Sam Dunklau

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

An Illinois lawmaker wants to give police officers more power to take away guns from someone who poses a threat. 

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois House Democrats are trying to muster support to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would require state licenses for gun dealers.

At a House committee hearing in Chicago, gun control supporters in the legislature hoped to use growing national sentiment in their favor. Activist Gayinga Washington told lawmakers she’s frustrated that no law has been passed yet.

“People are losing their lives while you’re squabbling about this and that and the other,” Washington said.

"Credit Score" by Flickr User InvestmentZen / (CC x 2.0) / www.investmentzen.com

Last year’s data breach at the Equifax credit reporting agency brought attention to the fees customers can be charged for freezing their accounts. The Illinois Senate Wednesday approved a ban on such fees.

More than five million Illinois residents were victims of the massive Equifax data breach last year. They got another shock when Equifax initially refused to waive its ten dollar fee for freezing credit.

At the time, Attorney General Lisa Madigan called that unfair.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In response to a nationwide call for tighter gun laws, the Illinois Senate Wednesday passed several  measures. But so far Illinois has no new laws from that effort.

Following the lead of students across the country, a couple dozen senators staged their own brief walkout in memory of the Parkland, Florida shooting victims. Later, they voted on several proposals, including one to increase the wait time when purchasing an assault weapon from one day to three days.

That's the only measure to pass both the House and Senate, and will be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS

Illinois is using emergency spending rules to upgrade the water system at the veterans’ home in Quincy. Outbreaks of the waterborne Legionnaires’ Disease have killed and sickened dozens of residents and staff.

Calling the current water system a “danger to public health,” the Department of Veterans' Affairs is buying $650,000 worth of new water filters, faucets, and bacteria monitoring equipment.

By declaring the purchases “emergencies,” the state is bypassing normal spending safeguards, which can add months of public scrutiny.

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