Protests and looting break out; state of emergency declared in fifteen Illinois counties. The declaration followed numerous statewide incidents of looting in the wake of protests. While these protests were sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, many voices are now being raised concerning the overall state of race relations in the United States. The disaster declaration accompanied the deployment of hundreds of National Guard troops to strategic locations throughout Illinois. 
The State of Illinois is opening its community-based testing sites to anyone to get tested, regardless of symptoms or other criteria. As we move through the Restore Illinois plan, and into a full reopening of the state, testing will be crucial to identifying new cases and taking immediate action to prevent additional spread.

No appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed at state operated drive-thru sites and testing is available at no cost to the individual.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recommending anyone who has recently been part of a mass gathering, including rallies and protests over the past week, get tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The virus has been found to spread between people up to a couple days before people start showing symptoms. Because of this, the number of people an infected person could unknowingly expose can be exponential.

A list of public and private testing sites can be found on the IDPH website at
Severe weather is always a threat in the spring and summer months and it is important to be prepared and have a plan in place to protect your family.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recommends a few new items be included in your emergency supply kit, including face coverings for every member of your family, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Other items to include in a basic emergency supply kit are: water, food, NOAA weather radio, flashlight, batteries, phone charger, and prescription medications. A complete list can be found online at

IEMA offers severe weather preparedness information on the Ready Illinois website, a one-stop resource for detailed information about what to do before, during and after disasters. To help Illinois residents prepare for severe weather season, IEMA and the NWS developed a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide that covers flooding, severe weather terms and tips for staying safe.
Captain Daniel V. Gallery, Jr. and Lieutenant Junior Grade Albert L. David.
Photographed on board USS Guadalcanal, June 1944. 
When America entered World War II, a menace lurked off the nation’s east coast. German submarines, called U-boats, had been stalking British and other allied shipping in the North Atlantic since the outset of the war, and upon America’s formal entry into the European war these fearsome warships were sinking American ships, some within sight of the U.S. coast.

One of these U-boats was U-505, a Type IX-C submarine which entered service in the German Navy in 1941. U-505 had an effective first year, attacking and sinking allied shipping off the coast of West Africa and in the Caribbean Sea. The loss of thousands of tons of shipping and cargo to the torpedoes and gunfire from these submarines threatened to starve the British into submission and strangle the war effort.

Something had to be done.
Illinois General Assembly meets in special session. The May 2020 special session, which partially replaced the abbreviated spring 2020 session, was held in Springfield under conditions of coronavirus social distancing. Instead of meeting in its traditional State Capitol chambers, the Illinois House of Representatives convened at the Bank of Springfield Center, a convention center on in downtown Springfield. The convention hall, a spacious location, allocated square footage for all House members. Support personnel set up separated desks and voting pads for their use. In addition, all of the House members were required to wear facemasks and were strongly advised to undergo COVID-19 testing before the start of the session. In addition, House members were be advised to self-quarantine for up 7 days after the end of the session. The Illinois House met in Springfield starting on Wednesday, May 20, through Saturday, May 23.
Two of the men who tried to steal Abraham Lincoln's body,
Jack Hughes (left) and Terrence Mullins (right). Photos from the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.
It was early on the sad morning of May 3, 1865, when a nine-car train, draped in mourning and carrying the bodies of the murdered President Abraham Lincoln and that of his son Willie who had died in Washington three years earlier, at long last reached Lincoln’s adopted hometown of Springfield. The train had carried the body of the Great Emancipator on a two-week, 1600 mile journey through the north, finally arriving in Springfield for his burial.

After a two-day funeral in the state’s capitol building, Lincoln was carried by a hearse to Oak Ridge Cemetery, north of downtown, to what was intended to be his final resting place. A temporary vault held the President’s remains while his more ornate tomb was completed. It was expected that this was where Lincoln would lay in repose permanently, but within a decade a band of Chicago thieves had made other plans.
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
Six weeks after the surrender at Appomattox, the Union soldiers who had triumphed in the Civil War participated in a two-day victory parade through the nation’s capital city. This Grand Review of the Armies lasted for two days and was attended by top northern leaders, from the President on down. It included soldiers from the eastern army on its first day and the western army on its second, May 24, 1865. Included among both groups, but more so the second, were thousands of soldiers from Illinois who had worn the blue uniform and done their part to save the republic.
Today the Illinois House of Representatives convened at the Bank of Springfield Center in downtown Springfield to resume the 2020 spring legislative session that was paused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first meeting of the House since March 5, and its first meeting at a site other than the Capitol building at 2nd and Monroe (with the exception of the biennial inauguration ceremony at Sangamon Auditorium) in more than a decade. The fall veto session of 2006 and the opening of the 2007 spring session were held at the Old State Capitol in Springfield due to renovation work in the House chamber.

The House was forced out of the chamber it has called home since 1877 due to the coronavirus outbreak and the need for enough space to conduct business and still be accessible to the public, all while observing social distancing guidelines.

The day began with a press conference by House Republicans calling for a legislative vote on the Governor's Reopen Illinois plan. Members expressed their concern with the lack of local input in the Governor's initiative and lack of legislative involvement in major policy decisions affecting their constituents. Read more about the press conference.

Shortly after the historic session began at the Bank of Springfield Center, the administration withdrew its Emergency Rule that would have imposed a Class A Misdemeanor on owners of small businesses who were out of compliance with the Governor's Stay-at-Home Order. The controversial provision had evoked considerable public outcry and pushback by House Republicans who felt the Governor had overstepped his authority.

At his 2:30 press conference, the Governor announced that on May 29, the state would be moving into Phase 3 of his Restore Illinois plan allowing gatherings of 10 or fewer people, possible outdoor seating at restaurants, and the opening of gyms for personal training among other openings. Read more about Phase 3.

The House is due to take up the state budget in the coming days.

The Illinois General Assembly and the re-opening of the state. The Illinois House and Senate will reconvene in Springfield on Wednesday, May 20. The House will move its meeting location from the historic House chamber in the Illinois State Capitol to the 7,700-seat Bank of Springfield Center in downtown Springfield. Meeting in the convention hall will allow all 118 House members to gather while maintaining social distancing.  
While the seat of state government at 2nd and Monroe in Springfield has been closed to visitors since mid-March by the coronavirus outbreak, residents and visitors to the capital city still have the Capitol building and its distinctive dome as a familiar sight on Springfield’s cityscape.

It won’t be long before legislators and members of the public once again gather beneath the dome. They will be keeping alive a long tradition: for nearly 150 years, the dome of the Illinois State Capitol building has welcomed visitors and residents alike as they arrive in the capital city.
House Republicans propose safe economic recovery plan. The next phase of combating the global COVID-19 pandemic is to repair the economic devastation it has wrought in its wake. It is a monumental effort that will only be successful if Legislative and Executive branches work together. The Illinois General Assembly is a separate but co-equal branch of government. We strongly believe it is the responsibility of legislators to work with the Executive branch to implement a plan to re-open Illinois’ economy on a safe, responsible, and regional basis.
Tonight Illinois and the rest of the nation will be lit by a full moon, which some believe can be a harbinger of strange occurrences. In thousands of years of Illinois history, it is not hard to find a good-sized collection of unusual and unexplainable places and events. Some of these curious tales and unique places have been studied and explored, while many of those which remain unexplained are compiled in Troy Taylor’s 2005 book Weird Illinois.
State Reps. Dan Swanson and Dave Swanson describe how the legislature is taking on Lyme Disease, a tick borne disease affecting thousands of Illinoisans.

Modified stay-at-home order begins. The new order covers the month of May and will be in place until May 30. The new order put in place this week requires all individuals to wear a mask in any public place where a six-foot social distance cannot be maintained. Essential businesses and manufacturers are now required to provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain social distancing of six feet from other people.
Illinois has hosted more political party nominating conventions than any other state. From brokered conventions held during times of national turmoil, such as the Republican meeting at the Chicago Wigwam in 1860, to quiet times where the outcome was known long in advance, such as the Democrats’ gathering at the United Center in 1996, Illinois has seen all kinds of political gatherings.

The violence and chaos of the 1968 assembly is probably the most frequently recalled, but for sheer drama and fury, none match the raucous 1912 Republican convention which led to the formation of a new political party and an election with three different Presidents listed on the ballot.
Illinois House Republicans are asking for more transparency and open communications from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Pritzker administration on policy changes and communications regarding prison furloughs or inmates released early during the coronavirus pandemic.

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville), whose district includes correctional centers in Taylorville and Hillsboro, said inmates released into her district include high-level drug and meth dealers.
Gov. Pritzker modifies and extends Stay at Home Order through May. Governor JB Pritzker announced Thursday that he will sign a modified version of the state's stay at home order that will go into effect on May 1 to continue the life-saving progress made over the last month while also allowing residents additional flexibility in the safest way possible.

In conjunction with Thursday's announcement, the Governor released modeling put together by top academic institutions and researchers in Illinois that predicts the course of coronavirus in the state over the coming months. On our current trajectory, the state is projected to see a peak or plateau of deaths per day between late April and early May, but if the stay at home order were lifted this week, the model anticipates a second wave of the outbreak in Illinois starting in May, which would claim tens of thousands of lives and greatly exceed the state's hospital capacity.
A new modified Stay-at-Home order goes into effect on May 1 in Illinois. The new provisions include the following changes to the current order:

FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.
Recovered Mail Bags from Rondout Train Robbery.
Photo from the Cook Memorial Public Library. 
Old westerns are filled with tales of masked bandits of the 19th-century robbing trains and stagecoaches as they traveled across the frontier. But it might surprise you to learn that the largest train robbery in American history didn’t happen in the 1800s, and it wasn’t in the old west. It happened here in Illinois in 1924.

Banks throughout the upper Midwest depended on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to supply them with the cash they needed to operate. This cash was placed on heavily-guarded trains which then carried it to small towns and big cities across the northern plains. Such was the plan on June 12, 1924.
We are still learning about the coronavirus, but we know that it is zoonotic, and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.

Recently two cats in New York have been reported to be diagnosed with the virus. Additionally, the CDC is aware of a very small number of pets, including dogs and cats, outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. To date, there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to people.
Illinois House Republicans discussed an array of proposals and ideas on ways to safely re-open Illinois during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these proposals include a safe, responsible re-opening of hospital systems, essential retail operations resuming online or curbside pick-up and the re-opening of state parks. State Rep. Mark Batinick has been a vocal advocate for increasing the use of personal protective equipment. With safety in mind, Batinick says it is time to revise current restrictions and make plans for a first-phase reopening of Illinois’ economy. 
Illinois schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Governor JB Pritzker announced Friday that in-person learning in schools will not resume during the 2019-2020 school year, with remote learning days to continue for all pre-k through 12th grade students.

"I've said time and time again, our decisions must follow the science and the science says our students can't go back to their normal routine this school year," said Governor Pritzker. "Over the last month, Illinois' schools have stepped up and faced the many challenges of COVID-19 with generosity, creativity, and a resolute focus on caring for students, parents and communities. I am confident that our schools will manage and expand the learning opportunities for all our children who will be working from home over the coming weeks."
COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown has caused economic hardship for many Illinoisans. If you are facing tough economic times please know you are not alone and there are programs out there to help. Below is a list of some of the programs available to help with utilities, mortgages and student loans.

Utility Providers
The IL Commerce Commission (ICC) ordered that each Illinois gas, electric distribution, water, and sewer utility shall design and implement on a temporary basis more flexible credit and collections procedures and file them for consideration and approval to ensure that customers remain connected to essential utility services when the emergency status ends.
Tales of gangsters abound throughout Illinois history. The stories of Al Capone, Bugs Moran, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and Chicago’s Beer Wars grabbed headlines during the Prohibition era, and have remained well known via movies and television shows for almost a century.

While Capone is by far the most famous of Illinois’ 20th-century gangsters, another Prohibition-era outlaw at the opposite end of the state named Charlie Birger made plenty of headlines himself until justice finally caught up with him and made him the last man to be convicted and publicly hanged in Illinois.
Legislators have been fielding hundreds of calls and emails from desperate and distraught Illinoisans who are frustrated with the inability to connect with the Department of Employment Security (IDES). Finding themselves unemployed overnight because of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Illinois residents thought they would be able to attain unemployment benefits but found IDES phone lines busy and a website that can't handle the traffic. There was no way to communicate with IDES so they turned to their lawmakers in an attempt to find someone to help as they struggle to pay for food, housing and medicine.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has filed emergency rules extending expiration dates for driver’s licenses, identification (ID) cards, vehicle registrations and other transactions and document filings for at least 90 days after Driver Services facilities reopen. The previous extension was for 30 days. This move will ensure driver’s licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations remain valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and will help alleviate the rush of customers visiting Driver Services facilities once they reopen.
“Stay at Home” continues. Governor Pritzker renewed his call this week for Illinoisans to continue and intensify “social distancing” from each other, including avoiding all public gatherings and keeping even essential activities, such as shopping, to a minimum. The public appeal, made on Tuesday, April 7, came as both the number and the rate of COVID-19-related cases and deaths continued to increase throughout Illinois, particularly in the Chicago area. The Governor’s Stay at Home Order remains in effect through April 30.
Illinois has long been a destination for those seeking a better life. For thousands of years the rich farmland and agreeable climate drew Native Americans to the land between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi. Pioneer settlers made their way west in search of new homes in the early years of the United States and southern African-Americans traveled north for new opportunities during the Great Migration of the early 20th century. They were just some of many.
The Illinois Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) is accepting scholarship applications to help eligible women attend college. 

COWL endeavors to support women of all income levels who have not had the opportunity to begin or complete higher education. Women 25 years of age or older, who are Illinois residents, with plans to attend an accredited school in Illinois are encouraged to apply.

The one-year undergraduate scholarship will cover tuition, books and fees up to $2,500 for the 2020-2021 academic year (Fall 2020 through Summer 2021). Up to ten scholarships will be awarded.

The online application must be submitted by midnight on Friday, May 1, 2020 to be considered. COWL will send notification to all scholarship awardees by Monday, June 1, 2020.

Please email COWL for more information.
Illinois State Museum Launches online tool to collect COVID-19 stories for future generations

The Illinois State Museum (ISM) announced a new collecting initiative that allows Illinois residents to share stories that reflect their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the benefit of future generations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a vital moment in history, and ISM wants to document how it is affecting Illinois residents through its Share your Story: Illinois in the COVID-19 Pandemic collecting initiative.

ISM is requesting personal stories, written works, artwork, photos, or photos of objects from the people of Illinois to document life during the pandemic. The Museum is collecting residents’ submissions for preservation in its digital archive via its new online tool. Additionally, ISM will share some of the stories and photos on its social media platforms and in its online exhibition.

Share your stories here.
From the Illinois Department of Revenue: If you scheduled an electronic payment for 2019 Illinois income taxes to be paid on or before April 15, 2020, your payment will NOT automatically be rescheduled to July 15, 2020. If you do nothing, the payment will be made on the date you chose. 

If the payment has not been processed, you may be able to cancel or reschedule it. You must cancel or reschedule the payment before its scheduled date.
Gov. Pritzker Announces Extension of Stay at Home Order, Suspension of On-Site Learning in Schools Through April. Building on the state's efforts to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 cases in Illinois and following careful consultation with experts in Illinois and across the nation, Governor JB Pritzker announced that he would sign a 30-day extension of the state's disaster proclamation on April 1. The disaster proclamation provides the governor the authority to sign additional executive orders, extending the Stay at Home order and suspending on-site learning in K-12 schools through the month of April. The April 30 reset date was included in the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-18.
From Illinois Department of Illinois Informational Bulletin: Changes to Estimated Payment Requirements due to COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the subsequent Emergency Declaration of Disaster by Governor JB Pritzker, the filing and payment deadline for income tax returns due April 15, 2020, was extended to July 15, 2020. As a result, a significant number of taxpayers will not be able to accurately calculate and pay their 2020 Illinois estimated income tax.
There is still time to complete the U.S. Census online.

Federal funding for Illinois health clinics, first responders, schools, roads and more all will be determined by how many people complete the census. While you are required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers. Please take a few minutes to make sure you are counted by taking the census online at
For over a century the Illinois primary has been a fixture on the early spring calendar every even-numbered year. In the recent past, presidential candidates Bill Clinton (1992) and Mitt Romney (2012) became their party’s presumptive nominees after winning in the Land of Lincoln. At the state level, the primary has opened the door for a large number of outsiders to shock the establishment and grab the nomination for office, with future Governor Dan Walker’s surprising primary win in 1972 perhaps the most enduring example.

The primary is such an engrained part of the political calendar that it is hard to imagine the process without it. But Illinois’ spring primary only came into being after a long fight; and many failures; at the start of the 20th century, helped along by the strong-willed 23rd Governor of Illinois, Charles Deneen.
As the state of Illinois sets up alternative care sites in the battle against COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is calling on all licensed health care professionals to join Illinois HELPS, an emergency alert system that, when activated, would deploy volunteers to areas of urgent need, likely at one of the new sites.

All physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, medics, LPNs, CNAs, podiatrists and dentists are encouraged to register on the Illinois HELPS website.
Stay-at-home order. Executive Order 2020-10 requires Illinois residents to stay in their homes to avoid the risk of catching and transmitting the COVID-19 virus. Exceptions are carved out from this order for: (a) essential business, such as buying food and day-to-day necessities of life, and (b) the work and workplaces of “essential workers” which includes hospital workers, first responders, mail carriers, supermarket workers, and many other types of personnel.
As we head into the spring months, the risk of severe thunderstorms typically increases across the state of Illinois, including the risk for tornadoes. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recommended social distancing parameters, people who rely on public sheltering from tornadoes could be faced with the difficult choice of sheltering from the tornado in a community shelter or refraining from going to the shelter in order to limit potential exposure to COVID-19. 
Millions of Illinoisans are subject to the state’s “stay at home” order because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. But while we all endeavor to hang out at home as much as possible, accidents still happen. Sprained ankles, earaches, rashes and any number of other maladies; some small, some large; occur on a daily basis.

But the last thing anyone wants to do these days is go to a doctor’s office or an ER unless they have to. So what to do? Many Illinois health care institutions are expanding their telemedicine services to meet the need during this emergency.
Just across Monroe Street from the Capitol building, the ashes of the Illinois State Armory were still smoldering as state officials worked to determine just how bad the loss was. The 1934 fire had wrecked the building; that much was obvious. But more than just a structure had been lost, and the state had learned an important lesson about protecting irreplaceable artifacts.

As the fire burned, firefighters had wisely decided to direct their hoses toward the tons of ammunition and gunpowder stored in the building (now kept at Camp Lincoln on the outskirts of Springfield, rather than in the middle of downtown). Unfortunately, materials stored in other parts of the building had not been saved, and these included innumerable paper records of Illinois soldiers dating back to the Civil War.
To avoid costly plumbing repairs and wider problems affecting public sanitary sewer systems and the environment, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) today is reminding residents to toss away trash, not flush it down the toilet. Blocked drains and sewers can lead to severe consequences such as manhole overflowing, flooding in our homes and on our roadways, and pollution of watercourses. 
Three new programs from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to help small businesses were announced today.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program
To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCEO is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.
Precautions to take whether you shop in-store or online: With experts saying people should avoid crowded places because of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 , how should you handle grocery shopping? One option people are turning to is grocery delivery services. Read more by Tobie Stanger on Consumer Reports.

Advice from the Illinois Hospital Association:

Every Illinoisan plays a role in ensuring our health care system remains fully operational to treat patients in need of urgent care. If you are experiencing symptoms of any illness, including COVID-19, the first thing you should do is call a health care provider, like your primary care physician or a health clinic.

But please, do not walk directly into an emergency room or a doctor’s office. A health care provider will ask about your symptoms and potential exposures. If they think you need medical care, they will help arrange medical treatment without putting others at risk of exposure. If you meet certain criteria, you may be tested for COVID-19, but as testing expands, those with severe illness and those at higher risk of complications are being prioritized.

People whose symptoms are mild — which will be most people — will be able to isolate at home during their illness, and they should follow the directives of their health care providers.
Essential Businesses and Operations are exempt from the Stay-at-Home Order Issued by the Governor.

For the purposes of the Stay-at-Home Executive Order, Essential Businesses and Operations means Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure, and the following:
Governor Issues Stay at Home Order for All Illinoisans. The global coronavirus pandemic is continuing to affect every aspect of day-to-day life in Illinois. After issuing a disaster declaration last week, Governor JB Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-06 on March 16 to close K-12 schools throughout Illinois. This order was followed by Executive Order 2020-07 to close the restaurants and bars of Illinois (no dine-in option for restaurants; drive-thru, carryout and delivery still available). In addition, many of Illinois’ colleges and universities, which are not under the control of the Governor, have taken independent but coordinated steps to shut down all classroom activities and move to online instruction.

Residents still able to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations. Restaurants limited to take-out and delivery only.

Today in a effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order requiring Illinois residents to stay at home except for the purpose of obtaining essential needs. The order goes into effect tomorrow, Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. through April 7.

The order directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct essential activities.
The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. Watch this video on the safety and need for blood donations. 

Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to give soon. But please postpone your donation for 28 days following travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea, or if you’ve been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Astronauts N. Jan Davis and Mae C. Jemison.  
In the early days of space flight the U.S. Air Force defined an astronaut as any person who had flown past an altitude of 50 miles above sea level. International governing bodies such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale went a little higher, placing the dividing line between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space as 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles up, what came to be known as the “Karman Line,” named for Hungarian scientist Theodore von Karman.

Wherever it is physically located, it was definitely the highest-altitude glass ceiling in 1983 when Sally Ride broke through it aboard the space shuttle Challenger and became the first American woman in space. She followed Soviet cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982).
Governor Issues Disaster Proclamation. JB Pritzker, Governor of the State of Illinois, in the interest of aiding the people of Illinois and the local governments responsible for ensuring public health and safety issued a Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation this week in response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

This proclamation will assist Illinois agencies in coordinating State and Federal resources, including the Strategic National Stockpile of medicines and protective equipment, to support local governments in preparation for any action that may be necessary related to the potential impact of COVID-19 in the State of Illinois.
Reps. Batinick and Mazzochi discuss state pensions, property tax reform and ending corruption in state government.

Keep up with House Republican initiatives at