Stories by Alexandra Silets

ACA Deadline Approaches

On Sunday, open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act closes. We get the latest on the looming penalties in year two of ObamaCare.

Restaurateur Rich Melman Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

The James Beard Foundation is honoring Chicago's own restaurateur Rich Melman with a Lifetime Achievement Award. We talk with him about the honor and his recipe for success.

"Corrupt Illinois"

| Travis Cornejo

A new book takes a comprehensive look at the patronage, cronyism and criminality in Illinois politics -- from stolen elections and crooked courts to corrupt congressmen, governors and aldermen.

Divorce Smarter

With divorce a reality for half of all marriages, we take a look at the financial realities of moving on.

CTA President Forrest Claypool

We take a look back at the CTA's 2014 and what's around the corner for customers in 2015.

Spring Legislative Session

| Kristen Thometz

The spring legislative session is in full swing now that the 99th General Assembly has been sworn in along with Gov. Bruce Rauner. We hear from both sides of the aisle about what the legislative priorities are in both chambers.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson

Inspector General Joe Ferguson joins us with the latest on government oversight in Chicago.

Appointed vs. Elected School Board

| Travis Cornejo

Should Chicago have an elected school board? The issue separates Mayor Rahm Emanuel from his challengers. And voters from 38 wards will have a chance to weigh in on Feb. 24 when they can vote on an advisory referendum. We take a closer look.

Springfield Special Session

Illinois lawmakers met in Springfield for a special session to decide how to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Treasurer Mike Frerichs

| Kristen Thometz

Mike Frerichs won the hotly contested treasurer's race in November. He joins us to share his vision and what he thinks about consolidating his office with the comptroller's post.

Illinois' Budget Realities

| Travis Cornejo

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is facing a dire fiscal reality when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 12, including some state agencies running out of money.

Jane Lynch

| Taurean Small

We revisit our conversation with Chicago native actor and comedian Jane Lynch. 

Red Light Cameras Questioned

| Travis Cornejo

A scientific study calls into question the safety benefits of red light cameras which is the reason City Hall installed them. We'll talk about the study and the politics of Chicago's red light cameras.

Wrigley Plan Approved for Federal Tax Credit

| Travis Cornejo

The Chicago's Commission on Landmarks approve the Cubs revised signage plan at Wrigley Field by a 6 to 1 vote. 

Protecting Against Cyber Attacks

| Travis Cornejo

Sony Pictures is the latest victim of a cyber hack and data breach. The FBI is warning more cyber attacks are coming. We look at what it means for your wallet and security.

Illinois’ Pension Reform Found Unconstitutional

| Kristen Thometz

A Sangamon County judge tossed lawmakers' much touted pension reform law saying it's unconstitutional. Now it heads to the Illinois Supreme Court. What does this mean for pensioners and for Illinois, which has the worst bond rating in the nation and faces a $105 billion unfunded public employee pension liability? 

Immigration Reform

| Kristen Thometz

President Barack Obama addresses the nation on immigration reform. Chicago Tonight talks with local analysts about the president’s speech.

Remembering Mayor Jane Byrne

| Travis Cornejo

We look back at Mayor Jane Byrne's political career, her groundbreaking win against the Democratic machine, and her tenure as mayor.

Illinois Senate Leaders

| Kristen Thometz

State Sen. President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno discuss the Fall Veto Session and how they plan to work with Governor-elect Bruce Rauner.

Affordable Care Act and Get Covered Illinois

| Kristen Thometz

Enrollment opens Nov. 15 for Illinois residents purchasing health insurance on the Get Covered Illinois marketplace. We’ll talk about the new health care choices people have here. 

Cook County Court Audit

The Illinois Supreme Court is appointing an administrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County to overhaul pretrial services and the adult probation department, and to reverse the backlog of inmates awaiting trial—some for years. Carol Marin and her guests have analysis. Read the full report and Chief Judge Timothy Evans' response.

GOP Treasurer Forum

Veteran politician Rep. Tom Cross faces DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan in the GOP Primary for Illinois State Treasurer. The winner will face Democrat Mike Frerichs, who is running unopposed. Cross and Grogan join us. Read an article.

Illinois Lt. Governor Forum

For the first time in Illinois, the Lieutenant Governor candidates are running with a candidate for governor. We meet the four Republican candidates and hear their vision for their jobs, and for Illinois. Read an article and a recap of our live online chat.

"Great Cities, Great Lakes, Great Basin"

It’s the earth’s largest freshwater resource. But what will happen in the next 100 years to the Great Lakes and the Great Water Basin? We talk with Phil Enquist, an Urban Designer, about sustainability, strategies, and about urban design aimed at eliminating waste and to ensure fresh water for future generations. View a slideshow.

Overcrowding at Cook County Jail

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Tom Dart have a new plan to ease the overcrowding at Cook County Jail. Carol Marin and her guests take a closer look at how they are trying to reverse the chronic problems with the Cook County criminal system, including the resentencing of violent offenders from boot camp to prison, as well as the results of a meeting between Chief Judge Tim Evans, Preckwinkle, Dart and the Illinois Supreme Court to reduce the massive criminal case backlog.