AP/M. Spencer Green


Illinois Raises Minimum Wage; A Hard Look At The Budget; Measles Outbreaks; Recycling Batteries

On the 21st: Illinois is set to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 throughout the entire state. Plus, as Gov. Pritzker gets ready to deliver his first budget address, we'll talk with the Civic Federation's Laurence Msall about what Illinois needs to get its finances in order. And, the CDC says there have been more than 120 cases of measles in the U.S. since the start of 2019—and in recent days, four have been confirmed in Champaign-Urbana. Finally, we'll hear about a new battery recycling program out of Argonne National Laboratory.

Robin Linn/Illinois Public Media

February 14, 2019

Rep. Cheri Bustos On Representing The Midwest In House Leadership, Gun Control, And More

Representative Cheri Bustos is a Democrat representing Illinois’ 17th Congressional district, which includes parts of Peoria, Rockford and the Quad Cities. She spoke with Niala Boodhoo, host of The 21st, at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee offices in Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning.

Susan Walsh/AP

February 14, 2019

Representative Cheri Bustos; NPR’s Scott Simon; How Shutdowns Affect Science Research

On The 21st: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos is the fifth-ranking House Democrat and is in charge of making sure the party wins House elections across the country. We'll sit down with her at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. And, we catch up with NPR host Scott Simon. Plus, around $300 million in funding from the National Science Foundation each year goes to academic researchers in Illinois. How did last month's shutdown affect not just operations but scientific research across the country? 

Robin Linn/Illinois Public Media

February 13, 2019

Rep. Rodney Davis On Taxes This Year And Universal Background Checks

Representative Rodney Davis is a Republican from Illinois’ 13th Congressional district, which includes all or part of 14 counties across central and southwestern Illinois, including Champaign, Bloomington, and Springfield. We spoke to him from NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. 

Alan Montecillo/Illinois Public Media

February 13, 2019

Senator Dick Durbin On Avoiding The Shutdown And President Trump’s AG Nominee

The deadline to finalize an agreement over a southern border wall between the US and Mexico is fast approaching. And U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is one of the members of Congress trying to prevent another shutdown. We spoke with Senator Dick Durbin in his Washington D.C. office on Tuesday afternoon.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

February 13, 2019

Sen. Dick Durbin; ‘The Religious Left’ In Illinois; Rep. Rodney Davis

On The 21st: When it comes to religion in politics, Christian conservatives on the right have long held a deciding vote. But, a new wave of religious progressives are also getting out the vote. Plus, we speak with Rep. Rodney Davis, Republican Congressman representing Illinois’ 13th Congressional district. But first, the deadline to finalize an agreement over a southern border wall between the US and Mexico is fast approaching. We sit down with Senator Durbin, one of the members of Congress trying to prevent another shutdown. 

Alan Montecillo/Illinois Public Media

February 12, 2019

Rep. Darin LaHood On Biodiesel, The Green New Deal And Trade With China

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional district, which includes parts of Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and stretches all the way west to the Missouri border. We spoke with Rep. LaHood in Washington D.C. at NPR. 

Niala Boodhoo/Illinois Public Media

February 12, 2019

Live from D.C: Rep. Krishnamoorthi; Rep. Casten; Rep. LaHood; Lincoln Memorial; Lincoln’s Cottage

On The 21st: Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and we’re broadcasting live from our nation’s capitol. We visit the Lincoln Memorial and President Lincoln’s Cottage. We also speak with members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation, the day after leaders from both parties agreed, in principle, on a deal to fund the government. We’ll talk with Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi, Sean Casten, and Darin LaHood on whether they’ll support this deal. 

Meal Makeover Moms/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

February 11, 2019

Summer Food Programs; Southern Illinois Prohibition Army; Passive Houses; Food Bank Check-in

On The 21st: Nearly a hundred years ago, the 18th amendment to the US constitution banned liquor. During that time, some anti-liquor advocates teamed up with the KKK to target Italian and French immigrants. Plus, 'Passive houses' are insulated eco-friendly homes which need almost no heat or air conditioning, and in the U.S., they started in Urbana. We also speak with the Rock River Valley Pantry about how the freezing weather affects people who need their services. But first, every day, 30 million students across the country get their lunch at school. But what happens when the school year ends? 

The first African American marines are at risk of losing their Montford Point Marines Association this year.

Manuel Martinez/WBEZ

February 07, 2019

First Black Marines at Risk of Losing Veterans Center; Fighting for a Cure to ALS

On The 21st: In the 1940s, the Montford Point Marines fought in World War II and were the first African-American marines. Today, some of those veterans live in Chicago, and for decades they’ve relied on a local veterans center that’s now at risk of closing. Plus, Chicagoan Brian Wallach was diagnosed with ALS more than a year ago, and he’s spending his time trying to raise 100 million dollars to help find a cure for future generations.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and wife Patti, in 2012.

M. Spencer Green/AP

February 06, 2019

The Rise And Fall Of Gov. Blagojevich; Speaker Madigan Gives Deposition; Scientist Victor Bahl

On the 21st: Eight years ago, Rod Blagojevich was sent to federal prison. Now, WBEZ is tackling the rise and fall of our state’s 40th governor in a podcast called Public Official A. Also, Illinois’ House Speaker Mike Madigan is being sued by a political opponent who says the Speaker put sham candidates on the ballot. We unpack this story with the Chicago Tribune’s Ray Long. Plus, the internet of today is massive, complicated, and, as researcher Victor Bahl says, almost taken for granted. We speak with Bahl as he gets ready at a research conference for U of I students. 

Jemeatris Rimkus

February 05, 2019

The Story Of St. Elmo Brady; Young Evangelicals And Climate Change; ‘Minding The Gap’ Documentary

On the 21st: St. Elmo Brady got a scholarship to go to the University of Illinois in 1912—and four years later, he became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D in Chemistry. Plus, we revisit our conversation about how young evangelical Christians are hoping to move the needle on climate change. And, our interview with Illinois filmmaker Bing Liu, whose Rockford documentary 'Minding The Gap' has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Chris Potter/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

February 04, 2019

Preparing Your Taxes This Year; New ‘Parent Lab’ Tutoring; Gov. Pritzker’s Executive Orders

On The 21st: 2017 saw some sizable federal tax code changes. This coming tax season will be the first since it’s taken effect, so what can Illinois taxpayers expect and prepare? Plus, most parents out there know how hard it can be to help children with their homework. A new program in Champaign called the 'Parent Lab” is helping tutor parents so that they have the right tools. Also, Governor Pritzker has signed eight executive orders since his term began three weeks ago. We’ll break down what’s new and what these orders say about Pritzker’s administration. 

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