Sean Crawford

Managing Editor / Illinois Edition

Chatham

Advisory Board Ex-Officio

Sean has led the NPR Illinois news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois and other Illinois Public Radio stations. He spent more than a dozen years on the capitol beat.

Sean  began his broadcasting career at his hometown station in Herrin, Illinois while still in high school.  It was there he learned to cover local government, courts and anything else that made the news.  He spent time in the Joliet area as News Director and Operations Manager for a radio station and worked for a chain of weekly newspapers for two years.  Along with news coverage, he reported heavily on sports and did on-air play by play. 

Sean holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. 

With just days remaining before the scheduled end of the spring legislative session, Democrats and Republicans appear far apart on a state budget and the governor's agenda. Will Illinois enter a second year without a spending plan?

Statehouse exit sign
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Sean Crawford talks to Tim Landis of The State Journal-Register about the latest census numbers, and Brian Mackey interviews economist Natalie Davila and tax policy consultant Mike Klemens about their unique analysis of migration in and out of Illinois.

SJ-R.com

Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register, for our weekly Business Report.

This week...

* Population: Reflecting statewide trends, Springfield-area population down slightly from 2010 to 2015; focus on keeping millennials here.

* Food-truck festivals: New one coming to Illinois fairgrounds in July; existing festival on MacArthur Boulevard adding a third date; it's apparently the hot new trend in Springfield.

ilga.gov

A Springfield State Representative says he's not overly optimistic a full budget deal can be agreed to before the scheduled end of the legislature's spring session May 31.

Republican Tim Butler says 11 months into the budget impasse, some of the same obstacles remain.

The payoff for waiting at a driver's license facility?  Getting a new license.  Along with being legal to drive,  it allows you to use it for identification purposes, like boarding an airplane.   But changes are coming to the process here in Illinois.

Credit flickr/pasa47

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register:

ilga.gov

An outspoken Democratic state representative says he's running for McHenry County board chairman instead of seeking re-election.

State Rep. Jack Franks first took office in 1999 and has often clashed with his own party. McHenry County Democratic Party officials chose him Sunday to fill the ballot vacancy for board chairman. He'll have to collect 270 signatures to get his name on the November ballot.

In a statement, Franks says he won't seek re-election for the General Assembly. Party leaders have until late August to find a replacement.

Legislators and top Rauner administration officials are acknowledging what it’ll take to solve Illinois’ budget mess: billions of dollars in spending cuts and tax hikes. But they're also insisting it's just a possibility, not a bill, and certainly not a deal.

In other news, a familiar name is suing over the "Independent Maps" ballot initiative.

SJ-R.com

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register.

American Heart Association

This is American Stroke Month.  It's a good time to review the signs of a stroke, signs that many people may not recognize.

A push to change Illinois' flat income tax into a graduated tax died on the vine this week. And Illinois Republicans have some difficult decisions to make now that Donald Trump appears to have won the party's presidential nomination.

flickr/WattPublishing

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced in a hush-money scandal and admitted to molesting children; Governor Bruce Rauner said he hopes for a 2-year budget deal with legislative leaders by the end of May; and the governor insists contact negotiations with AFSCME are at an impass.  Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald joins the panel.

UIS Community Garden Facebook Page

We're more than halfway through Earth Week. At the University of Illinois Springfield, there are still events planned. 

Daniel X. Nell/flickr

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis:

AFSCME Council 31

Contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a union representing Illinois state workers have reached the state labor board.

NPR/Stockphoto

Studies show prisoners who stay connected with their families have lower recidivism.  Yet, the cost of keeping in touch is proving quite high for many.  Prison phone call rates are unregulated.

flickr/picturesofmoney

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House. 

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools.

SHG

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School's long time principal has announced her retirement.

flickr/Ben Salter

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis:

Shakespeare400Chicago.com

William Shakespeare comes alive this year in Chicago, as the city celebrates the poet and playwright’s legacy, marking the four centuries since his death in 1616 with a fabulous international arts festival.  With more than 850 events in venues across the city, the Shakespeare 400 Chicago Festival offers exciting plays, operas, art exhibitions, dance and even cuisine that will make his works come to life. You’ll want to brush up on your Shakespeare and plan a Chicago visit this spring or summer, when many events are scheduled.

After months without meeting, the governor and legislative leaders gathered behind closed doors this week, with apparently no progress toward a budget agreement. Speculation continues the Attorney General might go to court to stop state workers from being paid without an appropriation. Some believe such a move could force the governor and leaders to reach a deal. Others aren't so sure.  The State Journal-Register's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Aubrey Fletcher knew she wanted to work on a dairy farm ever since she was a little girl.

“I do remember my mom asking, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’” Fletcher recalls.

Fletcher knew the work was tough, she grew up milking cows every day. After college she and her husband wanted to return to his family farm, but it wasn’t making financial sense.

“The farm couldn’t necessarily  provide both of us with salaries,” says Fletcher. “So we thought, ‘Why not take our premium milk and take that a little further?’”

Matt Turner/flickr

An Illinois House committee has approved a call for moving state government jobs to the Springfield area.  But its only a resolution and doesn't force that action.    

The sponsor, Republican Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez of Leland Grove,  says moving the jobs to the area would cut costs for the state and lead to more efficiency while also boosting the local economy.  

WUIS

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis:

Springfield is the seat of state government, yet one of the more influential grassroots groups in Illinois has no official presence in the city.  The Illinois League of Women Voters wants to change that. 

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis.

With the move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and President Obama's visit to the country, we remember a trip an Illinois governor took there nearly 17 years ago.

flickr/Mark Goebel

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Brent Bohlen

When I was in seventh grade, my friends and I got our parents to drop us at the local small-town movie theater on Saturday nights. We would buy tickets at an enclosed booth, shell out a quarter at the concession stand for popcorn and settle into seats as close to our crushes as we could get without being too obvious.

Pages