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Springfield

News from the Illinois state legislature, governor and lawmakers in Springfield.

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Gov. Pritzker and wife report earning $2.2 million in taxable income last year, paying $760,000 in state, federal taxes

A billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, the governor and Illinois first lady M.K. Pritzker reported $5,143,972 in adjusted gross income last year. Of that, $2,201,946 was taxable.

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Another COVID-19 Halloween: Officials urge trick-or-treating caution as statewide numbers improve

"Although we’re still in the pandemic, this Halloween and fall festivities season will look a little different than last year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available," Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

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Illinois Dems unveil new congressional map Friday as Republican Kinzinger reviews his options

The new proposed map is designed to yield 14 Democratic and three GOP members of Congress from Illinois and will likely face court challenges.

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City clerk running for secretary of state got 2 contributions from trucking exec linked to government mole

Anna Valencia says she has no ‘personal connection to William Pacella or his company. . . . Given that Mr. Pacella has been a supporter of Democratic campaigns in the past, he was a part of our early donor outreach efforts.’

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Pritzker announces over $15 million in funds for science labs to help foster ‘the talent and technology of tomorrow’

The governor said Illinois must "put the pedal to the metal" when it comes to the life science sector, which includes biology, botany, biochemistry because its success is "so critical to our future economic security."

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First lady Jill Biden — ‘community college educator for forever’ — visits Chicago classroom to learn

On Day Two of her visit, Biden appeared with U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for a charla at the Arturo Velasquez Institute. "I think our administration is trying to really wrap its arms around all Americans — all Americans," she said.

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First lady Jill Biden tours National Museum of Mexican Art in first visit to Chicago, views memorials to ‘everyday people’

The first lady’s two-day visit to Chicago was intended to feature some of her planned charlas — Spanish for conversations — a series of discussions and listening sessions she is conducting across the nation.

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State gets 2 bids to buy the James R. Thompson Center; here’s what’s next

Two potential buyers have submitted plans to acquire the Helmut Jahn-designed building that preservationists have pushed to save from demolition.

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Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations back to lowest level since August

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois have fallen by 10% since last week and 28% since last month.

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Republican gov hopeful Sullivan wants to shift focus from COVID-19 to crime, comparing Chicago to ‘a corrupt warzone’

Venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan said elected officials spend too much time on the pandemic. "And it’s like, what about all the people — more kids that are being shot in Chicago, than have actually died of COVID, you know, around the state. That’s the problem that I want to refocus on right now," he said.

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Bo knows casinos? Bo Jackson joins investment group looking to open casino in Calumet City

"The thing we want to do is bring life back into the South Side of Chicago and the suburbs — make it a place where people want to go instead of avoid," the two-sport legend and entrepreneur told the Sun-Times.

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Presta chango! Indicted Crestwood mayor to resign — but will new suburban job suddenly appear for Lou Presta?

Presta was expected to provide notice of his resignation at a village board meeting at which trustees will also elect an acting mayor and create the new position of economic development director. Presta was reelected this year despite a federal indictment accusing him of taking a $5,000 bribe.

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Arlington Heights’ playbook: Tax breaks, public financing only considered as ‘last resort’ in luring Bears, suburb’s mayor says

"We haven’t been asked for anything yet, we haven’t committed to anything yet and we wouldn’t without plenty of thoughtful public discussions about it," Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said.

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Southern Illinois’ hospital ICU situation improving, but ‘we’re still really preparing for the next wave’

Critical care units across the region’s 22 hospitals are still operating at 79% capacity, but that’s better than the past few weeks.

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Illinois AG announces measures to combat rise in online child exploitation

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) will launch a webinar series aimed at educating parents on the best practices to prevent child exploitation online. The series was unveiled amid a recent rise in reports of child victimization online.

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Hedging his bets? Illinois’ richest person compares Chicago to Afghanistan, hints of moving firm’s headquarters 

Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin said he personally saw "25 bullet shots in the glass window of the retail space" in the building he lives in, adding that someone "tried to carjack the security detail" that sits outside his house.

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Illinois’ eviction moratorium ends Sunday

Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the state’s eviction ban in August despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end President Joe Biden’s federal eviction moratorium.

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Fact-check: Downstate Republican misses the mark with shot in the dark about GOP vaccination rate

We contacted polling experts, surveyed news coverage and reviewed state data but found no evidence to back up state Sen. Terri Bryant’s claim that 75% of Illinois Republicans have been vaccinated. We also left multiple messages with the senator’s office seeking comment, which she did not return.

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Gov hopeful Sullivan to air TV ad, touting ‘values of faith, family and service’ — but one GOP rival called the spots a ‘disservice’

Jesse Sullivan’s 30-second biographical ad features his family, stops on the campaign trail and photos from his time in Afghanistan as a uniformed civilian assisting the U.S. military — images one primary rival objected to.

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September marks deadliest COVID-19 month for Illinois since winter as overall numbers improve

The virus claimed more than 1,000 Illinois lives last month, but data shows the Delta variant surge is waning.

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You pay more in property taxes because 27,288 Cook County homeowners pay nothing

As disabled vets, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and former Ald. James Balcer are among those with tax bills of $0. Income isn’t a factor in getting the tax break for disabled vets. In some states, it is.

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Pritzker punts on funding new Bears stadium as lawmakers line up to block financing run to Arlington Heights

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the possibility of publicly financing a new stadium is "not something that we’re looking at" — but he didn’t rule it out.

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Gambling company withdraws Waukegan casino bid hours after announcing Arlington sale to Bears

The move could suggest billionaire Neil Bluhm is focusing efforts on landing the long-sought Chicago casino.

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23 Chicago nonprofits receive state grants to help reduce violent crime

The grants of between $60,000 and $275,000 were funded through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

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Obscenity ruling? State’s top court to hear case seeking to end pols using ‘obscene amounts’ of campaign cash to pay lawyers

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke recused herself from the decision to take the case — and from hearing it once it comes before the Illinois Supreme Court. Her husband, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), has already spent nearly $2 million in campaign contributions on legal fees since federal agents raided his offices.

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Obamas break ground on presidential center, calling it way ‘to give back to Chicago and to the South Side’

The city’s first couple, who no longer live full time in the city, took a walk down memory lane, going over why they chose Jackson Park for the center. But the former president promised the center won’t just be "an exercise in nostalgia or looking backwards."

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Suburban activist, Chicago lawmaker hope allowing civil suits against illegal gun sellers will ‘send a message’

State Rep. Margaret Croke’s legislation would allow Illinois residents to bring a civil suit against the manufacturer, importer or dealer of a firearm if they, or a loved one, are hurt or killed as a result of the unlawful discharge of a gun in the state.

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Prison polling places? Some lawmakers, advocates want to restore voting rights to those behind bars

Lawmakers hope to bring up legislation restoring voting rights to incarcerated people next month during veto session, but opponents of the bill, including the Illinois State Board of Elections, argue the proposed measure is unconstitutional.

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Texas near total abortion ban opens door to Illinois parental notice repeal, bolstering abortion rights

"We’re looking at that, as well as what we might do in direct response to the law in Texas," Senate President Don Harmon said during the Sun-Times’ "At the Virtual Table" show.

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Fall forward? As Illinois COVID-19 numbers improve, ‘now is the time’ to have some fun before ‘winter bump’

As seasons change, the latest figures released by public health officials Friday show Illinois closed out its second COVID-19 summer in a more encouraging fashion than its first.

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Pritzker signs new state legislative maps to ‘reflect diversity,’ but rivals say they ‘steal representation’ from people of color

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the new maps "ensure Illinois’ diversity is reflected in the halls of government," but Republican rivals and several advocacy groups say they do just the opposite.

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Complaint that state official pushed for Trump tax break ruled ‘unfounded’

But the Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General also found Mauro Glorioso improperly deleted emails and other files on the case and said he shouldn’t be rehired by the state.