SPRINGFIELD – There was little support Tuesday at the former stomping grounds of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich for President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the remaining years of the disgraced former Democratic governor’s 14-year corruption sentence.

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SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to tackle the growing problem of plastic pollution, a group of state lawmakers from both legislative chambers touted a series of bills Tuesday that would tax or ban single-use plastics and aim to boost recycling.

SPRINGFIELD — A bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers and advocacy groups announced an effort in both chambers last week to overhaul the way Illinois’ legislative districts are drawn.

SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday his administration has already identified $225 million in budget savings for the upcoming fiscal year, and as much as $750 million through the end of his first term.

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Police director said last week that his department has stepped up illegal firearm ownership enforcement methods, but it needs greater resources to continue the job — including fingerprints of Firearm Owner Identification Card applicants.

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday touted statewide benefits he said will result from a $500 million state investment in 15 hubs of a University of Illinois-led public-private research institute network.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health now has the ability to test for the 2019 novel coronavirus in-state, meaning shorter wait times for test results for people showing symptoms of the virus and meeting certain criteria.

CHICAGO — Chicago recorded nine homicides between 6 p.m. Friday and midnight Sunday, a weekend police said was the deadliest of the year for a city that had seen a recent decline in the number of fatal shootings.

HARRISBURG — A congressional district in southern Illinois is expected to disappear following the 2020 census, raising concerns from about the redistricting process that determines the number of seats a state gets in Congress.

SPRINGFIELD – All three people who have held the position of legislative inspector general in Illinois told a joint ethics panel Thursday the office needs more independence to police the General Assembly and maintain the public’s confidence in the process.

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 800 former inmates might have had their voter registrations incorrectly canceled “due to a data-matching error” between the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Illinois Department of Corrections, the elections board announced Monday.

SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker was dealt his first veto override Wednesday when the state Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill that retroactively extends a sales tax exemption for aircraft parts and equipment.

SPRINGFIELD — A tax amnesty program created during the passage of last year’s state operating budget has brought in nearly $240 million — about $60 million more than was expected — the Illinois Department of Revenue announced Tuesday.

SPRINGFIELD – Former state Sen. Martin Sandoval and SafeSpeed LLC, the red light camera company at the center of federal corruption charges against him, are now the targets of a racketeering lawsuit that seeks to void tens of thousands of traffic citations issued through the company’s devices.

SPRINGFIELD – The spouse of the first Illinoisan confirmed to have novel coronavirus has also tested positive for the illness and is being monitored, health officials said Thursday.

SPRINGFIELD – Government reform advocates told a panel of state lawmakers Thursday that Illinois has some of the weakest governmental ethics rules in the country and that lawmakers should put more teeth into them if they hope to regain the trust of the public.

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and two other state attorneys general filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment officially becomes the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

SPRINGFIELD – Two Democratic lawmakers unveiled legislation Tuesday to form a multi-state compact in which each member state would vow not to use company-specific tax incentives to lure businesses away from another member state.

SPRINGFIELD – When an Illinois Senate panel met last March to discuss the state’s backlog of untested forensic evidence, there were more than 70 DNA samples in murder cases more than a year old awaiting action from Illinois State Police forensic investigators.

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker struck a tone of optimism and accomplishment in his annual State of the State Address on Wednesday, declaring “the old patronage system needs to die” as he outlined his policy goals for 2020.

CHICAGO — Illinois elections officials disclosed fresh problems Wednesday with the state’s automatic voter registration program, saying at least one eligible voter who declined to register to vote was signed up anyway.

CHICAGO — A former Illinois state senator pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting around a quarter of a million dollars in bribes in exchange for protecting the interests of a red-light camera company, and promised to cooperate with federal prosecutors in ongoing public corruption investigations.

SPRINGIELD — A former assistant prison warden, at the center of an explosive 2012 government email in which a lobbyist alludes to a rape cover-up and illegal hiring, gave false information during an investigation four years earlier into whether he misplaced a bulky ring of keys at a state lo…

SPRINGFIELD – Former state Sen. Martin Sandoval was formally charged in federal court Monday with bribery and tax fraud.

SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Friday capping the out-of-pocket cost of prescription insulin for many people in Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD — Only 15 people who self-identified as not being U.S. citizens cast ballots in the 2018 and 2019 elections, the Illinois State Board of Elections said in a correction Thursday, three of whom actually turned out to be citizens.

SPRINGFIELD – With federal regulatory changes looming and legislators one week away from a return to the Capitol, some clean energy advocates look to jumpstart a stalled proposal to bring major reforms to the state’s energy landscape.

SPRINGFIELD — Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker and newly-elected Illinois Senate President Don Harmon added their voices Wednesday to a growing chorus of state officials calling for legislative hearings to determine how more than 500 people who identified themselves as non-U.S. citizens became re…

SPRINGFIELD — Republican lawmakers in Illinois are demanding answers from Secretary of State Jesse White about how 545 self-identified non-U.S. citizens were mistakenly registered to vote through the state’s new automatic registration system, including 16 who actually cast ballots in 2018 and 2019.

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois farmers will get a much-needed lift from two international trade agreements approved by the federal government last week, but experts are uncertain if their situations will improve in the long term.

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, was elected as the 39th president of the Illinois Senate on Sunday after hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations.

SPRINGFIELD – Tens of thousands of Illinoisans who have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked for having too many unpaid parking tickets or fines for other non-moving violations will soon get their driving privileges reinstated.

HOOPESTON — The Lorraine Theatre Guild will present “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in the Lorraine Theatre, 324 E. Main St.

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s climatologist is predicting Illinois farmers are likely to endure wet weather while they try to plant cash crops this spring after suffering major losses as a result of a record-wet planting season last year.

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s agriculture director resigned last weekend at the request of Gov. J.B. Pritzker for failing to disclose contents of a 2012 email that pointed to the possible cover-up of a “rape in Champaign” and government “ghost workers,” the governor’s office said Monday.

SPRINGFIELD — Production of Illinois’ two most valuable crops fell by roughly one-fifth last year, according to final crop yield numbers released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

SPRINGFIELD – House Speaker Michael Madigan said Thursday he will not initiate a House-led inquiry into a recently unearthed 2012 email written by a state government insider that alluded to a possible cover-up of a “rape in Champaign” and other criminal activity.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday blasted a draft final report from the special Property Tax Relief Task Force that lawmakers formed last year.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois could lighten its property tax burden by consolidating governmental taxing districts, standardizing property-value assessments, tightening up the appeals process and reining in breaks on commercial redevelopments, according to a draft report obtained Tuesday by The Ass…

SPRINGFIELD – Legislators and advocates began discussions Tuesday of what action the state can take to counteract the overuse of physical restraint and forced isolation of students in Illinois schools, particularly those serving students with special needs.

SPRINGFIELD — Pressure is mounting on red-light camera operators as Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced Monday that, beginning Feb. 6, her office will no longer assist municipalities in collecting fines for violations caught by the devices.

CHICAGO — A report highlighting persistent problems within Illinois’ child welfare agency showed 123 children died in the past fiscal year despite having contact with the Department of Children and Family Services.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Charles "Charley" Arnett, 65, of Ridge Farm, passed away at 5:09 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at his home. He was born March 17, 1954, in Danville, Ill., the son of Ethrie and Dorothy (Steeples) Arnett, both deceased. He also was preceded in death by his brother, Stanley. Charley will be…