IL Gov. Pritzker proposes tax on plastic bags

New taxes are in the Illinois 2020 Budget Book that weren't in JB Pritzkers address speech. Would you pay extra to use a plastic bag?

Lawmakers issue statements following penalties against University of MO athletic program

IL Gov. Pritzker signs minimum wage increase legislation

Kentucky legislature pushes $150 million parks plan

Kentucky legislature meets in Old State Capitol building

Boy raises money for border wall with hot chocolate stand

Tax incentive bill passes Missouri House, stalls in Senate

Continued Coverage

Carl Nett can’t use ‘Trump’ nickname in Secretary of State run

Gov. Pritzker, Durbin release statements following shooting in Aurora, IL

MO Rep. Rehder planning to run for Senate

Community outreach part of “Safer Streets” initiative

Solar bill passes Kentucky House, heads back to Senate

Senate and House pass funding bill; Trump is prepared to sign, will also declare border emergency, McConnell says

Sen. Hawley votes against government spending bill

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri issued the following statement after voting against the government spending bill on Thursday, Feb. 14.

House votes to raise IL minimum wage

The plan will increase the current $8.25 an hour base wage to $9.25 next January.

Abortion bill could cost Missouri $7B in Medicaid funding

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr says a bill to ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected is among top priorities for the session

Lawmakers react after Barr confirmed attorney general

William Barr was confirmed Attorney General by the Senate on Feb. 14.

Kentucky Senate panel advances NRA-backed bill

Kentucky lawmakers advance fetal heartbeat abortion bill

Illinois Chambers of Commerce speak out on minimum wage increases

Unhappy with budget deal, Trump still doesn’t expect a new shutdown

IL Senate votes to hike to minimum wage, goes to rules committee

Kentucky mothers work to keep guns away from domestic violence abusers

MO legislator sponsors bill that would establish a “Back the Blue” license plate

A Missouri lawmaker hopes to give residents a new way to show their support for law enforcement.

Senate approves measure to reduce Asian Carp population

The legislation includes a provision calling for federal agencies to plan to reduce or eliminate invasive species populations such as Asian Carp.

Kentucky governor outlines support for medical marijuana

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin spoke about his support for legalizing medical marijuana in highly personal terms on Tuesday, telling a community forum that his teenage nephew died after fighting "a very hard battle with cancer."

Bill would tweak voter-approved Missouri redistricting plan

A Missouri senator is seeking to tweak a voter-approved redistricting measure by allowing the public to submit proposals to a state demographer responsible for drawing new districts

Hawley subpoenaed in open records lawsuit

Sen. Josh Hawley has been subpoenaed to answer questions about his handling of Missouri's open records law while he was the state's attorney general

Mark Kelly announces run for U.S. Senate

The former astronaut will be a candidate for the seat held by Martha McSally in the 2020 election

  Trump and O’Rourke go head-to-head over border wall in El Paso, TX

Standing in a packed stadium under a giant American flag and banners saying "FINISH THE WALL," Trump vowed to fulfill his 2016 campaign promise regardless of what happens in Congress.

How would a $15/hr minimum wage hike impact SIUC?

Legislation to increase minimum wage in Illinois is moving fast. SIUC is watching closely.

Missouri House passes bill for opioid prescription tracking

The Missouri House has passed a bill to create a monitoring program to track prescriptions for opioids

Smith donates shutdown pay to Parkland Hope Center

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) donated the money to Parkland Hope Center which helps families with groceries and household items at discounted prices.

Windhorst named to several House Committees

Windhorst (R-Metropolis) has received appointments to several key Illinois House Committees.

KY school safety bill passes, senators promise shooting victims not forgotten

Kentucky state senators have unanimously pass a bill aimed at keeping students safe in school. They called it a bipartisan victory, but said their work is not yet finished.

Flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Rep. Dingell

Dingell was the longest serving member of Congress in the nation's history.

Bevin spends little time on pensions in State of Commonwealth, focuses on achievements

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin made his case for re-election in his State of the Commonwealth address Thursday night.

MO AG meets with prosecutors in Cape Girardeau discussing crime, opioid crisis

Topics discussed included violent crime, the opioid crisis, and human trafficking, among others.

Hawley to chair crime and terrorism subcommittee, named to 2 others

Hawley of Missouri has been selected to chair the subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

Organ donor bill clears Kentucky state Senate

The Kentucky state Senate has approved a bill that would give people another option to register as an organ donor

AG: Regulation restricting access to Ky. Capitol is invalid

Kentucky's attorney general says a new regulation restricting public access to the state Capitol is invalid

School safety bill begins advancing in Kentucky legislature

Kentucky lawmakers have heard emotional pleas from the parents of two teenage shooting victims as a school safety bill started moving forward

Missouri House passes bill on closing public records

A bill that critics say would gut Missouri's open-records law has passed the state House

Lawmaker renewing effort for prescription monitoring program

The measure is called the Narcotics Control Act.

Gun advocate: ‘We can’t legislate our way out of evil;’ talks of gun violence in Washington

With it being Gun Violence Survivors Week, conversations of gun control and gun violence are even sparking a debate statewide in Illinois.

IL senator supports fair redistricting maps

If passed, the constitutional amendment would place the question of fair maps on the ballot for the next statewide election.

Trump calls for bipartisanship, a hard line on immigration in State of the Union address

The president ticked through a litany of issues with crossover appeal, including boosting infrastructure, lowering prescription drug costs and combating childhood cancer, but he also appealed to his political base with his harsh rhetoric on immigration.

Trump touts ‘good’ relationship with North Korea’s Kim in State of the Union

The aim of the summit is to continue working toward peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Store owner not sold on IL minimum wage hike proposal

One store owner said he does not believe that being mandated by the state to increase wages is the proper move.

Trump touts economy, warns of border danger in State of the Union; Abrams says ‘we owe more’ to working class in Dem. response

Pres. Donald Trump presented an optimistic vision of the nation, saying "our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before."

Lawmakers react to State of the Union speech

Rep. Jason Smith issued this video response after President Donald Trump gave the State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Should Missouri eliminate vehicle inspection requirement?

One Missouri lawmaker wants to get rid of vehicle inspection requirements.

MO gov’t special oversight committee created

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield) announced the creation of the Special Committee on Government Oversight

Lawmakers hold town hall in Marion, IL

Illinois State Representatives Terri Bryant, Dave Severin and Patrick Windhorst hosted a town hall/listening session on Monday, February 4.

Lunar New Year celebration at MO Capitol

Missouri Gov. Parson and the First Lady Teresa Parson hosted a celebration of the Lunar New Year Monday evening, Feb. 4.

Electricity restored to NYC jail; Justice Department opens probe

Protesters have gathered outside the facility in recent days following news reports that those housed there have largely been without heat or power for the past week.

“Midwest March for Life” event in Jefferson City, MO

Hundreds of Missourians are expected to participate in the “Midwest March for Life” event in Jefferson City, Missouri on Feb. 2.

Lawmakers introduce bill to establish 1908 race riot as National Monument in IL

At least 6 African Americans were murdered in the riots.

IL Gov. Pritzker strengthens commitment to end HIV epidemic

HIV affects nearly 40,000 people in the state.

Bill introduced in Senate to decriminalize marijuana in TN

Democratic Tennessee State Senator Sara Kyle proposed a new bill that would decriminalize marijuana in Tennessee.

Missouri lawmakers renew push to ban texting and driving for all ages

Missouri ranks the third worst state for driver safety laws, according to a new report from State Farm.

  Sen. Blunt backs bill to search for kidnapping victims by pinging phone

The Kelsey Smith Act is named for an 18-year-old who was abducted and murdered in 2007.

Parson announces program to expand opportunities for those with disabilities

Parson made the announcement during his visit to Paraquad, the leading disability services provider in the St. Louis region.

Legislation introduced to reduce gun violence

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced legislation to reduce gun violence.

KY AG fighting rollbacks on Title IX protections

Beshear said he is against the Department of Education’s attempts to rollback student protections against sexual harassment

MO lawmaker files bills to protect sexual assault victims

The bill states if a victim reports a sexual offense, within three years of the reported offense, then the statute of limitation for the prosecution would take place within 10 years.

Pelosi takes hard line against wall money in funding bill

Her remarks came after Democrats had signaled at least some flexibility in the talks on border security funding that began only Wednesday.

Former President Bill Clinton returning to Jonesboro

The man from Hope will be making a return trip to Northeast Arkansas

Jonesboro lawmaker hopes ‘to clarify gun rights’

Under his resolution, gun owners could carry a handgun unconcealed or concealed without a permit.

Newly elected Mississippi County Sheriff to work on public image

Ferrell said his first goal they have is to get rid of the stigma surrounding the sheriff's office.

Jury awards Sen. Rand Paul upwards of $580,000 in civil suit against neighbor

Paul sued his neighbor, Rene Boucher, for an attack that left him with multiple broken ribs.

Trump says ‘wall’ must be part of lawmakers' border deal

A fresh, protracted crisis could make it difficult to tackle other upcoming business such as a deal to prevent automatic budget cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

Ferrell projected winner in Mississippi County, MO special election for sheriff

The candidates were former Sheriff Keith Moore, Deputy Britton Ferrell, and East Prairie Police Captain Brent Douglas.

Bevin says ‘we’re getting soft’ because schools are closing for cold weather

Wind chills are expected to be below zero for most of the day, down to possibly -20 degrees, with a high of 11 degrees.

31 file for statewide office in Kentucky ahead of deadline

Thirty-one people have filed to run for statewide office in Kentucky this year

Lawmaker visits Hardin Co., IL amid FOID, conceal/carry concerns

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst said he is looking into the issue.

Trump confidant Roger Stone pleads not guilty in Russia probe case

Stone is expected to plead not guilty to charges that he lied to lawmakers, engaged in witness tampering and obstructed a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

2019 Tax changes and government shutdown impact to tax returns

Many are left wondering, will the shutdown affect tax returns? Two tax preparers in the Heartland say there may be small delays.

Trump casts doubt on seeing a budget deal that he’d accept

As hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers prepared to return to work, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he doesn't think the negotiators will strike a deal that he'd accept.

Venezuela backtracks on order to expel US diplomats

The Venezuelan president broke relations with the United States on Wednesday after the Trump administration and many other nations in the region recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

Conservatives say Trump caved but confident he’ll get wall

Trump said if he didn’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government would shut down again on Feb. 15 or he would use his executive authority to address what he has termed “the humanitarian and security crisis” on the southern U.S. border.