Sam Dunklau | St. Louis Public Radio

Sam Dunklau

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois is arguing a lawsuit between a state representative and Gov. J.B. Pritzker should remain in circuit court, after state Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office moved the case up to the federal level.

A lawmaker who portrays himself as an outsider found himself on the outside Tuesday. A group of protestors, meanwhile, made their voices heard as state lawmakers convened for the first day of a special legislative session.

Two county health departments are trialing a new “tech-based” approach to COVID-19 contact tracing. Meanwhile, Governor J.B. Pritzker Monday defended rules that lay out penalties for businesses disobeying statewide shutdown orders.

Pritzker’s office announced both St. Clair and Lake County’s health departments will use a “state-of-the-art” software platform that is designed to gather data from infected persons and track the virus in real-time. Another 95 counties will join them over the next few weeks.

Despite a number of legal challenges that have yet to be resolved, Governor J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will remain under a stay-at-home order, which takes effect Friday through the end of May.

Governors from nearly every Midwestern state are collaborating on when and how to reopen the regional economy once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Meanwhile, Illinois saw its highest one-day death toll, and new jobless claims continue to flood the state system responsible for handling them.

Illinois’ COVID-19 caseload surpassed 10,000 this weekend. Governor J.B. Pritzker said residents must continue to do their part to slow its spread.

State lawmakers and public health advocates want to make it more convenient for Illinoisans to get rid of their unwanted medicine.


A group of Illinois House Republicans heavily criticized the lack of work from a statewide task force on property taxes.


More Illinois students now qualify for college financial aid. State government will now offer money to students who might have been disqualified from getting federal help.


Illinois’ recreational cannabis dispensaries made around $3.2 million in sales on New Year’s Day, according to early estimates from a state agency overseeing the now-legal industry.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker approved a plan Wednesday to pool the pension funds of nearly 650 downstate police and fire departments.


The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could determine whether a person convicted of battery can still own a gun.


Five Illinois residents have died so far this year after vaping. Two of those people have died within the last week, while public health investigators have struggled to find what’s behind the spike in illnesses.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says he’s "furious" about the behavior of state lawmakers ensnared in federal probes this year. Now he’s calling for changes in the way lobbyists disclose their finances.

Illinois residents across the state, and across party lines, largely support more gun regulations. That’s according to the results of an NPR Illinois - University of Illinois Springfield survey. We took a look at the new data and explored what might be behind the numbers.


Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is delaying a planned health insurance switch for children in its care, but the public guardian of the state’s largest county says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Illinois brought in more tax money from gambling in the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s just one of several highlights from a new report released Monday.


At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


The minimum salary a teacher can be paid in Illinois will soon increase. Governor J.B. Pritzker joined educators and activists to sign a wage increase plan into law Thursday.


Kids across Illinois will be heading to school next month. For parents, that means checking off supply lists, calming those first day jitters, and even getting their kids vaccinated. Not everyone believes in that last one, which is why states like Illinois offer families exemptions for religious reasons.

But just last month, New York joined a handful of states that ban the practice, citing a large spike in measles cases. Though it hasn’t happened yet in Illinois, lawmakers across the country are mulling whether or not to do the same.

We explored whether Illinois could—or should—end religious exemptions for vaccines.


Springfield-based Land of Lincoln Goodwill is backpedaling on its recent decision to lay off a number of workers with disabilities. The move by CEO Sharon Durbin sparked broad criticism this week.


Illinois’ weed legalization law won’t take effect until next year, but the Illinois State Police is wasting no time. That agency is preparing to enforce new regulations surrounding legal cannabis.


Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana. That makes the state the 11th to approve recreational use.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is asking state lawmakers to raise the tax on cigarettes, and begin taxing vaping products. It’s part of a plan he introduced last month to balance the state budget.


A new lobbying group says it plans to promote Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s agenda using secret money. It’s being run by a close Pritzker ally.


A program designed to curb Illinois’ pension debt is now underway. Early numbers show more Illinois state employees than expected are choosing to take a pension buyout from the state.


Illinois firearms dealers will now have to have state licenses. That’s part of a package of changes Governor JB Pritzker signed into law on Thursday.


Amid talk of possibly legalizing marijuana in Illinois in the near future, farmers will soon be able to grow another type of cannabis plant thanks to a new state law.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Illinois six Roman Catholic dioceses failed to disclose at least 500 sexual abuse cases involving priests. That’s one of the first findings the office has released so far in its ongoing investigation of the dioceses.


Experts say billions in a multi-year plan won't go far enough to address infrastructure repairs and upkeep.

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