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Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers
Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 6:58 PM

Illinois Moves Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Illinois may soon legalize the use of recreational marijuana. The state Senate passed a plan Wednesday that would allow Illinois residents 21 and older to legally buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries... Read »

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 8:49 AM

Illinois House Approves Fingerprinting Gun Owners

Illinois House Approves Fingerprinting Gun Owners

Illinois gun owners will be fingerprinted and will pay more for firearm owner identification cards under legislation approved by the Illinois House. Read »

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 10:41 PM

Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

A long-awaited plan to legalize recreational marijuana use in Illinois has received an endorsement from the state senate. Read »

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 6:41 AM

Religious Leaders Want Slowdown in Push for Chicago Casino

A number of Chicago religious leaders are urging the city's mayor and Illinois legislators to slow their push to place a casino in the city. Read »

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 8:07 AM

Lightfoot Presides Over 1st City Council Meeting as Mayor

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot presided over her first meeting of City Council as mayor Wednesday. Read »

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 9:40 PM

Chicago's Newly Installed Mayor Lays Out Ethics Agenda

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is reiterating her intent to curb aldermanic power and push for long-deferred ethics reforms. Read »

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 6:33 PM

Illinois House Adopts Abortion Protections

The Illinois House has endorsed expanded abortion protections as a half-dozen other states strive to restrict the procedure. Read »

Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Illinois' Graduated Income Tax Plan: What You Need to Know

Illinois' Graduated Income Tax Plan: What You Need to Know

Perhaps the most significant item on Illinois lawmakers' agenda this session is a proposal to change the state's individual income tax system from the current flat rate to a progressive scale. Read »

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 6:38 AM

House Dems' Plan Links Casino Expansion to Sports Betting

A massive expansion of casino gambling in Illinois — a decade-long but futile legislative pursuit — was back with a boost Monday as a Democratic lawmaker took steps to make it part of a popular plan to legalize... Read »

Monday, May 27, 2019 at 6:17 PM

Voters to Decide on Pritzker's Graduated Income Tax Program

Voters will decide whether to change Illinois' income-tax structure after the House approved a constitutional amendment on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's graduated tax proposal. Read »

About Ward Room
NBC Chicago's award winning politics blog takes a critical look at Illinois' top influence-peddlers, using a mix of news and commentary designed to keep this state's notoriously corruptible politicians honest and accountable.
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Who We're Covering
Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel

Foul mouthed, iron-fisted and arrogant. Say hello to Mayor Emanuel.
Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire venture capitalist from Winnetka and a Republican, took over the Illinois governor's mansion in 2015 and immediately asked the residents of the state to prepare for some pain.
Michael Madigan

Michael Madigan

Master of the Illinois political universe, behind-the-scenes strong arm, and speaker of the house.
Ed Burke

Ed Burke

Ed Burke has played the stoic counterpart to Mayor Daley's outspoken boss hog since the Mayor took office.
Barack Obama

Barack Obama

He was the President of the United States. But at heart, Barack Obama is a Chicago politician.
Toni Preckwinkle

Toni Preckwinkle

County Board Prez declined to run against Rahm for mayor despite loud calls.
See more Who We're Covering
Phil Rogers Emmy Award-winning reporter with trenchant insight into Chicago's political machinations.
Mary Ann Ahern WMAQ's Political Reporter since 2006, not afraid of a challenge. Read full bio .