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.

Sean Tenner

In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s order for a 10-day special session, the General Assembly returned to Springfield this week to focus on crafting a budget.

Three weeks ago, legislators tried to beat the end of the official spring legislative session and worked to pass measures dealing with women’s and LGBT rights, farmer’s market concerns, and issues related to women in prison.


Justin Wright

Some reformers say the Illinois minimum age for juvenile detention needs to go up. 

Justin Wright still remembers well the time he spent as an 11-year-old at the Cook County Juvenile Detention facility. That was nearly 25 years ago.

“When I went in there, I was a scared little kid. But I came out a hardened criminal,” he said.

Daisy Contreras/Illinois Issues

Thirty-four activists were arrested outside Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Statehouse office last night.

They’d come to Springfield on foot, marching about 200 miles from Chicago. The protestors wanted to pass a so-called “People and Planet First Budget” — taxing the wealthy to pay for universal health care and free tuition at public universities.  Members zip-tied themselves to each other by the wrist to block access to Rauner’s offices.

Organizer Joe Padilla said his group originally intended to stay overnight.

Warehouse Workers for Justice

Isaura Martinez was working at a Bolingbrook factory when she felt a pull in her left wrist as she was attaching a metal hook to the back of a Christmas-card holder. Four years have passed, but the Cicero woman still feels pain after surgery to correct the issue. 

Legislation aims to improve working conditions for temporary workers as the need for them increases.