Friday, May 17, 2013
Passed by a 35-21 vote, the bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Pat Quinn, who has not yet said whether he intends to sign it.
By a vote of 35-21, the Illinois Senate approved legislation on Friday that would allow doctors in the state to prescribe marijuana as pain relief for severe medical conditions. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature. According to the Chicago Tribune, the bill covers 33 specific conditions—including multiple sclerosis, cancer and HIV infection—and includes several controls, with a four-year trial program, dosage limits, fingerprinting, background checks and licensed dispensing centers. “This bill is filled with walls to keep this limited,” the paper quoted sponsoring Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton), who urged lawmakers to pass the legislation as a compassionate measure for those suffering with extreme pain. In opposition, Sen. …
Friday, May 10, 2013
Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing for 11 Illinois counties to be named major disaster areas.
Friday, May 10
Governor Pat Quinn today asked President Barack Obama to declare 11 Illinois counties major disaster areas following the storms and heavy rainfall that moved through the state in mid-April. If the governor’s request is approved, residents in those counties will be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest federal loans to help recover from the historic flooding. Counties included in the request are Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will. “We must do everything possible to help families impacted by this historic flooding as they rebuild their lives,” Governor Quinn said. “Today we are making a strong case to President Obama to help expedite the review and approval process so the people of …
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The Illinois House approved sweeping pension reform this week. The legislation will now move on to the Senate.
The Illinois House approved a pension reform bill that could eliminate the state's $96.8 billion funding shortfall over the next 30 years, Reuters reported. The legislation was approved by a vote of 62-51 and would impact Illinois teachers outside of the Chicago Public School system, state university employees and the Illinois General Assembly, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The bill still must be approved by the Senate. The Chicago Tribune reported that the bill would increase the retirement age for employees 44 and younger. Employees also would contribute 2 percent more of their paychecks to their retirements. The state would no longer give out compounded 3 percent bumps on the entire pension amount every year, the newspaper reported. …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Sen. Kirk and Sen. Durbin make first joint appearance in state at Great Lakes school along with Rep. Schneider.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Springfield) made their first joint public appearance in Illinois since Kirk returned to full time duty in the Senate in January at a Great Lakes charter school they helped create which is now being hurt by the Sequester. Durbin, Kirk and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) met with students at the Learn Public Charter School, a North Chicago public school on the Great Lakes Naval Base, to see the new institution and listen to the students. “This is our first public appearance in Illinois since Sen. Kirk returned to the Senate (in January after suffering a stroke a year before),” Durbin said. “We wanted it to be here because it is something we worked on together.” Sequester Reduces …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The east wall of Centennial Park and Recreation center collapsed during last month’s torrential rain.
With pool season just around the corner, Wilmette officials are worried that work to repair the collapsed east wall of Centennial Park and Recreation center could impact the pool’s summer season, Wilmette Life reported. The torrential rainstorms in April washed out the foundation of earth underneath the wall of the center’s tennis court area, causing it to collapse on April 18. Even though construction teams immediately came to shore up the wall and tennis area roof, Wilmette Park District Executive Director Steve Wilson says that by April 20 the wall had shifted so much that it had to be demolished, Wilmette Life reported. No one was injured during the incident but it was the first time the wall collapsed at the the tennis building, …
Monday, April 29, 2013
Village officials say the investment has paid off, as there’s been less flooding in the area east of Ridge Road.
Wilmette officials say the $47 million the village has spent on stormwater improvements since 1992 has paid off since there was considerably less flooding in the areas east of Ridge Road during the recent rainstorm, Chicago Tribune reported. During the April 18 flood, the more extensive street flooding was on the west side of the village and the village plans to target that area in the village’s next wave of projects, which will include a $10.7 million bond issue to fund a new pump station and more storage capacity in southwest Wilmette, according to Wilmette officials, Chicago Tribune reported. Related Coverage
Friday, April 26, 2013
According to the American Lung Association's 2013 "State of the Air," Cook County gets an "F."
This week, the American Lung Association released its 2013 "State of the Air" report card and Cook County received an "F." Lake County also received an "F" but the other Chicago area collar counties (McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will) all received B's. On Monday, the Sierra Club, along with a coalition of other organizations, will be speaking to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a hearing in Chicago to support the EPA's proposed "Tier 3" tailpipe standards to reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline. Public comment The public hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in LaSalle Ballroom 2 of the Doubletree Magnificent Mile, in Chicago. There will be a pre-event rally and group photo at 9:30 a.m. Residents can also submit comment to the EPA …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Marketplace Fairness Act would give states the ability to collect online sales taxes.
The Senate cleared the way this week for the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which requires businesses with more than $1 million in Internet sales to pay sales taxes to the state where the buyer resides, Slate reported. While a 1992 Supreme Court decision allows for taxing online sales, states don’t collect online sales tax unless the buyer voluntarily sends it. In 2012, states collectively lost an estimated $23.3 billion in sales tax revenue due to online sales according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Huffington Post reported. Michael Mazerov of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the Marketplace Fairness Act would make tax collections slightly more progressive, since poorer Americans are less …
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Latest Patch poll results come in wake of U.S. Senate defeat of legislation expanding background checks. Sen. Kirk is critical of vote.
After a debate broke out among Patch readers in the wake of an armed robbery in Deerfield April 8 over whether an armed citizenry would increase or reduce crime. A few days later Patch conducted an unscientific poll among its readers to see which route people felt was best and a majority believe concealed carry will decrease crime in the area. Of the 66 people who responded, 41 are in favor and 25 opposed. Earlier: Will Concealed Carry Increase or Decrease Gun Violence The poll was conducted while the United Senate was debating and defeated legislation to expand background checks before purchasing a gun, 54-46, Wednesday drawing criticism from Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park). “I am disappointed that the Senate could not come together to …
Friday, April 19, 2013
The House just voted in favor of a bill presented by Rep. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills to allow 17-year-olds the right to vote in primary elections. The Senate had its first reading of the bill Thursday.
A bill proposed by State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to allow 17-year-olds the right to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the next general election cleared the House Wednesday, reported the Daily Herald. The House voted 95-22 in favor of House Bill 226. The Senate had its first reading Thursday. On her website, Sente states that a group of students from a political science program at Stevenson High School has advocated for this initiative for several years, beginning with her predecessor Kathy Ryg. "Over the next few weeks, myself and Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) are planning to speak to students to get them involved in all aspects of passing this bill," stated Sente. "I am hopeful that through our bi-partisan …