Illinois

(Illinois House of Representatives via Google Maps)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation redrawing the state legislative districts.

Quinn signed the bill Friday approving a redistricting map that will make life tougher for Illinois Republicans over the next 10 years.

(Illinois Redistricting Committee via Google Maps)

The Democrat-controlled Illinois Senate has approved new congressional districts that try to erase Republican election gains.

The 34-25 vote Tuesday sends the map to Gov. Pat Quinn.

(Screen capture via Google Earth/Illinois Senate Redistricting Committee)

Illinois Democrats have released a much-anticipated map of new congressional districts.

The new map shows the state with 18 U.S. House districts after it lost one of its seats because of slowing population growth in the latest census.

The congressional map is a chance for Democrats to try to neutralize Republicans who captured a number of U.S. House seats in the last election.

(Screen capture via Illinois House Republicans website)

Updated at 3:52 - Replaced story from the Associated Press with story from Illinois Public Radio.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon was used in this report.

Republicans at the Illinois statehouse Thursday countered new legislative boundaries drawn by the ruling Democrats. The GOP touts its map as far superior, but at this point it may be moot.

(Illinois House of Representatives via Google Earth)

An Illinois House committee has approved new legislative districts despite opposition from a leading Latino advocacy group. The districts drawn by Democrats advanced on a party-line vote.

You can see the full map, and interact with it, here.

It's not clear when the full House might vote.

Previously, parts of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area were under a tornado watch. This tornado watch has now been lifted.

For the latest updates from the National Weather Service, see this update page.

Joplin, Mo. was also hit particularly hard from this round of tornadoes and storms. Fatalities have been confirmed.

See previous updates after the break.

(Illinois House of Representatives via Google Earth)

Democrats have released their proposal for new Illinois House districts that would make political life harder for Republicans.

The map was made public Friday afternoon. Democrats plan a hearing on Sunday where more detail may be available and critics can air their concerns.

The proposal throws some Republicans into the same districts.

Others would lose territory that could be used to help elect Democrats.

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

A plan to prohibit public disclosure of licensed gun owners is headed to the Governor, who has indicated he supports it.

The 42 to 1 Senate vote Friday would overturn a ruling earlier this year by Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office that the names are public under the Freedom of Information Act.

Madigan responded after the Illinois State Police refused to release the names to reporters.  Roughly one million people are registered to own firearms in Illinois.

Soprano and Illinois native Christine Brewer — once a music teacher in a small former coal-mining town — writes about not underestimating adolescents' powers of subtle understanding.

If you were choosing repertoire to explore with this age group, what would you pick? Tell us in the comments section below.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Illinois' unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in April, improving for the 15th consecutive month.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the new figures on Thursday.

Pages