Jaclyn Driscoll

Jaclyn has an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a BS in History form Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School. Previously, Jaclyn reported for WICS Newschannel 20 where she covered a variety of assignments including courts, politics, and breaking news. She also reported at Siouxland News in Sioux City Iowa, the shared CBS/Fox television newsroom. Her internships included WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago. 

Missouri has already approved more than 17,000 patients for its yet-to-be-launched medical marijuana program — a stark contrast to neighboring Illinois, which had fewer than 3,000 patients in the first 10 months. 

Licenses for Missouri’s dispensaries are expected to be awarded by January, and cannabis should be available for medical card holders by spring. 

At their core, Missouri and Illinois programs do the same thing: They allow doctors to certify patients to use cannabis if they have a qualifying condition. But there are significant differences in the details of each law, including who has access, how they’re getting access and how the programs can be changed in the future.

Illinois is poised to become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana after lawmakers approved a massive 610-page proposal that is touted as one of the most equitable in the country. 

BRIAN MACKEY / NPR ILLINOIS

Illinois state Senators approved a proposal on Wednesday to legalize recreational marijuana for adutls 21 years and older beginning on January 1, 2020. 

With a roll call of 38-17, the measure received support from three of the Republicans in the chamber while two Democrats decided to vote "no." 

Rock Island state Sen. Neil Anderson is one of two Republican co-sponsors of the proposal. He said even though he was voting in favor, he personally is still against cannabis use. 

Illinois lawmakers have agreed to make a change to the state's minor consent law for health care services. The current statute allows children 12 and up access to diagnosis and treatment options for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, but not preventative healthcare or counseling. A proposal, that now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk, would ensure youth also have access to preventions options without parental consent.  

NPR ILLINOIS

Recreational pot, construction projects and more — here’s what we know.

Budget

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced his freshman budget this winter, he proposed a range of new or increased taxes. It was intended to let Illinois government hobble through next year’s budget on its way to a graduated income tax.

Earlier in May when language for Illinois' recreational cannabis proposal was unveiled, it was Gov. J.B. Pritzker who stole the headlines, receiving much of the credit. While it's his signature that will ultimately appear on any proposal passed by the legislature, it was four female lawmakers who chose to embark on the difficult path to legalization years ago. 

So far in 2019, sixteen Illinois State troopers have been hit on the road and three have been killed. Of those three, two of them were killed by drivers in violation of Scott's Law according to the Illinois State Police. 

Illinois has officially proposed legalizing cannabis for adults 21 years and older by Jan. 1, 2020. But as details of the legislation emerge, so does the opposition. 

In January, Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed several tax increases to help balance Illinois' budget. One of those proposals was a 32-cent hike on a pack of cigarettes, but some of his fellow Democrats want to triple that.

In today’s legal marijuana market, there is more than just a typical joint to get high. There are cookies, gummies, weed-infused drinks and more. But, there are few studies available in the United States that examine the long-term effects of these different products.

This week, public radio station across Illinois are tackling a once taboo topic.

Last November, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a Democrat, failed to unseat Republican Congressman Rodney Davis in Illinois’ 13th district. On Thursday, she announced she’ll make another run for it. 

In the midst of the recreational cannabis debate, Illinois lawmakers are also looking to make the medical cannabis pilot program permanent, but it will include a few changes. 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has submitted their final draft of rules for the industrial hemp program. There were a few noteworthy changes made from the initial draft that was posted back in late Dec. 2018. 

State Rep. Karina Villa is a 40-year-old Democrat representing West Chicago. She's one of dozens of fresh faces at the Illinois State Capitol this year and also one of seven lawmakers in the House of Representatives whose election flipped a red seat blue -- from Republican to Democrat.

Growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes in Illinois is legal, and it's looking more likely that the state will legalize a recreational program as well. But one crucial component that remains illegal is for banks to do business with marijuana-related companies. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s counting on new taxes to help close the state’s  3.2 billion dollar budget hole. NPR Illinois reporters are taking a closer look at some of his ideas. First up, Jaclyn Driscoll breaks down the biggest chunk of revenue in Pritzker’s proposal -  a tax on health insurers.

Illinois has been mulling over the idea of legalizing recreational cannabis for years. While some proponents tout it as a social justice issue, others focus on the additional revenue it could bring in for the cash-strapped state.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his first budget address at a time of acute fiscal distress for the state of Illinois. It also comes after Democrats have taken total control of the executive and legislative branches of state government, including supermajorities in the Illinois House and Senate.

For this week's Illinois Issues report, NPR Illinois reporters analyzed the governor's speech:

Illinois lawmakers may be slowing the process to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The proposal was expected to be called for a vote and passed out of the Senate as soon as Thursday.

State Sen. Kim Lightford (D-Maywood), sponsor of the plan, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker wanted the bill approved in time for his budget address on Feb. 20.

“We’re off next week,” she said. “And the House will still be in, so the goal was to actually send the bill over so that the House could work on it next week while we’re not here.”

  The Illinois Department of Agriculture heard from the public on Tuesday regarding proposed rules for the state's industrial hemp program

As Illinois explores the possibility of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, the state’s six Catholic bishops say they’re urging lawmakers to say "no." 

John Sullivan was chosen by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to head the Illinois Department of Agriculture, succeeding former director Raymond Poe. 

Illinois launched its opioid alternative program on Thursday. The program allows patients immediate access to medical cannabis if they have a current prescription for opioids or would have been prescribed one. 

When talking about legalizing recreational cannabis in Illinois, the conversation has shifted from “if” to “when.” Still, many residents have questions and concerns about what such a program would mean for the state. Lawmakers pushing for a legalized program held a meeting in Springfield on Monday where they attempted to clear up any confusion and gather feedback from residents. 

The Coliseum on the Illinois State Fairgrounds will now be called 'The Coliseum of Champions" and renovations are underway to re-open the building by the 2019 Illinois State Fair. 

It was a good day to be a Democrat in Illinois as Governor J.B. Pritzker was sworn in on Monday along with a diverse group of statewide office holders. In his inaugural speech, Pritzker set the stage for an ambitious progressive agenda in the upcoming legislative session. But, the Democratic governor along with a Democratic majority in the General Assembly have their work cut out for them.

Republican state Representative Jeanne Ives, from Wheaton, made a name for herself as one of the most outspoken far-right conservatives in the legislature. She gave up her seat to challenge Bruce Rauner for governor, but even though she lost, Ives said she’ll still carry the torch for conservatives in the state. 

With growing support among politicians and the public, Illinois could likely legalize recreational marijuana as soon as next year. But, passing legislation may hinge on where the revenue will go. 

The age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products in Illinois remains at 18, for now. The Illinois House of Representatives failed to override Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto on Wednesday with a vote of 62-45.

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