Illinois 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren is co-sponsoring a bill to prevent the federal government from discriminating against individuals and groups with religious objections to same-sex marriage. 

The Republican says the First Amendment Defense Act is needed because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.  Hultgren is concerned that those who believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman might themselves become victims of discrimination.  

Prepare Your Pets For This Weekend's Heat

Jul 17, 2015
Rachel Scaman

With temperatures expected to be more than 90 degrees this weekend, people with pets should be cautious.

Heat indices of 100 to 105 are also expected this weekend. Michelle Groeper, executive director of TAILS Humane Society in DeKalb, said pets get just as uncomfortable as we do in the heat.

“Some of the more high energy dogs they may still want to run around a little bit so keeping them as calm as possible is good and they make doggie sunscreen, so that’s something to look into, they can get sunburned.”


Tornadoes tore through two rural communities in central Illinois Thursday night. Governor Bruce Rauner and emergency management officials toured Delavan and Cameron Friday. 

Residents in Tazewell County are assessing the damage. More than 50 properties were impacted by the storm. Gavin Sturch drove from Lincoln this morning when he heard the storm blew through his grandmother’s front yard:

Court Vacates Cook County Ruling On State Paychecks

Jul 17, 2015
state of Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger on Friday praised the First District Appellate Court's decision to vacate the Cook County Circuit Court order to pay certain state employees at federal minimum wage while denying paychecks to others.

"Today's ruling removes any conflict between court decisions and allows my office to continue paying all state employees for their work," she said in a statement. "My priority has consistently been to comply with federal mandates and do everything in my power under the law to pay workers for services they are already providing the state.

West Nile Virus Detected In DeKalb County

Jul 17, 2015

Health officials in DeKalb County detected the first mosquitoes with West Nile Virus this summer.

Municipalities say they monitor catch basins that help eliminate mosquitoes, but recent heavy rains may have flushed out mosquito larvae.

Several other counties in the state already reported cases of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes this year. But there has yet to be a human case so far.

The mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on dead birds. The Health Department is collecting dead birds to be sent to the state lab for testing.

flickr user / Rosana Prada "two-color corn" / CC BY 2.0

Illinois now has an official state vegetable --- corn.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed it into law Thursday without fanfare.

However, he's scheduled to attend an annual sweet corn festival Thursday evening in Chatham, a suburb of Springfield.

Local elementary school students had promoted making sweet corn the state vegetable as a class project.

The measure's sponsor, Senator Sam McCann, a Republican from Carlinville, admitted during debate that some voters found the proposal a waste of time.

state of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield yesterday.

It ensures state personnel and equipment are ready to be quickly deployed to help local emergency responders with public safety issues. 

The center’s establishment follows reports of at least one tornado touchdown in northwest Illinois and the potential for more severe weather.

State police say there are no reports of serious injuries after a tornado hit the northwestern Illinois town of Cameron.

Ban On Powdered Alcohol, Caffeine Signed By Illinois Governor

Jul 17, 2015

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a ban on powdered alcohol, and restrictions on caffeine in powdered form. Powdered alcohol mixes with liquids to create a beverage like any alcoholic drink. 

Senator Ira Silverstein is a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation. He says he was worried it could be used to drug someone or sprinkled surreptitiously on someone's food.

Makers of powdered alcohol argue it has the same alcoholic content and is regulated the same way as the liquid product.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Negotiations on a full year's budget appear to remain far apart, but it's up to Governor Bruce Rauner whether Illinois will make do with a downsized version for July. 

Democrats passed what they say is a one-month, bare-bones budget over Republicans' objections.

Including Gov. Rauner's, who had this to say about it last week:

"This is just getting to their four billion dollar whole one month at a time ... I don't support that bill. I do not, I will not sign, I don't support that bill."

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced this week Illinois’ unemployment rate in June declined to 5.9 percent and nonfarm payroll employment shed -7,500 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to a news release, the state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June, which fell from the prior month to 5.3 percent.