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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has allocated $33 million to set up a program designed to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms.
Lawmakers voted 96-17 for the $50 million supplemental appropriation Tuesday. Rep. Luis Arroyo - a Chicago Democrat - says about $500,000 is new general-revenue spending.
The legislation gives the Illinois State Police authority to use money from $150 concealed-carry permit fees to pay for the additional staff and equipment necessary to set up the program.
Lawmakers approved concealed carry last summer after a federal appeals court said Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban was unconstitutional.
Several complained the measure does not include $112 million a court has ordered be paid to union workers who didn't get their full raise in 2011.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are convening in Springfield for the final three days of their annual fall session.
The action kicks off with Tuesday hearings on corporate tax incentives and stricter gun penalties in the Illinois House.
Same-sex marriage legislation could also come up for a vote in the coming days. The measure was approved by the state Senate in February but stalled in the House in the spring. Advocates have since launched a more collaborative push and several undecided lawmakers announced their support for the measure. Opponents say they're prepared to mount primary challenges against members who vote for the legislation.
Lawmakers are not confident there will be a vote on a deal to solve the state's $97 billion pension crisis, but they say they are making progress on a deal.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois gun owners who fail to report the theft or loss of a weapon will face tougher restrictions under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.
The law beefs up background checks and requires firearm thefts or losses to be reported within 72 hours.
Quinn signed the bill Sunday at a South Side Chicago park where police officer was fatally shot in 2010. The Chicago Democrat says the restrictions are common sense and will help crack down on crime.
Democrats State Sen. Kwame Raoul and state Rep. Mike Zalewski sponsored the bill. It's also supported by Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy.
The requirement to report thefts goes into effect immediately. The background check changes start next year.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has preliminarily approved sweeping measures that would expand gun rights in the state and allow certain school officials to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The bill would allow appointed "protection officers" to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a valid permit and register with the state Department of Public Safety. The officers would also be required to complete a training course established by the peace officer training commission.
The proposals adopted Wednesday would also lower the age required to carry a concealed weapon and allow firearms less than 16 inches in length to be openly carried. One of the measures would also criminalize the enforcement of any federal gun control laws adopted after January.
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.
Quinn said Illinois's $100 billion pension shortfall is the number one problem for the state.
That feeling was echoed by business interests. The Illinois Manufacturers' Association says the time for talk is over and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce calls a failure to address pensions unconscionable.
But the president the Illinois Retail Merchants Association criticized the governor's plan to raise minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.00 per hour, saying it would hurt both employers and job seekers. The governor argued that no one working 40 hours a week should live in poverty.
During the speech, Quinn also said it was time for the state to allow same-sex marriages, and he renewed his call for an assault weapons ban.