Government and Legislature

Amanda Vinicky

For the past couple of weeks, Illinois' new governor, Bruce Rauner, traveled the state giving speeches that mostly told audiences what's wrong with Illinois. Wednesday, he used his "State Of The State" address to begin to describe what he wants to do about it.

Rauner didn't just deliver a big speech. He produced a full manifesto, complete with calls for an upheaval of Illinois' labor laws, changes to the Constitution, a property-tax freeze, and hiring more prison guards. The speech started off on a conciliatory note. Or maybe it was an invitation. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a list of the companies that will be allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois. Letters to 18 winning cultivation centers and 52 retail stores went out today. 

A retired deputy chief was the star witness for the Rockford Police Union Thursday at a conduct hearing for Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.

A retired deputy chief was the star witness for the Rockford Police Union Thursday at a conduct hearing for Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.

Rockford’s police chief goes before the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners today. It’s the continuation of Monday’s meeting. That’s where Chet Epperson spent nearly seven hours defending himself against misconduct charges filed by the police union.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A new community group is pulling together to improve Rockford by making life better for its young minority residents. About one hundred people showed up for the organizational meeting for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

Warming Centers Help People Escape The Cold

Jan 5, 2015
Early Morning Chill by Bryan Alexander/CC BY 2.0

When harsh winter conditions sweep through the northern Illinois area, it brings a reminder to bundle up or stay inside. Several locations throughout the northern Illinois region offer warming centers to get out of the bitter cold. 

These centers provide safe and warm locations during extreme cold temperatures for those without housing as well as those who may not have the resources to heat their homes adequately. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

One of the toughest eavesdropping laws in the nation has been replaced with restrictions supporters call "more reasonable." 

Ban On 'Revenge Porn' Signed Into Law

Dec 30, 2014

Taking a bad breakup to the Internet could result in taking a trip to prison.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law this week that aims to protect against so-called "revenge porn."

"Cyberbullying can have lasting and often devastating effects on a person, especially when it involves the distribution of very personal images," Quinn said in a statement. "This shameful act can be as harmful as any other form of abuse."

Less than half of American kids live in a “traditional” home. That’s according to the most recent Pew Research Center analysis

Forty-six percent of children live with heterosexual parents in their first marriage, compared to 61 percent in 1980. A jump in kids born to unmarried mothers accounts for the shift.