WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Jim Durkin

Illinois Republicans on Wednesday sued to block new legislative and judicial district boundary maps drawn and approved by Democrats — maps that’ll be in use for a decade’s worth of elections and political change.

The suit, filed in federal court, is the first of several expected over the new maps, which Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law on Friday. It’s the culmination of an argument months in the making over Democrats’ use of non-2020 Census data to draw the maps, as that data is delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

Illinois’ economy was humming along last winter, a few years removed from the state’s two-year budget impasse in which Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog climbed to nearly $17 billion, and finally experiencing the kind of growth that had eluded the state for years after the Great Recession.

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.

BRIAN MACKEY / NPR ILLINOIS

Illinois Republican lawmakers are taking issue with Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan that outlines how officials plan to reopen the state's economy in five phases. 

Illinois House Republicans in a press conference Monday said Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration has not done enough to address the tsunami of unemployment insurance claims from recent weeks.

After years of campaigning, Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to change Illinois’ tax system. On Tuesday they formally introduced the language they want to change in the Illinois Constitution.

Brian Mackey

Springfield's top political leaders are continuing to meet in private as the clock runs down on Illinois' budget year.

Illinois could be heading into a second year without a budget. Lawmakers are beginning their final day of the regularly-scheduled spring session without a deal.

Illinois' top legislators and the governor met yesterday for the first time this year. There's no indication it led to any resolution of the state's prolonged budget stalemate.

The private meeting lasted roughly an hour.

Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

After plenty of squabbles, negotiating, and even name-calling, it took less than an hour for House Republicans to elect Representative Jim Durkin of Western Springs as their new leader.