The 21st Show

Illinois Passes A Budget; Mortality Rates For Black Mothers And Infants; LGBT Pride In Southern IL

Illinois Capitol

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On the 21st: Our state government has agreed on a budget before the May 31 deadline. Earlier this morning before the House vote, we caught up with state political reporters and Senate President John Cullerton. Plus, why mortality rates for black mothers and infants are so much higher than their white counterparts. And, we speak with an organizer of the first LGBT Pride festival in southern Illinois.

The State of Illinois has passed a budget before the May 31 deadline. It passed the Senate with a 56-2 vote, and the House 99-15.

Unlike in previous years, the budget passed without any sort of stalemate—and, it was on time.

Earlier this morning, we checked in with Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey and WBEZ's Tony Arnold. We went live before the House vote, which took place later Thursday.


When you think of women dying during childbirth, you probably think of scenes you read about in history books or saw depicted in period dramas like Downton Abbey.

But the reality is, this is very much still happening in this country in this century. And it’s mostly happening amongst African American women. And it’s not just the mothers. Black infants are far more likely to die than their white counterparts -- twice as likely. And research tells us that the disparity really does come down to the lived experience of race.

The problem of infant and maternal mortality amongst African American women in this country is so great that it’s driving the entire US rate for both, up.

In fact, the racial disparity of these mortality rates is larger than it was in 1850, during slavery.

Joining me to talk about what we’re understanding about this issue and what some public health advocates are trying to do about it wasJanine Hill. She’s the President of Soar Strategies and also teaches at the school of public health at UIC. She’s the former director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, now known as EverThrive. Dr. Richard David also joined us. He’s a professor of pediatrics at UIC.


If you’re looking for something fun and important to add to your calendar this weekend, then you should know that Southern Illinois is having its first ever Pride festival. From Friday through Sunday, Carbondale’s LGBT community will celebrate diversity and inclusion with a walk, music, drag performances, food, bingo and more. And proceeds go to benefit The Rainbow Cafe, which is a drop-in youth center serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in Southern Illinois.

Joining us to talk about getting this festival off the ground was one of the organizers, Tara Bell-Janowick. She’s also on the board of the Rainbow Cafe, and she’s in Herrin, Illinois, which is outside Carbondale.

Story source: WILL