Daisy Contreras

Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project.  She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield.  She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College.  Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

Legionella bacteria, which has created problems for an Illinois veterans home in Quincy, might be present at the State Capitol Complex. Initial water tests from a burst pipe showed the presence of Legionella DNA. But until additional test results come out, state officials are saying it’s safe for employees and visitors to continue their daily routine.

Flickr user DNAK / (CC x 2.0)

Advocates across Illinois are calling on the state to change the way it handles young people who’ve committed serious crimes. They want to end the use of large prison facilities.

The alternative is to place youth into smaller community settings, where support can be focused on their educational and mental health needs.

Blind parents in Illinois are guaranteed certain rights under new state guidelines.

Deborah Kent Stein is with the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. She says this will help clarify the protections already outlined under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which says that a disability cannot be used as the only factor to determine parenting capabilities.

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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, D-Chicago, 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.

State of Illinois

National politics and the recent surge of sexual harassment allegations have resulted in calls to increase the number of female candidates in the 2018 state legislative elections. But Illinois did not necessarily meet these expectations.

The only increase came from female participation in the races for the state House of Representatives and the race for lieutenant governor—where three women are competing for the spot.

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