Jamey Dunn

Executive Editor / Reporter

217-206-6507

No other publication explains Illinois as well as we do. No other publication has the audience we do.

Illinois Issues magazine is dedicated to providing fresh, provocative analysis of public policy in Illinois. With a special focus on Illinois government and politics, the magazine pays close attention to current trends and legislative issues, and examines the state's quality of life.

The magazine also engages its readers in dialogue, enhancing the quality of public discourse in Illinois. A not-for-profit monthly magazine published by the University of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois Issues also sponsors and promotes other appropriate public affairs educational activities.

In continuous publication since 1975 by the University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University), Illinois Issues monthly magazine is known as Illinois' leading public affairs periodical. We accept that honor, and we work hard with each issue to live up to it.

More than 15,000 Illinoisans read the magazine every month. Our readers tell us they rely on Illinois Issues to keep up with Illinois government and politics. Plus, we publish an annual up-to-date directory called the Roster of State Government Officials — a resource our readers find invaluable year-round.

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Illinois Issues
6:00 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Editor's Note: Tax And Pension Fix Won’t End Illinois’ Budget Crisis

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Listen to Dunn's interview about her column with Rachel Otwell: 

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Statehouse
4:16 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

A Look At Amazon's Move To Illinois

Jamey Dunn
Credit Matthew Penning

Amazon has announced it will open facilities in Illinois, saying it will bring 1,000 jobs to the state. That announcement was made Tuesday. But what does it really mean for the state when it comes to jobs, as well as taxes for consumers? Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn has been following the online retailer and its relationship with the state for years now (read a past report here). She joins us for this interview:

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Harvest Desk
11:06 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Fracking Study Shows Consequences Are Uncertain

Credit WSIU

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called "fracking" - is an extraction method of natural gas that has many environmentalists concerned. It also has energy business booming in towns across the nation, and those towns will soon include ones in southern Illinois.

 

But in states where fracking is already underway, some say public health is at risk and pollution is happening. A recent study in Texas has looked at the liquid byproduct left over from fracking - and how it could be safely handled. Jamey Dunn joins us to talk about her recent column on the topic:

 

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Election 2014
12:37 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

A Look At Tight IL Legislative Races

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

As election day nears, legislative races are hotly contested in some parts of the state. We preview those and look at the odds of a Republican take-over in the Illinois House or Senate. We spoke with the Daily Herald's Mike Riopell for this interview:

To read Riopell's story about legislative races, CLICK HERE.

 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Editor's Note: Study Illustrates Unknowns at Play When Regulating Fracking

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

  A recent change in regulatory rules meant to encourage fracking well operators to recycle wastewater in drought-stricken Texas could be contributing to a newly detected threat to public health.

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Election 2014
6:26 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Treasurer Candidate Tom Cross Says He Would Sue The Legislature To Force A Balanced Budget

Tom Cross
Credit Tom Cross for Treasurer campaign

Tom Cross of Oswego has spent more than 20 years as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.  A former prosecutor, for over a decade he was the House Republican Leader.  

Now Cross, 56, wants to be state Treasurer.  He won the GOP nomination and faces Democratic state Senator  Mike Frerichs of Champaign.  The position is responsible for investing state dollars.

Cross said he feels current Treasurer Dan Rutherford has done "a nice job" streamlining the office and it's budget.  But he said he can take the office in a different direction.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Editor's Note: Patients Pay the Price for State's Half-Hearted Embrace of Obamacare

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 It’s no secret that many Illinois Democrats have been reluctant to throw their full support behind President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. And Republicans at the state level are not going to get behind a law that their party counterparts in the U.S. House have voted dozens of times to repeal. As a result, those seeking insurance in the state have been handed a mixed bag of policy.

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Statehouse
12:29 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Lt. Gov. Simon Vies For Comptroller

Lt. Gov. Shiela Simon

Instead of hitting the campaign trail alongside Governor Pat Quinn, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is running for state comptroller. The comptroller is the chief fiscal officer of Illinois. The office pays the state's bills and manages the hundreds of funds that make up the budget. Simon is challenging Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka. Simon recently sat down with us for this interview about the race:

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Statehouse
12:52 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Why State Sen. Frerichs Wants To Be Treasurer

State Sen. Michael Frerichs

While Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner battle over the the job of governor, the races for some of the state's constitutional offices are heating up, too. The treasurer's office oversees Illinois' investments and provides several services, including college savings plans for residents and a loan program for farmers. State Sen. Michael Frerichs, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, joined us to talk about the campaign. Frerichs is running against former House minority leader Tom Cross. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Editor's Note: Mississippi's Natural Filtration May be at Capacity

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

A new study indicates that the naturally occurring filtration systems in the Mississippi River are being overwhelmed by the amount of nitrogen going into the water. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Internet Gaming: Supporters Would Make it the Wager of the Season

Poker, blackjack and roulette could soon join such games as Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Words With Friends on the laptops, tablets and smart phones of Illinois residents. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Editor's Note: New Developments Expected at Illinois Issues

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

When I started working at the state Capitol as a Public Affairs Reporting intern, I never would have imagined that I would be writing this column.

A key point in the PAR program comes in the fall when the interns are matched with their bureaus. It is exciting and nerve-wracking. Classmates and friends become competitors. Who will end up at the Chicago metro papers? Who will the Associated Press pick? While many of my classmates dreamed of the fast-paced atmosphere of a daily paper’s Statehouse bureau, I had a clear top choice in my sights: Illinois Issues

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Big Money: The Rauner vs. Quinn Race Looks Like a Sure Bet to Make Campaign Spending Records

  If you hate negative political ads, you may want to turn off your television and spend this summer outside. 

Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner are facing off in a race that is expected to break campaign-spending records in the state. The contest will likely draw national interest and money, and much of the resources on both sides will be spent on television advertising.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

State of the State: Ruling Clears the Way for Wealthy to Spend More on Campaigns

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The U.S. Supreme Court last month issued a decision that opens the door for wealthy donors to give more to candidates, parties and political action committees (PACs). The ruling could have broad implications for the future regulation of campaign spending on the state and federal level. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Coming to a State Near You: Illinois Brought in Record Dollars from Entertainment Industry Last Year

An upcoming film about the late author and former Illinois State University professor David Foster Wallace opted not to film in the Bloomington-Normal area and instead chose Michigan, reportedly for the state’s more generous tax breaks.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Robots from space attacked Chicago, blowing up buildings and vaporizing residents as they ran through the streets. A mad villain flipped a semi-trailer end over end and blew up a hospital. Two blues men drove through a suburban mall, crashed into the lobby of the Richard J. Daley Center and caused a pileup of police cruisers while tearing around the city on a holy mission. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

State of the State: Illinois Tops Nation for Locales Buying Renewable Energy

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

When Earth Day rolls around later this month, Illinois has some reason to celebrate. The state has the most communities buying only renewable energy out of any in the nation. 

In Illinois, 91 local governments have opted to allow their residents access to 100 percent renewable electricity, by either buying it directly or buying credits intended to fund renewable projects. More than 1.7 million people live in those 91 communities. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat March 1, 2014

State of the State: U.S. Law Needs to Keep Pace with States on Marijuana

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

On the federal level, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Schedule 1 drugs are considered to have a high risk for causing dependency and no acceptable use as medication. Other drugs classified as Schedule 1 include LSD, heroin and ecstasy. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Overtaken by Fear: Gun Rights Advocates and Firearm Opponents Step Up in an Effort to Compromise

Valinda Rowe is the spokeswoman for the all-volunteer IllinoisCarry.Com, a Second Amendment rights group.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

A December 2012 federal court ruling overturning Illinois’ ban on carrying firearms in public set the stage for what has been a year-long conversation about guns in the state. The issue brought citizens, clergy members, victims’ family members, volunteer advocates and lobbyists to the Statehouse in droves to hold rallies, give speeches and testify before committees. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat February 1, 2014

State of the State: Chicago's Southeast Side Sees New Environmental Threat

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Communities on the southeast side of Chicago have borne the brunt of industrial pollution for decades. In recent years, community pushback has led to positive environmental developments. But residents now find themselves in the middle of a battle over piles of petroleum waste that are coating their homes and businesses in black dust. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed January 1, 2014

State of the State: Illinois Becomes the Last State to Permit Concealed Carry

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois will soon join the other 49 states in allowing some citizens to carry firearms in public. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Illinois Becomes 16th State to Endorse Same-Sex Marriage

Gov. Pat Quinn and supporters at the bill-signing event
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Chicago Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris glowed with a look of satisfaction as he received a standing ovation at the bill-signing event for the state’s new same sex marriage law. 

The day the bill was signed into law was a heart-warming event for supporters and gay couples. The crowd clapped, waved rainbow flags, a symbol of the gay rights movement, and cheered in celebration.  “It’s time to stop planning rallies and start planning weddings. Congratulations,” Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said at the Chicago event on November 20.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Pensions Will be Subject of Special Session

 After years of inaction on changes to the state's employee pension systems, legislative leaders say they have hammered out a deal that could be presented to lawmakers December 3.

 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Medical Marijuana Bill Touted as Country's Tightest: Illinois to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Rep Lou Lang speaks at a press conference on his medical marijuana bill.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

After voting to reject medical marijuana legislation three times in previous years, the Illinois House approved a bill in April. Sponsor Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat; worked to tighten the bill, which proponents call the most strictly regulated medical marijuana program in the country. “This bill is a very carefully drafted bill,” Gov. Pat Quinn said when he signed the legislation. He did not openly support the bill as it moved through the legislature but said he would keep an open mind if it reached his desk.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Will Fracking Restrictions Hold Up at Enforcement Time?

Protesters seeking a moratorium on fracking in Illinois stationed themselves outside the governor’s office.
Credit Jamey Dunn / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois' fracking regulations were regarded as some of the strongest in the nation when they were approved in the spring, but opponents worry that they will be weakened when put into practice.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun December 1, 2013

State of the State: Juvenile Justice System in Illinois Still Struggling

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

When the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice split from the state’s Department of Corrections in 2006, it moved forward with a distinct mission: recognize that youth offenders have different needs than adults and address those needs with the goal of helping them turn their lives around.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Politics of Social Media: A New Way to be in the Know About Government & Election Campaigns

Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

If you are trying to keep tabs on the race for governor in Illinois, online social media platforms are some of the best places to do it. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

State of the State: Newtown A Reminder of Need for Mental Health Improvements

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

After a shooter took the lives of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., policymakers at the state and federal levels called for a re-evaluation of many things. Gun laws, school security and behavioral health treatment topped the list.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Home Improvement: Illinois' Real Estate Market is Regaining Some Lost Ground

Key Metrics for All Properties
Credit Illinois Association of Realtors

Five years after the real estate market collapsed and the country fell into the Great Recession, Illinois’ housing market is showing signs of recovery.

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