Hundreds of prison employees and community members attend a legislative hearing in Lincoln on Thursday, June 13, 2024, where the closure and potential relocation of Logan Correctional Center 140 miles northeast to the Chicagoland area was hotly contested. (Hannah Meisel / Capitol News Illinois)

Hundreds gathered at hearings this week to voice concerns over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration’s plans to close and rebuild Logan and Stateville correctional centers. At a Friday meeting, one state lawmaker said, “This is really a concept and not a plan … because a plan has details.”

A crowd dominated by AFSCME members gathered on June 11, 2024, to voice opposition to the closure of Stateville Correctional Center. The union represents most employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections. (Blair Paddock / WTTW News)

Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday night to try to sway a vote by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration’s recommendation to close and rebuild Stateville Correctional Center.

(WTTW News)

The bill allows Illinois residents to get a judicial order to alter the name and sex on birth certificates and other documentation issued in another state. Currently in Illinois, the process no longer requires certification from a health professional, making it easier to request this change.

Flanked by the lieutenant governor and legislative leaders, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 5, 2024, signs the $53.1 billion fiscal year 2025 state budget into law after months of negotiations. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

Declaring it a spending plan that’s “balanced, fiscally responsible, pro-family, cuts taxes on workers and opens up doors of opportunity,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed Illinois’ next state budget into law.

The Illinois State Capitol is pictured in Springfield. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Illinois legislators passed 469 measures this year. The bulk of those items will likely become law, pending action from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. But in some cases, what lawmakers left on the table is equally significant as what passed.

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 3, 2024. (WTTW News)

Not only did the Chicago Bears and White Sox fail to win state funding for new stadiums before the General Assembly’s session ended last week, the teams shouldn’t expect to notch a legislative win later this year.

The Sangamon County Complex is the venue for a legal challenge to a new state law that bars parties from placing candidates on the general election ballot if no candidate ran in the party’s primary. (Capitol News Illinois file photo)

Democrats who control the General Assembly pushed the measure through the legislative process and Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed it into law in a matter of days last month, arguing that slating is unfair to voters who didn’t get a say in a primary contest. 

State Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, and an aide watch as state Sen. Michael Halpin, D-Rock Island, explains why he will vote no on her bill to regulate the carbon capture and sequestration industry. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

While proponents of carbon capture technology say it is key to addressing climate change, it is often criticized for the risks it brings with it. A pipeline can burst, resulting in a flood of carbon dioxide for miles that can poison those caught in it.

Lawmakers in the Illinois Senate celebrate late on May 26, 2024, after passing a budget. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

The fiscal year 2025 spending plan, which came together over a stretch of late nights and closed-door dealmaking, spends $400 million more than what Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed in his February budget address.

State Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, speaks in favor of her bill to limit the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage or steer individuals toward lower cost, and sometimes less effective, treatments. (Peter Hancock / Capitol News Illinois)
,

The Illinois House gave final approval Saturday to a pair of bills that limit the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage or steer individuals toward lower cost, and sometimes less effective, treatments and medications, strategies sometimes referred to as “utilization management.”

The Illinois State Capitol is pictured in Springfield. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Other measures regulate garbage truck littering, allow yoga in schools

Lawmakers passed more than 200 bills this week ahead of their scheduled May 24 adjournment. Many of the measures will soon head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, including a bill that changes how damages accrue under Illinois’ first-in-the-nation biometric data privacy law.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks to an audience of professionals from the behavioral and mental health field at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library on May 15, 2024. (Dilpreet Raju / Capitol News Illinois)
,

In the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton hosted a panel in Springfield at which he pledged to expand the state’s behavioral health services.

The exterior of the Illinois State Capitol is pictured in Springfield. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

“Illinois cannot simply hope that its remaining fiscal challenges will disappear on their own,” the Civic Federation says in a new report. “They will not until they are addressed head on.”

State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is pictured in a file photo on the Illinois House floor. (Capitol News Illinois file photo)

The juxtaposition of a popular program with how to pay for it highlights the tensions Illinois lawmakers face with weeks left before the end-of-month deadline to pass a new state budget.

(agilemktg1 / Flickr)

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted changes to Medicaid requiring states to keep patients continuously enrolled through the public health crisis, even if they might have become ineligible due to changes in their income or family circumstances. That continuous enrollment program expired in March 2023.

Stateville Correctional Center. (WTTW News)

Top officials with the Illinois Department of Corrections testified in front of a key panel of state lawmakers. Gov. J.B. Pritzker previously announced a plan to close Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill and Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.