Dispatching a 'Battle Buddy' to Help Distressed Veterans

An initiative in Joliet, Illinois, sends police officers with military experience to respond to calls for service involving veterans who need help.

A State Will Require Civics Education in Prisons

The goal of the new Illinois law is to reduce recidivism, help former prisoners reintegrate into their communities, and boost voter turnout.

Legal Challenge Over $14 Billion in State Debt Is Sidelined For Now

A judge has blocked the Illinois case from proceeding, but the think tank CEO who brought it says he plans to appeal.

Teaching Consent as Part of Sex Ed

Sex ed classes in Illinois schools must include a lesson on consent under a state law that goes into effect in January.

Leveraging Technology to Clear Criminal Records

Cook County, Illinois, will automatically expunge low-level convictions for marijuana offenses using software from Code for America.

The Latest State to Prohibit Smoking in Cars With Minors

In Illinois, people smoking in a car carrying a child can now face fines up to $250. At least nine other states have similar policies.

29 Dogs Died in a Kennel Fire. Legislators Hope to Prevent it From Happening Again.

Illinois became the first state in the country to mandate safety protections for dogs and cats in kennel facilities.

At Hearing on Financial Aid Scandal, Lawmakers Grill Officials and Look to Close a Loophole

Illinois politicians considered denying admission to students whose families exploited the guardianship law to qualify for aid they wouldn’t otherwise receive, saying it was an “injustice.”

Parents Are Giving Up Custody of Their Kids to Get Need-Based College Financial Aid

First, parents turn over guardianship of their teenagers to a friend or relative. Then the student declares financial independence to qualify for tuition aid and scholarships. Lawmakers in Illinois are calling for an end to the loophole.

Employers Barred from Asking for Job Applicant Wage Histories in More and More States

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Putting the city’s light-rail vision to a vote in Phoenix … Looking for a regulatory sweet spot for housing in Des Moines ... Declaring a water emergency in New Jersey.

New Democratic Majorities Lead to Rush of Bills—and Conflict

With new trifectas, Democratic leaders in six states had the opportunity to push through many new laws. But there were also clashes, both internally and with Republicans.

How One City Dramatically Cut Its Murder Rate

With a focus on community policing and engagement with neighborhood groups, Aurora, Illinois has become a model for cities across the country.

The One Political Job Where Women Are Overrepresented

A new study finds that women are more likely to hold county clerk positions, possibly because the job’s responsibilities conform to traditional gender roles for women in the workplace.

Gap Grows Between Well-Off and Troubled State Public Pension Plans

The findings from The Pew Charitable Trusts come as the U.S. enters a record phase of economic expansion.

This State May Allow Restaurants to Accept Food Stamp Benefits

A bill awaiting the governor's signature in Illinois would give some SNAP recipients the option to use their benefits at restaurants and to purchase hot prepared food at grocery stores.

Illinois Video Gambling Tax Hike Will Be Decided by Lawmakers With Financial Ties to the Industry

As video gambling has grown in the state, so have the industry’s links to lawmakers.

$831 Million Project to Repel Invasive Fish From Great Lakes Gets Army Corps Greenlight

One advocate describes a “race against time” to block Asian carp, which pose a threat to native wildlife.

Behind the Movement to Kick Chicago Out of Illinois

Many rural, often conservative, residents of large Democratic-controlled states are pushing to create their own states.

This State Could Require Public Employees to Live Where They Work

Lawmakers in Illinois are debating a residency requirement for all new state employees.

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