Articles written by Peter Hancock

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 By Peter Hancock    News 

Obama breaks ground on presidential center

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama returned to their old neighborhood on Chicago's South Side on Tuesday to officially break ground on the Obama Pres... — Updated 11/14/2021


Pritzker signs law repealing criminal penalties for HIV transmission

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Tuesday that repeals criminal penalties for people who transmit HIV to others. House Bill 1063, by Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, and Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, deletes language adopted in... — Updated 7/27/2021


Report: Illinois' pension debt tops $300 billion

A new report by the credit rating agency Moody’s says Illinois will set a new record this year when it reports a total net pension liability of more than $300 billion, the highest of any state in the nation. As of June 30, 2020, t... — Updated 3/4/2021


Restaurants, hotels call for reopening plan

Officials from the hotel, restaurant and convention industries told a state Senate panel Thursday that they need a clear plan for how they will be allowed to reopen as the COVID-19... — Updated 3/1/2021


Pritzker outlines $41.6 billion budget with flat spending

Gov. JB Pritzker outlined a $41.6 billion budget proposal Wednesday that would hold most state agencies at flat funding levels but which relies heavily on changes to the state’s c... — Updated 2/18/2021


New jobless claims surge in Illinois

More than 107,000 Illinois workers filed first-time unemployment claims last week, a 45-percent increase over the week before as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the state and national economies. The Illinois... — Updated 12/10/2020

 By Peter Hancock    News

Legislative probe into Madigan postponed

The chairman of a special committee investigating Democratic State House Speaker Michael Madigan’s role in a bribery scheme involving utility giant Commonwealth Edison has postponed the panel’s next meeting, which had been sch... — Updated 11/4/2020

 By Peter Hancock    News

Restaurants push back as 10th region placed under mitigations

Illinois restaurant owners are asking Gov. JB Pritzker to rethink the state's efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 as yet another medical region was placed under enhanced mitig... — Updated 11/4/2020


State regulators grill ComEd execs over fraud admission

Top executives of utility giant Commonwealth Edison faced tough questions from state regulators Wednesday as they publicly apologized for the lobbying scandal that is forcing the... — Updated 8/11/2020


GOP lawmakers' call for ComEd hearings rebuffed

The chairwoman of the Illinois House Energy and Environment Committee said this week she will not hold hearings to examine what impact Commonwealth Edison's lobbying and bribery pra... — Updated 7/30/2020


Another 39K file jobless claims in Illinois

The state of Illinois saw slight decreases in the number of people filing first-time unemployment claims as well as the number of people receiving continuing benefits during the week that ended July 4. But those gains were more... — Updated 7/10/2020


New rules for firearms dealers finally approved

SPRINGFIELD - New permanent regulations that govern licensed firearms dealers in Illinois have finally been approved 18 months after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill into law. The... — Updated 6/17/2020


Pritzker, Lightfoot announce new fund to support artists during COVID-19 shutdown

Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday the formation of a new relief fund to support artists and performers who have been temporarily put out of work by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arts for Illinois... — Updated 4/1/2020


Illinois records first infant death as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Saturday it has confirmed 13 new deaths from the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, including an infant in Cook County who had... — Updated 3/29/2020


State, national unemployment spikes amid COVID-19 outbreak

More than 114,000 workers in Illinois filed first-time unemployment claims in the week ending March 21 as the United States saw its biggest one-week spike in recorded history. 3.2... — Updated 3/26/2020


Illinois casinos ordered closed starting Monday

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Gaming Board has ordered all 10 casinos in the state to suspend operations for 14 days starting Monday, citing public health concerns over the outbreak o... — Updated 3/13/2020


Legislative watchdog: 'The fox is guarding the hen house'

All three people who have held the position of legislative inspector general in Illinois told a joint ethics panel Thursday the office needs more independence to police the General... — Updated 2/10/2020


Sandoval charged with bribery, tax fraud

Former state Sen. Martin Sandoval was formally charged in federal court Monday with bribery and tax fraud. The indictment comes one day before lawmakers are set to return to... — Updated 1/28/2020


Pritzker signs bill capping insulin costs

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Friday capping the out-of-pocket cost of prescription insulin for many people in Illinois. Senate Bill 667, sponsored by Sen.... — Updated 1/27/2020


Pritzker, Harmon join call for hearings into non-citizen voter registration

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker and newly-elected Illinois Senate President Don Harmon added their voices Wednesday to a growing chorus of state officials calling for legislative hearin... — Updated 1/23/2020


State senators to choose new president Sunday

The Illinois Senate will hold a special meeting Sunday to elect a new chamber president. Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, surprised his colleagues at the end of... — Updated 1/16/2020


Reform advocates push for tighter lobbying controls

Government reform advocates in Illinois are urging state lawmakers to impose stricter rules on lobbying activity at the Statehouse, including a ban on lawmakers themselves working... — Updated 1/16/2020


Pritzker reflects on first year in office, looks ahead to 2020

One year ago, on Jan. 14, 2019, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker was sworn into office. A billionaire businessman from Chicago with no prior experience as an elected official, he took... — Updated 1/14/2020


New gun dealer regulations to take effect Friday

New rules governing how retail gun dealers do business go into effect Friday and include the types of records they must keep, how weapons and ammunition are to be stored and the... — Updated 1/13/2020


Researchers suggest more state funding for schools would help lower property taxes

A pair of researchers are suggesting the best way to reduce property taxes in Illinois is for the state to take over a greater share of funding for public schools and consolidate some units of local government. Frank Manzo, policy... — Updated 12/19/2019


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