Around Illinois -- May 11

May 11, 2012
  • Governor Quinn on board for same-sex marriage law
  • Meals in the mailbox
  • Mother's Day gift for Rockford mayor's family
  • Illinois Senate advances plan to reduce regional school superintendents
  • Record corn crop could be good for consumers
  • Rockford gets $1 million grant for environmental clean-up

Governor Quinn will push for same-sex marriages

President Obama’s newly-found support for same-sex marriage may be having a domino effect. Governor Pat Quinn now “joins with President Obama in supporting marriage equality,” according to the governor’s office. The governor’s willing to take a stand and plans to work with state lawmakers to make same-sex marriage legal in Illinois. In the past, Quinn was non-committal in his support, saying he would work with advocates, but had to keep all areas of the state in mind, with some parts being “more liberal than others.” Illinois is one of five states that allow same-sex civil unions.

Special (food) delivery!

Tomorrow, letter carriers around the nation hope to find they’re carrying more at the end of the day than they started with. It’s the National Association of Letter Carriers’ 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. You can donate to the cause by leaving non-perishable food (including pet food!) by your mailbox Saturday, May 12th… before your letter carrier gets there!

Morrisseys celebrate Mother’s Day at home with new baby

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey, his wife Stacy, and their three children get to welcome home the newest member of their family this Mother’s Day weekend. The mayor’s office announced this afternoon that newborn Alden James Morrissey is home from the hospital. Alden was born Monday, but was in intensive care because of an unspecified health complication. 

Regional school Superintendents

A plan to reduce the state's number of regional school superintendents from 44 to 35 has cleared the Illinois Senate.

The State Journal Register reports that Senate Bill 2706 incorporates the recommendations of a commission that met earlier this year to streamline the regional offices and pay for them offices out of the general revenue fund. The proposal has the backing of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents, which initially favored reducing the number only to 39.

“Because of the current economic condition, the regional superintendents agreed to it,” Bob Daiber, president of association, said of the smaller number."

The measure now heads to the House for consideration.  Governor Pat Quinn zeroed out funding for the superintendents last year. The officials worked for several months without pay, before a temporary funding solution was worked out.

Record corn crop

Consumers could see some relief from higher food prices by late fall, if the latest government crop forecast holds up.  The U.S. Agriculture Department predicted Thursday that corn production will total 14.8 billion bushels, with a record yield of 166 bushels per acre. That compares with 12.4 billion bushels a year ago.

It also increased an estimate for corn stockpiles at the end of this August to 851 million bushels from 801 million bushels, noting that some of this year's crop may be ready for use earlier than normal because of a fast start to the planting season. Corn exports between September and August 2013 were forecast at 1.9 billion bushels. The agency said it expects more demand from China.

The forecast is the first at the beginning of the growing season. Many things could affect the outcome, such as a hot, dry summer.

Rockford grant

The Illinois Environmental Protection agency has awarded a $1 million to the city of of Rockford.  According to this press release, Rockford will use the grant funds to do environmental investigation and cleanup work at three sites:

  • The former Tapco facility
  • A former train depot
  • Former Lorden/ Eclipse site

The state says the overall goal of the grant is to fund cleanup activities to make way for the expansion of Davis Park into the former Tapco site.  The city also wants to build a new train station for the scheduled return of Amtrak service to the region.