WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Daisy Contreras

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois. She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues. Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter. She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.

Illinois police officers who want to seek mental health care can now do so without jeopardizing their jobs.

Republicans held their annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield Wednesday with a message of party unity.  Bruce Rauner still holds the top office in state government. But as he pushes for re-election, he’s trying to appease conservatives who feel betrayed and whose support he needs to win a second term.   

Illinois lawmakers were unable to agree this spring on a plan to protect good Samaritans who rescue an animal left inside a hot car. Advocates say the push will continue.
 

The man at the center of the case of public sector unions and fair share fees is a state employee from Springfield.  Mark Janus took his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Wednesday, he was victorious.  The decision means non-union members won't have to pay those fees to cover activities like collective bargaining. 

The debate continues over whether Illinois’ law allowing for taxpayer-funded abortions violates the state constitution. A trial judge dismissed the case last year but anti-abortion advocates are fighting back.  

An Illinois House committee Monday discussed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty for mass shooters and for those who murder police officers. The proposal is part of a broader public safety plan put forth in an amendatory veto.  

After what’s thought to be one of the most expensive primaries in Illinois history, billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic nominee for governor.  Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner won the Republican primary, narrowly beating his only opponent, state Representative Jeanne Ives.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday vetoed the only gun-control legislation to reach his desk — one month after the Parkland, Florida shooting.

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A new state law breaks down the guidelines an attorney must follow in a so called "collaborative divorce." Couples who choose this team-based approach don't want to settle in court and instead join a group of professionals who coach them on finances, mental health, and child care needs. 

Many blind parents say they have fallen prey to preconceived biases involving their children and their parenting capabilities. A new law in Illinois aims to address these concerns.

Illinois lawmakers acted quickly last month in response to sexual harassment allegations at the statehouse.  But several female legislators say this isn't a quick fix.  They say the process was rushed and not enough thought was given to explore alternative options.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, says the new policies were not inclusive of everyone affected by the issue—such as legislative staff and lobbyists. She says she hopes newly formed legislative task forces in the House and Senate will resolve this concern. 

In another step to help prevent more overdose related deaths, the state of Illinois rolled out a 24/7 opioid and substance addiction helpline Tuesday.

Communities across Illinois lacking access to fresh food will soon be tracked. This initiative, which goes into effect mid-2018, will attempt to solve more than one issue in these affected areas. 
        

The push continues to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois. This time, support comes from a travel expert who wants to see the state adopt the European approach to cannabis.

Public broadcasting travel host Rick Steves calls it “an anti-prohibition movement.” That’s what his home state of Washington, as well as Colorado, started by legalizing marijuana in 2012. He has personally funded initiatives in several states to continue this movement.

 

With the final week of veto session underway, the Illinois General Assembly took action meant to address sexual harassment at the state Capitol. 

Thirty-four activists were arrested outside Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Statehouse office last night.