Illinois

sign for medical marijuana
Wikimedia Commons

The opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new industry has a Metro East entrepreneur moving forward with plans for a medical marijuana operation, even though there is no guarantee of being granted a license by the state of Illinois.

Mitch Meyers is a partner with NCC LLC, which stands for Nature's Care Company. She says the company has already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into a potential cultivation center and dispensary near Marissa in St. Clair County.

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

Illinois voters will consider this November whether to amend the state constitution over rights for crime victims.

Victims already have certain rights, including: to be told about court dates, to attend trials and to give impact statements.

But some advocates believe a constitutional amendment is needed to better protect these rights.

Alan J. Dixon
Wikipedia

Updated with tentative funeral arrangements.

Alan J. Dixon, a two-term Democratic senator from Illinois and long-time figure in Illinois politics, died today. According to a report in the Belleville News-Democrat, Mr. Dixon had had heart problems for the past two years and had recently been in Barnes-Jewish hospital. "He came home on Thursday and he was in good spirits," Jeff Dixon, the senator’s son, told the News-Democrat. "We had dinner with cold Budweiser followed by a glass of red wine."

Mr. Dixon was 86. He would have turned 87 on Monday.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

No one says the $35.7 billion 2015 budget approved by the Illinois Legislature late last week is balanced. As the Belleville News Democrat reported, “Democratic Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Senate budget negotiator, described the plan as ‘incomplete’ but the best lawmakers could do this session.

Washington is just starting to rebuild.

Much of the central Illinois town was wiped away by a half-mile-wide tornado in November. In all, 1,108 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable — a huge share of the housing stock in a city of 15,000.

"Early on, people were asking me how long it was going to take to rebuild the city, and I said we'll do it in a year," says Mayor Gary Manier. "That was wishful thinking."

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

We’ve broken another barrier on the show: U.S. Rep. John Shimkus is the first political figure from Illinois to be a guest on the podcast. The Collinsville Republican has represented large areas of southern Illinois since 1997 and plays a major role on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A hike in the minimum wage, sending more children to preschool and more grants for low-income college students are all part of the agenda Governor Pat Quinn laid out Wednesday in his State of the State address.

Five years to the day after he first became governor, Pat Quinn tried to make the case that Illinois is "making a comeback." It's also the anniversary of when lawmakers removed his predecessor from office. Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is now serving a federal prison sentence for corruption.

Quinn says he's helped restore integrity to state government.

(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed the seven men and women he wants to review objections raised by local or state police to applications for concealed-carry permits.

(via U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is seeking public feedback on the state's first-ever regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling.

The DNR published proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing today, which begins a public comment period that will last until Jan. 3.

(via Flickr/Of Small Things)

Gun owners in Illinois who want a concealed-carry permit before April 2014 will have to file a new lawsuit in federal court.

(Illinois General Assembly website)

A longtime Illinois state lawmaker says he's running for a southern Illinois congressional seat.

State Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro won't seek re-election in the state's 115th District and instead will pursue the 12th Congressional District seat. 

The Republican has been a state lawmaker for 18 years.

The U.S. House seat Bost will pursue is held by Democrat Bill Enyart, who was elected last November and announced in May he'll be seeking another two-year term.

The 12th District stretches from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to the state's southernmost tip.

(via Flickr/Of Small Things)

Updated at 11:50 a.m., Friday, June 7 & 3:14 p.m. 

The Illinois State Police on Friday issued a response to Gibbons' letter. The state police, along with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriff's Association, say they will continue to enforce state law which prohibits the carrying of "an immediately accessible firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed." Violating the law can result in an arrest.

Our original story:

via Wikimedia Commons

The sponsor of same-sex marriage legislation is facing a backlash for not calling it for a vote before the Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Friday. 

Gay rights activists praised Rep. Greg Harris in 2011 for helping pass civil unions. Some of those same activists are now criticizing him.

(via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

Illinois lawmakers are considering a change that would keep more teenagers out of adult court. The measure, which so far has had bipartisan support, would send 17-year-olds charged with non-violent felonies into the juvenile court system.

Since 2010, 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors have been sent to juvenile court, while those charged with felonies are sent to adult court.

Former Ill. Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch Dies

Mar 5, 2013
(photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum website)

Updated at 11:05 a.m. with statement from Ill. Governor Pat Quinn.

Updated at 10:10 with statement from Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Former Illinois comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch has died at age 86.

Netsch's former chief of staff and longtime friend Wendy Cohen says Netsch died early Tuesday. The Democrat announced in January that she had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, a fatal nerve disorder.

(via Flickr/bloomsberries)

The full U.S. appeals court for the 7th Circuit will not reconsider its ruling that Illinois' ban on the concealed carry of weapons is unconstitutional.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had asked all 11 judges to hear the case. Today's decision by six of those judges allows the earlier 2-1 ruling to stand. One judge, Michael Kanne, did not participate in the petition for a full court hearing.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

It's the start of Illinois' new legislative session, and Governor Pat Quinn laid out, yesterday, what he wants lawmakers to accomplish.  

In his fifth state of the state address since becoming governor, Quinn laid out a wide-ranging agenda which includes letting same-sex couples get married, raising the minimum wage, and prohibiting the sale of assault weapons.

Host Don Marsh talked with Illinois Public Radio/WUIS statehouse bureau chief Amanda Vinicky about the speech and politics in Illinois.

(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

Updated 11:33 a.m. to show that Ryan left the halfway house.

Attorney Jim Thompson says Ryan was released from the halfway house a short time after arriving there. Thompson, also a former Illinois governor, traveled with Ryan to his home in Kankakee, where he will remain in home confinement.

Speaking from Ryan's living room, Thompson said Ryan was beaming and surrounded by his smiling grandchildren.

Original story:

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has been released from federal prison in Indiana - but is not yet totally free.

(via Flickr/brosner)

A new law taking effect January 1 in Illinois adds more penalties for  adults who host parties in their home with underage drinking.

The state's current social responsibility law allows those parents to be sued for allowing teenagers to drink. The changes make it a Class A misdemeanor for parents to host such a gathering. Fines will be at least $500. If the underage drinking results in injury or death, it becomes a Class 4 felony. 

via Flickr/Of Small Things

Updated with comments from Illinois officials. Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield.

Illinois is the only state in the union that bans the concealed carrying of guns.

A ruling today from a federal appeals court may change all that.

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