United States Congress

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that allows churches to become more active politically. Critics say it could lead to LGBTQ discrimination, but U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would prevent that discrimination – with several from Illinois as co-sponsors.

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois senators have overwhelmingly endorsed an automatic-voter registration plan two years in the making.

SB1933 would register qualified voters automatically when they visit Secretary of State offices and a handful of other state agencies unless they decide to opt out. It moves to the House after a 48-0 vote Friday in the Senate.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, is sponsoring the measure. He says it would streamline voter registration and bolster participation.

The house where a toddler was found dead was visited by Will County sheriff's deputies nearly 60 times in a little more than a year.

Records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times in a Freedom of Information Act request show two of the 59 visits to 1-year-old Semaj Crosby's Joliet Township house were welfare checks. Forty of those calls were for probation checks.

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Social-service providers suing Illinois over lack of payment during the state's budget impasse have presented oral arguments before an appeals court and are waiting for a decision on where the case should be heard.

The Pay Now Illinois coalition sued last year in Cook County to force the state to honor contracts during the budget stalemate, which is nearing two full years. However, a Cook County judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying it belonged in a higher court.

"Wheelchair" by Flickr User zeevveez / (CC X 2.0)

A tentative contract agreement has averted a possible strike that was planned by thousands of Illinois nursing home workers.

Representatives of more than 5,000 workers at nursing homes around Chicago and Rockford had planned to strike starting on Thursday, but a statement on behalf of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois says an agreement was reached on a three-year deal.

The statement early Thursday says the tentative agreement includes wage increases and staffing provisions to help reduce turnover and increase the quality of care for residents.