Wednesday, 05 March 2014 14:22 Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Some county clerks say they won't rush to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples just because Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told them they can.
The state's new gay marriage law takes effect June 1. But Madigan said this week that licenses can be issued now.
About a dozen clerks tell The Associated Press they are waiting. They say they don't want to open themselves up to lawsuits and want to protect the couples from legal challenges.
Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean says he hopes to start issuing licenses as early as Friday. But he says he will tell the couples they could face legal challenges to their marriages.
Clerks in Cook and Champaign counties have decided to go ahead after a court ruled Cook County could do so.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 14:09 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new budget plan in the Missouri House would make millions of dollars for public schools and universities contingent upon a strong economy.
A proposal outlined Wednesday by House Budget Chairman Rick Stream would provide a $122 million increase in basic aid for public school districts. That's based on revenue projections agreed to by Republican House and Senate leaders.
Stream's budget would provide an additional $156 million funding increase for schools only if the state meets more optimistic revenue projections cited by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
Stream's budget also provides a smaller increase than Nixon had proposed for the operating budgets of public colleges and universities. He instead proposes tens of millions of dollars for university construction projects, some of which again would be contingent on meeting Nixon's revenue projections.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 14:08 Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Few people are being fined or facing jail time for marijuana violations since St. Louis changed its law last summer.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 127 people have been charged under a new city ordinance that reduced penalties for those caught with small amounts of marijuana. Just one person who pleaded guilty to a possession charge has been fined under the new ordinance.
Of cases that reached disposition, many resulted in suspended sentences.
The biggest proponent of the change, Alderman Shane Cohn, says the intent was to free up police and prosecutors to focus on more serious crimes while also lessening penalties and helping offenders avoid costs associated with cases that go to state court.