FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

Pritzker extends COVID-19 emergency orders

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has again extended a slew of COVID-19 emergency orders, with some modifications.

The governor on Friday renewed another 30-day order that included a mandate people wear face coverings in public places or when working. But, that order is modified to say fully vaccinated people can go mask-free outdoors, except when in large gatherings.

The governor also extended the state’s eviction moratorium through May 29.

Magazine says Illinois among worst places for businesses

Illinois is among the worst places for business, according to Chief Executive Magazine.

The magazine said, “Despite powerful human capital, high costs remain a turnoff” for businesses for the bottom five.

Illinois was among California, New York, New Jersey and Washington ranked in the bottom five. Texas was selected as the best state for business.

Some back bison bridge plan

Instead of taxpayers paying to demolish a 55-year-old bridge in the Quad Cities, some are pushing for officials to make it an animal walkway.

The Chicago Tribune reports a group is proposing a “bison bridge” national park where bison could roam across the river using the bridge.

Supporters say the idea would create the largest human-made wildlife crossing, something that could also draw tourism.

Hacking investigation underway

An investigation is ongoing into a ransomware attack on the computer systems of the Illinois Attorney General’s office that was discovered on April 10.

The extent of the attack isn’t fully known, but the AG’s office said Friday it’s working with law enforcement and external technology experts to identify any sensitive taxpayer or investigative information that may have been exposed.

Bustos won't seek re-election

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos will not be seeking reelection.

The Democrat from Moline made the announcement Friday. In a YouTube video, Bustos said the decision to not seek reelection after her term ends is to make way for a new voice.

She said she’ll update supporters on the next chapter of her career, where she will continue to “think big and deliver results.”

Lawmakers set to return to Springfield on Tuesday

State lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday. They’ll have four weeks of session to pass legislation with simple majorities.

That May 31st deadline is also for the state to pass a balanced budget.

Another deadline is June 30 for lawmakers to send Gov. J.B. Pritzker new outlines for congressional and legislative districts.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.

Staff Reporter

Andrew Hensel has years of experience as a reporter and pre-game host for the Joliet Slammers, and as a producer for the Windy City Bulls. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University and Illinois Media School, Andrew lives in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Regional Editor

Brett Rowland has worked as a reporter in newsrooms in Illinois and Wisconsin. He most recently served as news editor of the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He previously held the same position at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb.