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Susan Stephens / WNIJ

DeKalb-area officials pooled their ideas at a public forum this week on how to tackle the opioid epidemic.

Experts in public health, medicine, law enforcement, and counseling gave their perspectives on how to curb opioid-related overdoses and arrests. They addressed topics like the lack of access to rehabilitative resources for users.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato says he’s working on a 14-week program for offenders who pick up first-time drug use charges.

Alisa Ryan/Flickr

Anti-abortion advocates made their initial appearance in a Springfield courtroom yesterday.

They’re challenging a new Illinois law that will allow state money to pay for some abortions. It applies to women who have health insurance through state employment, as well as those on the Medicaid program. Lawyer Peter Breen says their case is about how state tax money is spent — not whether abortion is right or wrong.

U.S. Government

Nineteen Illinois Democrats have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal by imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to help clarify the line between legal and illegal political fundraising.

Among those making the request are U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, former U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski, and former State Sen. Emil Jones.

jasonbarickman.com

The issue of legalizing recreational use of marijuana is rising in profile this year. Currently, there are two bills in the General Assembly. Several Democratic candidates for governor have embraced the proposal, saying it would bring badly needed revenue to the state and reduce black market and gang control of an existing industry.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, though, bluntly opposed the idea last week in a WSIL television interview in Marion.

Democrats hoping to unseat Gov. Bruce Rauner will attend a forum tonight in Chicago at a church on Michigan Avenue.

Anthony Galloway is the director of civic engagement for Equality Illinois. He says it's important to hear what the candidates have already done to help promote LGBTQ rights. 

"So our goal in this activity is to educate our constituents," Galloway said, "as well as educate the candidates on issues of impact within the LGBTQ community."

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