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The Illinois State Fair Butter Cow is revealed on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (State of Illinois livestream)

The sculpture was unveiled to great fanfare Wednesday, but the 800-pound bovine was barely visible to observers thanks to steamed-up glass.

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A young student wears a mask while working on a laptop. (WTTW News)

Masks must be worn in Illinois schools when students and staff return to the classroom in the coming weeks. But a just-filed lawsuit could void that statewide executive order. We talk with the attorney who filed it — and a local pediatrician. 

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a mask mandate for all pre-K through 12th grade students and staff at public and private schools, along with day cares, as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to surge across the state and the country, Aug. 4, 2021. (WTTW News)

The governor institutes a full pre-K through 12 mask mandate. The city’s casino process gets delayed. The governor’s race could get a new entrant. And fire sale Cubs take on the surging Sox.

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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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In this file photo, restaurant patrons wear masks while dining indoors. (WTTW News)

Masking will be universally required in Illinois schools, and some state employees must get vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to mandates handed down Wednesday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker — a move that immediately drew rebuke from friends and foes alike.

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(WTTW News)

With classes for students in pre-K through 12th grade set to resume across Illinois in the coming weeks, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday announced a mask mandate for all students and staff at public and private schools.

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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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Music fans line up to enter Lollapalooza on the first day of the festival, which returns to Grant Park from July 29 through Aug. 1, 2021. (WTTW News)

As thousands of music lovers flocked to Grant Park for the first day of Lollapalooza, a surge of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago and the suburbs prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reimpose a mask mandate in state facilities for everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.

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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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(WTTW News)

The number of new COVID-19 infections has been steadily increasing over the past few weeks and on Wednesday surpassed 2,000 for the first time in a single day since early May, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.

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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.