Abortion rights protesters hold signs at a rally in this file photo. (WTTW News)

Texas has taken a controversial approach to banning abortions once cardiac activity is detected, with a law that allows private citizens to sue anyone involved with the procedure. Now, activists on both sides of the abortion debate are gearing up for a legislative battle.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed into law a pair of bills that update sex education for K-12 schools in Illinois. Supporters say the move will offer students age-appropriate information, but critics say the new standards go too far.

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(WTTW News)

In 2019, Tamara Clayton was driving to work along I-57 when she was shot and killed. Years later, a law passed in her honor that allows cameras to go up along certain Illinois expressways is taking effect — as expressway shootings are skyrocketing.

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(WTTW News)

A new Illinois law will make feminine hygiene products available for free at homeless shelters. Advocates say the legislation spotlights an often-overlooked issue, but they’re calling for funding to “put some teeth behind it.”

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (WTTW News via Governor’s Office)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Thursday that makes feminine hygiene products available for free at homeless shelters and at public universities and community colleges throughout Illinois. 

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The Thompson Center’s glass facade wouldn’t pass muster today under a new law requiring bird-friendly design for state buildings. (WTTW News)

Nearly 600 million birds are killed annually in North America due to collisions with buildings. A new Illinois law mandates bird-friendly design for state buildings.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Aug. 2, 2021 signed new legislation expanding background checks on all gun sales in the state starting in 2024. (Pool photo)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday signed new legislation expanding background checks on all gun sales in the state starting in 2024, a step he touted as “commonsense” and with bipartisan support.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs a bill repealing an HIV criminalization law on July 27, 2021. (WTTW News via Governor’s Office)

People with HIV can no longer be criminally prosecuted for exposing someone else to the virus without their knowledge. Advocates say the law discouraged testing and treatment for HIV — and the repeal is long overdue.

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Workers put the finishing touches on the Sunnyside dispensary in Lakeview on Dec. 30, 2019, just two days before recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois. (WTTW News)

When recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois, Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s stated goal was to use the burgeoning industry to reverse the harm done to Black and brown communities during the war on drugs. But those profiting from pot sales are nearly all white men.

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Supporters of an elected school board demonstrate in April 2019. (WTTW News)

It’s official: The Chicago Board of Education will transition from being an appointed body to an elected one — over the objections of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 

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In this file photo, houses sit behind metal fencing on a tree-lined street in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Thursday that creates new resources and incentives to finance affordable housing across the state and helps low-income residents access assistance for heat and other utilities.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs into law two new bills advancing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Illinois on July 27, 2021. (WTTW News via Governor’s Office)

For transgender and gender non-conforming people, the process of changing your name and getting documents to reflect those changes can be a burden. How two new laws in Illinois aim to ease that process.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, repealed a law criminalizing HIV. (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed into law a legislation package that aims to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals by, among other provisions, expanding infertility health care coverage for same-sex couples and repealing an HIV criminalization law.