Illinois

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.

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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.

Considering a ‘Progressive’ Income Tax in a Fiscally-Stressed State

What if Illinois scraps its flat tax structure and made higher earners pay more? A new study offers possible insights.

Purdue Pharma Settles With Oklahoma in Major Opioid Crisis Lawsuit

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | The states that would benefit most from Dreamer protections … What to wear to survey flood damage ... Importing drugs from Canada for prisoners.

Chicago Mayoral Election Could Bring a ‘Nightmare Scenario’

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Oakland teachers strike continues … boosting teacher pay in Texas … and Florida mayor ‘socialized with people of dubious repute.’

Candidate Pitches Plan for Chicago to Annex Its Suburbs

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Texas now has a measles outbreak … San José mayor interested in Musk tunnel … and a N.C. city suspends drug testing.

The Promise and Peril of Borrowing Money to Manage Pension Costs

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week proposed issuing bonds to improve the city’s pension funding levels. Is that a good idea?