Following criticism by some Republicans for failing to pass a law in April, lawmakers approved a bipartisan measure that would order state pension funds to divest from Russian stocks and bonds.
Jared Rutecki manages the Illinois Answers databases, and creates stories on state and local government matters, including pensions, payroll and public safety. He has sent more than 1,500 public-records requests a year on average since 2016.
Jared was an Annenberg National Health Fellow at the University of Southern California in 2021. He has won local and national reporting honors including the Sigma Delta Chi and Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment awards.
You Can Take It with You: Some Chicago Police Collect Massive Payouts before Retirement
The department spent more than $33 million in comp time payments in 2020. Some police view the money as compensation for time away from family.
New Illinois Law Gives Cops Choice Not To Jail People for Small Amounts of Drugs
The change follows a Better Government Association/Chicago Sun-Times investigation last year that documented the impact of ‘dead end’ drug arrests in which people are briefly locked up, only to see the charges soon dismissed.
Illinois Pension Funds Are Slow To Pull Out of Russian Assets
Despite a public outcry following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, legislation designed to force divestment languished unpassed in the Spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. Lawmakers say they intend to take the issue up again in the Fall.
The Costly Toll of Dead-End Drug Arrests
In Chicago, thousands of drug possession arrests are tossed out every year because of an unwritten rule in the courts, a Better Government Association/Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found. The cost to taxpayers? Millions. To those arrested? Jobs, housing, freedom.
Oregon Is First State to Ticket Narcotics Users, but New Reform Has Yet To Live Up To Promise
In Illinois, possession of even trace amounts of heroin residue is a felony. But in Oregon, it’s not a crime at all any more. Instead, people caught with drugs get a ticket. Oregon’s new drug reform is keeping users out of jail — but the goal of getting them help for their addictions has been elusive.
Kim Foxx’s Ex-Trainer Caught Up in ‘Unending Cycle’ of Drug Arrests
Drug issue hits every corner of Cook County. ‘It breaks my heart,’ the state’s attorney says.
Dead-End Drug Arrests: How We Reported This Story
The BGA and Chicago Sun-Times analyzed 280,000 total drug possession arrests made in Cook County over nearly two decades. The data used was provided by The Circuit, the collaborative journalistic enterprise led by the BGA and Injustice Watch.
Fewer People in Cook County Are Being Charged With Crimes. Why Are Black People Making Up a Larger Share of Defendants?
An Injustice Watch/BGA investigation broke down the data on specific charges and asked experts to explain why racial disparities are increasing in Cook County criminal court.
No Ransom Paid, but Illinois AG Office Is Spending More Than $2.5 Million on Hacker Attack
In his first in-depth interview since the April breach at the state’s top law enforcement agency, Raoul acknowledges the hack is “embarrassing.”