SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state.
The vote 61-54 vote sends the measure back to the Senate for minor changes to a version it approved on Valentine's Day. Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll sign it.
Fourteen states plus Washington D.C., allow same-sex marriage. Most recently, New Jersey, Minnesota and Rhode Island have allowed it.
The historic vote in Illinois came after months of arduous lobbying by gay-rights advocates, but the bill was never called for a House vote earlier this year because the sponsor said there weren't enough votes. Proponents say momentum had been building, especially as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Opponents say marriage should remain between a man and woman.
FORISTELL, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for attacking his 11-year-old son with a baseball bat.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the sentence for 46-year-old Mark Alan Calloni of Foristell follows his plea of no contest to child abuse charges filed in July.
Police say Calloni struck the child several times for unknown reasons, using a wooden baseball bat. He then tackled the boy and pinned him to the ground. The child broke free and ran to a neighbor's house, where he called police.
The boy did not suffer any serious injuries.
In 2005, Calloni pleaded guilty to domestic assault, endangering the welfare of a child and felonious restraint. He was sentenced to five years of probation in that case.
Two young children are in the hospital after they were found alone in a their home, with their dead mother.
Police were called to the house Tuesday morning. When emergency crews arrived, they found the children and the woman's body. Officials think the mother was dead for two days before she was found. The kids were taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and malnutrition.
It appears the woman died of natural causes. The courts will decide who gets custody of the children.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois prison officials estimate nearly 30,000 newly freed inmates will be eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2014 under President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports state officials say better access to care for physical and mental health issues may help parolees succeed outside of prison.
The Department of Corrections plans eventually to help inmates connect with Medicaid before they're released, so they can make a smooth transition into the state and federal health care program for the poor.
Illinois is among about 26 states planning to expand Medicaid benefits to childless adults under the Affordable Care Act. Last year's Supreme Court decision upheld the law, but made Medicaid expansion optional for states.
Many parolees in the past didn't qualify for Medicaid benefits.