Sam Dunklau

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

Flickr User Mark / (CC x 2.0)

The Illinois General Assembly approved a measure allowing parents to give their kids medical marijuana at school.

It’s named after Ashley Surin, an 11-year-old girl who suffers from severe epilepsy. Her doctor prescribed her patches with a small amount of cannabis oil on them, which her parents say has been a “golden cure.”

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner this week added sweeping changes to a piece of gun legislation, in a move some state legislators called “political gamesmanship” and “unconstitutional.” But the lawmaker behind the original bill isn’t backing down, announcing Wednesday he's asking the Illinois House to agree with those changes.


About 114 million people visited Illinois last year, setting a new state record. That’s according to the latest state tourism data released on Tuesday.

According to the numbers, that’s roughly two million more people than the year before. In all, travelers spent $40 billion of their dollars on Illinois hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

That gave local governments and the state a cut of about $3 billion in tax money.

Illinois legislators are taking up a measure to change the way police gather information for gang databases. It comes after more than a year of controversy surrounding the Chicago Police Department’s data collection practices.


IL SENATE DEMOCRATS / TWITTER

Budget talks at the Illinois Statehouse have shown no real sign of progress. This week, Senate Democrats pressed Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration to explain its proposal to shift pension costs to local school districts.

The governor’s budget director, Hans Zigmund, defended the idea at a Senate committee, saying Illinois would face a deficit worth billions absent this or other cost-saving measures.

If the shift is approved, school districts around the state would pay an additional 25 percent of their pension costs in the next year alone.

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