Gov. J.B. Pritzker at the opening of Ivy Hall Dispensary in Bucktown on Dec. 7, 2022.

The lag time for shops to open raises the question of whether Illinois has followed through on its pledge to use legal marijuana to lift communities and people who were previously punished by anti-cannabis laws.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pictured at a Nov. 29, 2022 press conference. (WTTW News_
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The changes approved last week by Democratic members of the General Assembly is the fourth follow-up bill to the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, or SAFE-T Act.

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The SAFE-T Act package passed as law two years ago, in January 2021. But only in January 2023 will its most controversial part, the Pretrial Fairness Act, take effect. Illinois lawmakers spent all of Thursday – their last day of session in 2022 – making last minute changes to the law

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One of Republicans’ major concerns has been that the legal standards were too narrow for determining when a defendant could be kept in jail as they await trial. A Democratic proposal addresses that by expanding the list of crimes for which someone can be denied pretrial release.

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On Tuesday, leaders announced a bipartisan plan, which also has the backing of business and labor, to eliminate the $1.8 billion remainder of that debt, including paying back an interest-incurring federal loan that had been used to shore up the fund.

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

State Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala, appointed in 2019, announced that she’ll retire at the end of January.

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Illinois’ constitution will be amended to explicitly protect unions, according to backers of the change who’ve been closely watching as mail-in ballots get added to totals from last Tuesday’s election. Outside entities and leading critics of the question say it’s too early for unions to claim victory.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks to the media on Nov. 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is not only the party figurehead. He’s also a billionaire, who over the past two years, has spent at least $150 million on his and other Democrats’ campaigns.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks the day after his re-election on Nov. 9, 2022. (Alonzo Stallings / WTTW News)

Just minutes after polls closed in Illinois, the Associated Press called the race for the incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Voters line up to cast their ballots during early voting on Nov. 7, 2022, in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Illinois voters on Tuesday will decide races ranging from who will be the next governor and secretary of state, to whether the state will amend its constitution. We break down the races. 

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More than 3,600 immigrants, most of them from Venezuela, have arrived in Chicago since Aug. 31, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent the first bus of 75 people to Chicago. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state Sen. Darren Bailey debate on Oct. 18, 2022. (Credit: WGN)

The final debate in the race for governor turns out to be short on substance but high on name-calling. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

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Early voting begins in Chicago on Friday, but voters will have fewer opportunities to be informed about the positions of those on the ballot because there are fewer debates. It’s a national trend, though one that’s difficult to measure.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot nixes a plan for a $42 million property tax increase tied to inflation. And a WGN poll says Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger Darren Bailey, who this week likened Chicago to an unruly child.

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch. (Via City Club of Chicago)

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch makes a spirited defense of the SAFE-T Act and the end of cash bail. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

A cannabis cultivation facility. (WTTW News)
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Illinois was supposed to be the national model when government leaders pledged they’d use the 2020 legalization of marijuana to right the wrongs of the war on drugs that disproportionately harmed Black and Latino communities. Nearly three years later, those poised to benefit say they’re still stymied.