Category: Statewide

News that affects Illinois as a whole.

Governor signs $15 minimum wage into law

SPRINGFIELD — On Thursday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that raised the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The State Journal-Register of Springfield reported that this also fulfilled one of Pritzker’s campaign promises. From the State Journal-Register: Illinois is on track to be the first state in the Midwest to…

New progressive caucus forms in the Illinois House

SPRINGFIELD — A group of Illinois House members have formed a caucus to push for progressive causes like cannabis legalization and campaign finance reform. The State Journal-Register of Springfield reported that the new Progressive Caucus announced goals at a press conference on Thursday. From the Journal-Register: Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said the formal structure of…

$15 minimum wage bill could reach Pritzker this week

SPRINGFIELD — A vote on a $15 minimum wage in Illinois was scheduled for Thursday in the Illinois House and Democrats think it could be on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk the same day. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that it’s expected to pass with no Republican support. From the Sun-Times: We’ll call it on the floor…

First bill to legalize pot in Illinois filed

SPRINGFIELD — The first bill to legalize cannabis in Illinois has been submitted to the Illinois General Assembly. The Southern Illinoisan reported that Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) filed a bill that would actually go a bit further than other proposals. From The Southern Illinoisan: Ammons’ bill, the “Cannabis Legalization Equity Act,” would allow anyone 21…

Planned Parenthood of Illinois offers free birth control through new ABC initiative

CHICAGO — Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) announced its new Access Birth Control (ABC) initiative on Friday. Eligible PPIL patients can now access their preferred method of contraception at no charge. The ABC initiative will be in place until 2021. More information is available at www.ppil.org/abc. “The ABC initiative eliminates cost obstacles patients may face.…

LGBT Curriculum Bill still alive in Illinois assembly

SPRINGFIELD — A bill that would require LGBTQ history to be taught in Illinois schools is moving through the state legislature again. The bill passed the State Senate last year, but didn’t go any further. NPR Illinois in Springfield reported that State Rep. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park) is cosponsoring the bill. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin) is…

Equality Illinois holds annual gala

CHICAGO — Equality Illinois held its annual gala at the Hilton Chicago this past weekend. The event, always a big event in the Chicago LGBTQ calendar, was sold out for the first time this year and attracted every Chicago politician running for office in city elections next month. In some ways, the gala was also…

Prtizker signs exec order to restore HIV funding

ROCKFORD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed an executive order restoring public health funding for HIV care. From the State Journal-Register of Springfield: He signed an executive order to expand access to the medicine known as PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which can reduce the chances of getting HIV. PrEP funding was a casualty of…

Illinois ranks high in HRC’s latest State Equality Index

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign released the 2019 State Equality Index on Thursday and Illinois was in the top category for LGBTQ equality. Illinois, along with 15 other states and the District of Columbia, were ranked as “Working Toward Innovative Equality.” According to the HRC, these states have a broad range of protections to…