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Recent Articles  - 92 articles found

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
    'Cannabis Use Disorder' Up in States That Legalized Recreational Pot
    Recreational Marijuana
    States that legalized recreational marijuana have seen an increase in problematic pot use among teens and adults aged 26 and older, a new study finds.

    The researchers compared marijuana use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon -- the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana -- before and after legalization. The investigators also compared trends in those states with states th...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Chicago casino bill stalls, some not happy with state’s smaller cut
    Chicago Mayor (16) , Gambling, Gaming Cullerton, John--State Senate, 6 , Syverson, Dave--State Senate, 35
    In the moments before it was to be called for a vote, state lawmakers put the brakes on a change to Illinois’ gambling tax rates that would have delivered Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot a big win.

    A spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton said late Wednesday that he “remains optimistic” lawmakers can come to an agreement on the legislation. 

    An amended Senate...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Op-Ed: Illinois voters will have to force change at all levels of government to reduce property taxes
    Legislature (56) , Taxes, property (87)
    The 88-member Property Tax Relief Task Force charged with coming up with a plan to reduce property taxes was supposed to deliver an initial report to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly on Halloween. 

    That didn't happen. There was no treat for the state's overtaxed homeowners this year. Just crickets.

    That Oct. 31 deadline was enshrined in the very law that created the tas...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Some consider proposed changes to recreational cannabis law minor, others say substantive
    Guns and Gun Control, FOID, Concealed Carry (46) , Recreational Marijuana Bryant, Terri--State House, 115
    Lawmakers are considering a number of changes to the state recreational cannabis law, some said the changes are minor, while others said they would be substantive and require further study.

    Lawmakers passed adult-use recreational cannabis legislation in the Spring session. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill. Legal sales are set to begin Jan. 1.

    But Senior Advisor to the Governor o...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Still no movement on ethics reforms despite more bills being filed by Republicans
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Pay to Play, Corruption Barickman, Jason--State House, 105 , Cullerton, John--State Senate, 6 , Cullerton, Thomas--State Senate, 23 , McConchie, Dan--State Senate, 26 , Sandoval, Martin--State Senate, 11
    While the number of ethics reforms filed by Republicans in the Illinois statehouse continue to stack up, the clock is running out for anything to pass by the end of the week.

    Thursday is the last day of session this year. While Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said it’s possible for some reforms to pass in one day, he wants more time to review the proposals.

    “I&#...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Nipping it in the bud; SIU does not plan to change policies regarding Marijuana use
    Education--Higher (37) , Recreational Marijuana
    Marijuana use will be legalized on Jan. 1, 2020 in Illinois, however SIU doesn’t plan on changing its policy regarding the drug.

    Illinois is the 11th state to legalize marijuana, and the first to implement a comprehensive statewide marijuana marketplace designed by legislators. 

    SIU is a smoke-free campus, in complian...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Daylight saving time bill gets approval even though it wouldn’t stop time change
    Education--Elementary and Secondary (36) Holmes, Linda--State Senate, 42 , Manar, Andy--State Senate, 48
    Illinois lawmakers are one step closer to approving permanent daylight saving time, but the change would require federal approval, something that’s only been granted twice. 

    State Sen. Andy Manar’s read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady
    Legislature (56) Brady, Bill--State Senate, 44
    Joey McLaughlin talks with Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady about the latest from the Veto Session. https://wtax.com/podcasts/illinois-senate-republican-leader-bill-brady-4/ ...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Local pension consolidation proposal passes committee despite objections to changes
    Fire Marshal, fire, fire fighters (84) , Local Government (60) , Pensions (70) , Police (28) Batinick, Mark--State House, 97 , Hoffman, Jay--State House, 113
    Four words – “A third party, including” – in two sections of a proposed amendment to the suburban and downstate police and fire pension consolidation bill could sink the effort, but lawmakers said the plan remains a work in progress.

      read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    With clock ticking, ethics reforms remain elusive at statehouse
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Pay to Play, Corruption Arroyo, Luis--State House, 3 , Cullerton, Thomas--State Senate, 23 , Kifowit, Stephanie--State House, 84 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22 , Sandoval, Martin--State Senate, 11 , Spain, Ryan--State House, 73 , Wehrli, Grant--State House, 41

    Leaders from both sides of the aisle have called for more stringent ethics rules amid federal corruption probes involving state lawmakers, but it remained unclear what, if any, reform proposals would be tackled before legislators leave for the week.

    Three state lawmakers have come under federal scru...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Loans may be only option left for Illinois residents recovering from flooding
    Floods (42) , Rivers (23)
    As hope for federal funding dwindles, residents and business owners affected by historic flooding in Southern Illinois’ options for relief are shrinking.

    read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Lightfoot lobbies Springfield for Chicago casino, with rare visit to Democratic caucus
    Chicago Mayor (16) , Gambling, Gaming

    — With Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s legislative wish list still up in the air, the mayor took questions from a packed House Democratic caucus Tuesday — reminding them a Chicago casino “benefits the entire state.”

     

    It was a rare — and largely symbolic — visit to the caucus for a Chicago mayor, both Lightfoot and Illinois House Speaker Mik...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan would sync city’s and Illinois’ pot laws, cut penalties for possession
    Chicago Mayor (16)

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to introduce an ordinance that would reform how Chicago enforces the rules and regulations related to marijuana less than two months before its recreational use is deemed legal in Illinois, administration officials said.

     

    Among other things, residents caught with small amounts of cannabis will face less stiff penalties and fines than they have i...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Despite scandal, lawmakers vote to block Illinois Gaming Board from preventing video gambling owners from selling without approval
    Gambling, Gaming

    Less than a week after the Illinois Gaming Board attempted to stop video gambling operators from selling their businesses without state approval, a panel of lawmakers in Springfield blocked the move.

     

    The General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted 10-0 against the Gaming Board on Tuesday, rejecting the gambling regulators’ rationale for ma...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Feds recorded calls of close confidant of House Speaker Michael Madigan: sources
    ComEd (94) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22

    Federal authorities recorded phone calls of one of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s closest confidants as part of the burgeoning investigation into ComEd’s lobbying practices, two sources with knowledge of the probe told the Chicago Tribune.

     

    Recordings of phone conversations involving Michael McClain, who lobbied for ComEd and parent company Exelon before retir...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to consolidate 650 local police and fire pensions into two statewide funds hits a snag
    Fire Marshal, fire, fire fighters (84) , Pensions (70) , Police (28)

    Days after a path forward appeared clear for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to consolidate hundreds of suburban and downstate police and fire pension funds, the compromise reached over the weekend hit a snag.

     

    Four words in an amendment to the proposal led the Illinois Municipal League, a longtime advocate for pension consolidation and a backer of Pritzker’s initial...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Hey downstate lawmakers, butt out of Chicago’s fight over taxing the rich! This is between us and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
    Chicago Mayor (16) , Legislature (56)

    As you may have heard, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to raise the tax rates on the sale of high-end properties to help her balance the city budget.

     

    You may like the idea. I do. Chicago’s in a deep fiscal hole, and since the money to fill that hole has to come from somewhere, I’d rather a greater share of it come from those better able to afford the upchar...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Mayor Lori Lightfoot meets with state lawmakers, heading home without a deal on casino, real estate transfer tax plans
    Chicago Mayor (16)

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot headed to Springfield on Tuesday looking for help on legislation aimed at eventually shoring up Chicago’s troubled finances — a sweetened casino tax structure and the power to hike taxes on expensive real estate deals.

     

    She was leaving Springfield without a deal in place on either.

     

    Lightfoot stressed the urgency of ge...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Mayor proposes wage hike for tipped workers Her plan would boost their pay—but not to the full $15 that some employee advocates were hoping for.
    Chicago Mayor (16) , Minimum Wage (10)

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot has introduced her proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2021 and boost base wages for tipped workers—but not to the full $15 that some employee advoc...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    As fed probe deepens, City Club grapples with fallout
    ComEd (94)

    Amid reports its office was raided and its president paid $3.1 million to lobby for ComEd, the City Club struggles with how to handle the aftermath—including more canceled speeches by public officials.

    The City Club of Chicago is contending with the fallout of its president's involvement in a federal probe of Commonwealth Edison influence in Springfield....   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Lake County considering options on recreational marijuana sales
    Recreational Marijuana

    The Lake County Board may be ready to start the process of determining whether to allow the sale of recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas.

     

    Board members last week directed staff to create an ordinance that would authorize marijuana sales when use and possession becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.

     

    But that doesn't mean a majority of the boa...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    How to plug big-time shortfalls in police and fire pension funds? Some cities are selling sewer systems for big bucks
    Fire Marshal, fire, fire fighters (84) , Local Government (60) , Pensions (70) , Police (28)

    In 2018, Alton’s pension funds for firefighters and police officers had about $117 million in unfunded liabilities -- the retirement money that will have to be paid to retirees.

    But in June, the city cut that shortfall nearly in half. How? They sold the city’s sewer system to a company, Illinois American Water, for $53.8 million.

    Godfrey also sold its wastewater syst...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    A lot of road work is on the way Can local contractors handle the demand?
    Transportation (91)

    The 2020 construction season for Illinois looks to be an ambitious one.

     

    The Illinois Department of Transportation’s updated five year plan has about forty different projects lined up for La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties — valued at an estimated $103.7 million.

     

    By contrast, contractors tackled about $72.5 million in local projects ove...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Secret medical data-mining project is more proof that Big Tech needs rules
    Health (49) , Internet, Social Media (98) , Technology (98)
    In a frightening illustration of how completely Americans today have lost control over their personal data, Google has partnered with Clayton-based health care giant Ascension to collect detailed medical information on millions of Americans — including patient identities and dates of birth — without notifying them or their doctors.

    The search-engine behemoth, trying to nose in on o...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    County board delays decision on proposed ban of cannabis-related businesses
    Recreational Marijuana

    The Sangamon County Board wants to wait at least a month before deciding whether businesses should be able to sell, test, grow, process or transport recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas of Sangamon County in 2020 and beyond.

     

    The board on Tuesday voted 18-8, with one person voting “present,” to send a proposal to ban cannabis-related businesses back t...   read more >

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