FILE - Illinois State Capitol

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

Madigan to resign 

Michael Madigan, the longest serving statehouse speaker in the country, and the longest serving state legislator in Illinois, resigned Thursday.

In a statement Thursday, Madigan thanked his family and touted his accomplishments over five decades in office.

He leaves under the cloud of a federal corruption probe involving bribes utility ComEd admitted it paid to associates in an effort to influence Madigan.

He lost his bid for speaker last month to House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch.

Business groups oppose cuts to tax incentives

Associations representing an array of businesses in Illinois are opposing the governor’s move to end nearly a billion dollars of business tax incentives.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said the move to end nine programs the governor called “corporate loopholes” is the wrong direction.

The Illinois Retail Merchants’ Association said ending the programs compounds costs of three minimum wage increases during the pandemic.

Any changes to the tax code require legislative approval.

Illinois GOP outlines recovery plans

While Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Democrats criticize Illinois Republicans for not having plans to recover from the economy, members of the super minority party say Democrats aren’t listening.

Springfield Republican state Sen. Steve McClure said Republicans have been saying there should be spending reforms and policies to grow the economy.

He said cuts and tax increases alone won’t help.

Municipalities want to help distribute vaccines

The Illinois Municipal League says cities, villages and towns want to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines, but aren’t being allowed the opportunity.

IML Executive Director Brad Cole says they’ve been asking for months to have the Illinois Department of Public Health allow cities to help with distribution to no avail.

He said city leaders are often the first people called by residents having problems getting the vaccine.

JCAR allows teacher standards to move forward

Controversial teaching standards for Illinois educators will go into effect despite opposition from some across the state.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules met Wednesday where a motion was made to block the “Culturally Responsive” teaching standards. The motion failed to get the necessary eight of 12 votes.

Republicans said the standards amount to a political litmus test for teachers. Supporters said it makes for more inclusive classrooms.

Illinois State Fairgrounds converted to vaccination site

The Illinois State Fairgrounds has been converted to a COVID-19 mass vaccination site.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recorded his State of the State and Budget Address from the fairground in Springfield on Wednesday where he touted it as a place where people can get the vaccine.

The appointment-only operations are taking place at the Orr Building on the fairgrounds.

Voting moves to second round in Makers Madness competition

The next round of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s “Makers Madness” competition is on.

The bracket-style tournament for people to vote on “The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois” featured 311 products made in Illinois. The current round of voting will narrow down to the top 16 products.

People can vote at

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

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet 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.