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Monday, 17 February 2014 07:13

Illinois Senators consider car smoking ban

   Illinois lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it illegal for adults to smoke in a motor vehicle if there are children present.  Officials with the American Lung Association say they support the measure as a way to educate parents about the dangers of second-hand smoke to their child.  

   Senate bill 2659 would make it illegal to smoke with a minor in the vehicle.  Violators would face a one-hundred-dollar fine, but police wouldn't be able to pull drivers over just for violate the smoking ban.  

   Fourteen other states are considering similar measures.  Five states, including Arkansas and Louisiana have already made smoke-free cars the law.

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Once again Illinois lawmakers are considering a list of tax breaks and other incentives to keep some companies in the state and attract others.

   The most widely publicized proposal is a $24 million tax break aimed at persuading Archer Daniels Midland Company to keep its new global headquarters in Illinois.

   Legislators at this week's fall session in Springfield also could be asked for a tax break to retain the company that emerges from a merger between OfficeMax Inc. of Naperville and Office Depot Inc., among others.

   Some lawmakers say the state's bad finances make timing difficult for new such breaks.

   Others say the state needs to take a harder look and adopt a more comprehensive way to scrutinize such incentives in the future.

 
Published in Local News
Monday, 21 October 2013 02:52

Illinois veto session begins Tuesday

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are set to reconvene Tuesday to address pressing issues such as pension reform and same-sex marriage. But a looming deadline for opponents to challenge sitting lawmakers in 2014 is one reason those issues could be pushed off once again.

   The filing date for anyone considering challenging a legislator in the March primaries in Dec. 9. That could make some lawmakers especially careful about casting controversial votes.

   On the session agenda is proposed tax incentives aimed at keeping the new global headquarters of Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland Company in Illinois. Lawmakers will consider supplementing the $35 billion budget approved in May and hold a hearing to resuscitate talks over expanding gambling in the state.

   Legislation to enforce mandatory minimum prison sentences for felony gun convictions may also be considered.

 

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - There are published reports Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady is planning to step down for personal reasons.

   The reports have Brady announcing his resignation on Tuesday.

   Republican State Rep. Jim Durkin told the Chicago Sun-Times Brady is "leaving on terms that he's imposed on himself." Durkin says Brady, who he calls a dear friend, wants to spend more time with his family.

   Social conservatives have called for Brady's removal, in part because he took a stand in favor of gay marriage earlier this year. They also cite Republicans' poor showing in the 2012 election.

   Brady in March survived an attempt by GOP committeemen to vote him out. That effort failed amid concerns that getting rid of him would reflect poorly on a party that's trying to expand its appeal.

 
Published in Local News

   MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government won't make a decision for years on whether to close Scott Air Force Base, but leaders in southwest Illinois fear growing budget pressures in Washington could affect the facility's future.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Illinois congressmen are working to keep the base open even though the next round of base closures won't take place until at least 2015.

   Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the newspaper that the base's fate is at risk if Congress doesn't reform entitlement programs. Defense Department officials have said that the facility has more infrastructure than needed.

   Civilian workers at the base near Mascoutah are already scheduled to start taking 20 days of unpaid furloughs between May and September as a result of a series of automatic federal budget cuts.

 
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has rejected a measure that would require $1 million in liability insurance for people carrying concealed weapons.

Lawmakers voted 34-74 yesterday against Rep. Kenneth Dunkin's plan. It was among seven amendments on gun issues that legislators debated yesterday as they consider a court-ordered law allowing conceal-and-carry.

Chicago Democrat Dunkin says an insurance policy would cost $500 to $2,000.

Republicans complained that's too expensive for citizens exercising a constitutional right. And they argued insurance companies don't write the policies anyway.

In December, a federal court struck down Illinois' concealed-carry ban and gave lawmakers until June 8 to adopt a law.

The House has begun weekly floor sessions allowing lawmakers to propose gun measures.
Published in Local News

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