FILE - Illinois State Capitol

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

Illinois reduces quarantine time for schools

As Illinois goes through another surge in COVID-19 cases, state officials are cutting the recommended quarantine time for teachers and students in half.

The Illinois State Board of Education said effective immediately, the state will follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidance on shortening isolation and quarantine periods from 10 to 5 days.

The guidance applies to all public and nonpublic schools that serve students in Pre-K through 12th grade.

Nominating petitions for Illinois’ primary election begin circulating Thursday

Now through March 7, Republican and Democratic politicians looking to advance to the November midterm elections are circulating nominating petitions.

Illinois’ closed primary is June 28 and only for the two parties.

Non-established parties begin circulating petitions, where they need as much as three-times what Republicans and Democrats need, in April.

Comptroller's office offers new weekly reports on state's financial data

New weekly reports from the Illinois Comptroller's office show taxpayers' key financial data.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office said each week, the agency is updating graphics to show the bill backlog, bill payment cycle, unfunded pension liabilities and funding ratios, and the state’s rainy day fund, which would only fund state government for a little more than an hour, Mendoza’s office said.

Details are available at

Lawmakers won't return to Springfield next week

Eight of nine session days for the Illinois Legislature so far this year have been canceled as lawmakers don't plan to return to Springfield next week. Some speculate they won't return until March.

In a joint statement, the Illinois House Speaker and Senate President said the rise in COVID-19 cases drove the decision.

Republican state Rep. Tim Butler said it’s unfortunate and said he’s heard rumors they could be away from the capitol through the rest of the month if not further.

Opposition mounts to gas tax proposal

A measure that would allow all municipalities in Illinois to tack on a local gas tax on top of the state’s gas tax is being opposed by the group representing gas stations.

The Illinois Fuel and Retail Association said Illinois already has the second-highest gas taxes in the country and House Bill 4424 could make that even higher.

Teresi announces bid for Illinois comptroller

The auditor for McHenry County is eyeing a statewide office. Shannon Teresi announced her campaign for Illinois comptroller.

The Republican says the state needs a fiscal watchdog, not a career politician.

If she advances through the June primary, Teresi would face Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Associate Editor

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.