State Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, is pictured in a file photo from 2023. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

In 2022, the General Assembly created a task force to research the state of journalism in Illinois. Data from Northwestern University showed one-third of local outlets have closed since 2005, creating an 86% decline in newspaper jobs over that span.

(WTTW News)

State Sen. Rob Martwick, the measure's author, praised Mayor Brandon Johnson for confronting Chicago’s pension woes. The bill ensures that all retired Chicago police officers get a 3% annual cost-of-living increase, regardless of whether they were born before or after Jan. 1, 1966.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

The working group formed by Mayor Brandon Johnson in June to tackle Chicago’s acutely underfunded pensions has yet to craft a comprehensive plan to address one of the major fiscal challenges facing the city.

Supporters of an elected school board demonstrate in April 2019. (WTTW News)
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As state lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield for a pivotal vote on whether Chicago Public Schools should be run by an elected school board, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked members of the Illinois House to delay a vote approved by the Illinois Senate.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks about the possibility of an elected school board in Chicago at an unrelated news conference on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (WTTW News)
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed concern the bill could have a “negative impact” on her ability to find the next CEO of Chicago Public Schools and said students and parents “don’t feel like they’ve been heard” by legislators about the bill.

Supporters of an elected school board demonstrate in April 2019. (WTTW News)
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Chicago Public Schools is currently the lone district in Illinois with a school board appointed by the mayor. But under legislation approved Tuesday evening by the Illinois Senate, the Chicago Board of Education would transition into a fully elected body by 2027.

(WTTW News)

With just one day remaining before they’re scheduled to adjourn until fall, Illinois legislators have a heaping set of issues left to tackle: a state budget, ethics reform, a follow-up to the major criminal justice overhaul signed into law in February, and legislation to fix issues with Illinois’ gun licensing system.

(WTTW News)
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was disappointed that Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law that gives a subset of Chicago firefighters the same retirement package as their peers, saying it will “result in a deeper financial burden to the taxpayers of Chicago.” Days earlier, he signed another law Lightfoot had pressured him to reject.

(WTTW News)

Some retired firefighters could see their pensions grow after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure to boost the annual cost-of-living increase added to their checks. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the measure would create an “unfunded mandate” that would force Chicago officials to raise taxes or cut services.

(WTTW News)
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The Northwest Side community of Jefferson Park is known as the gateway to Chicago, in part because it’s a transit hub. The area’s thought of by some as typical “bungalow belt” Chicago. It’s predominantly middle class, but recently there’s been an uptick in homelessness. 

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The Illinois legislature is not coming back this year. What does that mean for the Black Lives Matter movement and the state budget?

When legislators returned to Springfield last week after more than two months away because of the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Robert Martwick was not among them – at least at first. 

(Don Harder / Flickr)
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State Sen. Rob Martwick says the bill would grant students up to five excused absences from class to let them “take care of their mental health, just like they would be with a broken bone or the flu.”

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)
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To the delight of some advocacy groups and the Chicago Teachers Union, state representatives voted Thursday to move Chicago to an elected school board structure.

Gov. Bruce Rauner reiterated his opposition Friday to a bill that would give Chicago an elected Board of Education, calling the measure “political spin” – a statement one of the legislation’s chief sponsors described as “ridiculous.”

(Raise Your Hand Action / Twitter)

House legislation calling for an elected Chicago Board of Education has once again passed with strong bipartisan support, but the bill may still have a difficult road ahead.