Peter Hancock, News Democrat

Peter Hancock

News Democrat

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Past articles by Peter:

Illinois abruptly shifts left in 2019 with Democratic governor Pritzker at the helm

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has enjoyed a productive start to his campaign, passing several key measures. Perhaps most notable, he passed a budget with more than $1 billion in new spending. → Read More

Illinois closer to becoming the next state to legalize marijuana for recreational use

The state of Illinois is one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana. The Senate approved the measure on Wednesday, and the House is expected to vote on it Friday. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he will sign it into law. → Read More

Labor unions push for expanded gambling in final days of session

The Illinois AFL-CIO urged lawmakers to pass an expanded gambling bill, arguing this would not only create new jobs in Illinois but also provide needing funding for a mega capital improvements plan. → Read More

Immigrant rights advocates call to make Illinois a sanctuary state

The state of Illinois on Wednesday moved one step closer to becoming a “sanctuary state.” Two Democratic state lawmakers are pushing for a bill limiting the cooperation public agencies can provide ICE. → Read More

What’s in the marijuana legalization bill? Here’s a look at some of the highlights

Senate Bill 7, the bill that would legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Illinois, is a 533-page piece of legislation that sets standards for regulating the production, sale and taxation of marijuana. → Read More

Moody’s says graduated income tax would pose opportunities and risks

Mood’s Investors Services, one of the nation’s leading credit rating agencies, said adopting a graduated income tax system in Illinois could provide some much-needed revenue. But the state’s credit rating may not improve. → Read More

Lawmakers, university officials warn of higher ed cuts without new revenue

Democrats in the Illinois House, along with officials from each of the state’s public universities, warned that unless the state finds new sources of revenue, funding cuts to higher education are likely. → Read More

Two reports endorse investment in early childhood education

One of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priorities — increasing investment in early childhood education — received strong support from two reports released by law enforcement officials and leading business execs. → Read More

Marijuana bill likely to come up early when lawmakers return

State Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, said during a Capitol Cast podcast by Capitol News Illinois she soon hopes to file substantial adult use bill language for the legalization of adult recreational marijuana. → Read More

Bill impacts undocumented immigrants, transgender individuals

Undocumented immigrants and transgender individuals who have not registered for the draft can receive state-funded student financial aid through House Bill 2691, which recently passed the Illinois House. → Read More

Department of Human Services seeks 9 percent funding increase

A Senate budget committee is weighing Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s request for a 9 percent increase in general revenue funding for the Department of Human Services, which manages most of the state’s social welfare programs. → Read More

House advances bill to bar local ‘right-to-work’ laws

A bill that would bar municipalities in Illinois from enacting local “right-to-work” laws like one the village of Lincolnshire enacted in 2015 is one step closer to going to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. → Read More

Teacher licensing tests come under fire in Illinois

Some Illinois lawmakers are again turning their attention to the tests prospective teachers must take to be licensed, arguing those tests deter many college students from trying to enter the profession. → Read More

Environmental groups push for ‘fracking transparency’

Republican state lawmakers from southern Illinois pushed back Tuesday against a bill that would require more public disclosure from oil and gas drilling companies whenever they use hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in their operations in the state. → Read More

Employers could receive tax incentives for giving paid sick leave for organ donations

A bill aimed at promoting voluntary donation of organs, such as kidneys or bone marrow, from living donors is advancing in the Illinois Senate. The bill would give tax credits to employers who provide paid sick time to their workers for donating organs. → Read More

Survey shows teacher shortages growing throughout Illinois

The shortage of teachers in Illinois is reaching into virtually every subject area and region of Illinois, and forcing schools to either cancel programs, enlarge class sizes or use teachers who are not fully licensed in a particular subject area. → Read More

Under bill, here’s what would happen to your guns if your FOID card is revoked

A bill in the General Assembly would tighten gun ownership laws in Illinois and require State Police to confiscate weapons and ammunition from people who have had their firearms permits revoked. → Read More

Illinois lawmakers push for Medicaid managed-care reform

Democratic state leaders said Tuesday that Illinois’ “managed care” Medicaid system is threatening the viability of hospitals and access to health care in many parts of the state, and they are pushing legislation they say would reform the system. → Read More

State forecasters see modest economic growth next year, but warning signs ahead

Illinois can expect moderate economic growth in the upcoming fiscal year that will lead to higher state tax receipts. But ominous warning signs are on the horizon possibly signaling an economic downturn. → Read More

How expensive are your prescriptions? Illinois lawmakers are working to lower the cost

Illinois lawmakers introduced four bills that would keep the prices of drugs from getting more expensive, but Republicans are concerned that regulation would make prescriptions even more expensive. → Read More