FILE - Illinois State Capitol

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

Criminal justice reform measures could advance

Expect a series of measures dealing with criminal justice reform, police regulations, health programs and more to advance at the statehouse in the final days of lame duck session.

One bill that passed both chambers Monday supporters say improves education for minority students. In the House where the measure passed, state Rep. Mark Batinick voted no, saying there were unfunded mandates and potential waste.

Another measure that passed both chambers is a one page bill that repeals The Railroad Intoxicating Liquor Act.

New General Assembly to be sworn in on Wednesday

Wednesday is the final day of the 101st Illinois General Assembly.

The House and Senate will begin the next two-year term after swearing in ceremonies in Springfield.

The Senate will be in their chambers at the capitol building. The House continues at the Bank of Springfield Center.

Access to the buildings are limited because of heightened security concerns and COVID-19.

Linda Chapa LaVia exits IDVA

There’s an interim director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Major General Peter Nezamis will replace Linda Chapa LaVia, who stepped down yesterday after a contentious House hearing about the COVID-19 outbreak that’s taken the lives of the home’s 36 residents.

Mask rule could move to JCAR

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, or JCAR, meets Tuesday in Springfield, and one issue the 12-member panel of state lawmakers could discuss is the mask and social distancing emergency rule.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker filed the rule after the previous one expired last week.

The rule is in effect until June unless the governor repeals it, or JCAR blocks it.

It requires businesses to enforce masks and social distancing, or they could face fines.

Illinois Supreme Court takes up oral arguments in cases

The Illinois Supreme Court announced oral arguments will take place via Zoom video conferencing for the cases that start its 2021 term.

Four cases will be heard Tuesday, four on Wednesday and two cases on Thursday.

Details can be found at

State looks to boost awareness about human trafficking

The state’s child welfare agency has a new training program to increase awareness about human trafficking.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has mandatory lessons online for state employees and private agency partner staff that encompasses key concepts, terminology, signs of human trafficking and more.

Monday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

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

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.

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.

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.