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Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law Tuesday to speed up reconstruction of the troubled state-run veterans' home in Quincy.

The Republican governor approved the legislation to consolidate the design and building processes under state law to save time in overhauling the western Illinois campus where 13 people have died since 2015 because of Legionnaires' disease, although groundbreaking is a year away.

"It's an important step forward to serve our veterans, to keep our veterans safe and healthy," Rauner said.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he does not agree with President Trump’s initial statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump on Monday seemed to accept Russian denials about interfering in the 2016 election. That's despite American intelligence agencies concluding numerous hacks were a Russian government operation.

“We should not be defending (the) Russians’ behavior,” Rauner says. “Putin is a brutal dictator. The Russians are not our friends.”

The Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General visited several northern Illinois organizations this week. The stop included Opportunity House in Sycamore.

During a stop at the WNIJ studios, Erika Harold says one of her campaign priorities is combating the opioid epidemic in the state. She also says the epidemic is an issue that Attorneys General from multiple states can work on together.

Victoria Lunacek

The successor to 70th District statehouse Rep. Bob Pritchard was sworn in Tuesday.

Republican Jeff Keicher took the oath of office from retired judge John Countryman at Dayton Farms in Sycamore. He was accompanied by state party leaders and other elected officials, such as former state Rep. John Countryman, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, and State Senator Dave Syverson. After Keicher took the oath, Durkin compared him favorably to his predecessor, Bob Pritchard.

"Gun Wall" by Flickr User Michael Saechang / (CC x 2.0)

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed laws Monday authorizing judges to take weapons away from people facing problems that make them dangerous to themselves or others and to extend the waiting period for delivery of newly purchased guns, but pledged to veto a third piece of legislation that would require state licensing of firearms dealers.

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