Voters in several counties in northern Illinois will decide various referenda on Tuesday in addition to selecting candidates for county, state and federal offices. McHenry County heads the list with seven propositions on the county ballot. Several propositions seek authority to negotiate for electricity rates for residential and small commercial retail customers. Another question in at least two counties is whether a one-percent sales tax should be imposed to benefit school facilities.
Same-sex couples in DeKalb County don't have to wait until June 1st to get a marriage license. That was the decision approved by a judge today, and means couples can begin applying for licenses immediately.
Northern Illinois counties are not so eager to follow the recent proposition set forth by State Attorney General Lisa Madigan that would allow counties outside of Cook County to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the effective date of June 1, 2014.
Madigan expressed her opinion following the Cook County federal court ruling of Lee vs. Orr. The court ruled that denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple facing terminal illness would be a violation of human rights and was deemed unconstitutional.
Saying that a Texas law barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and demeans the dignity of homosexuals, a federal judge struck down the law Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia doesn't mean gay marriages can be held in Texas, however; he placed a stay on the decision, anticipating an appeal by the state.
The issue is widely expected to be settled eventually by the U.S. Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress has easily passed a $1.1 trillion bill easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic spending cuts after tea party critics chastened by the government shutdown in October mounted only a faint protest. The sweeping 72-26 Senate vote to fund the government through September sends the bill to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature before a midnight Saturday deadline.
The state of Illinois has taken another step toward regulating who may get a concealed-carry permit. The Department of Human Services has created an on-line database for mental health professionals to report people who pose a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others.