Government

Government and Legislature

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It’s a big week for development in Rockford, and Mayor Larry Morrissey was happy to highlight that during his State of the City address. 

Amtrak P42 by JPMueller99 / Creative Commons

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to “make a major announcement” in Rockford this afternoon about rail service. He’s scheduled to speak at an intersection along South Main Street, an area often talked about as a site for passenger rail. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Members of the group Transform Rockford warned it wasn’t going to be a quick and easy process. After months of community meetings, volunteers will start assembling a draft vision for the city tonight. 

  Hunters and trappers could harvest bobcats, under a measure that got approval from the Illinois House.

Hunting bobcats has been illegal in Illinois for decades.

But now that Department of Natural Resources numbers show the population growing, especially in southern and western parts of the state, Rep. Wayne Rosenthal wants that ban lifted.

His plan passed the House 91 to 20. Rosenthal, a Republican from Morrisonville, says his critics ask:

Yes For Independent Maps / independentmaps.org

A non-partisan group looking to overhaul the future of politics in Illinois is picking up the pace of its campaign.  “Yes for Independent Maps” is coordinating an effort to amend the Illinois constitution: it would take the power of drawing state legislative boundaries away from lawmakers and put it in the hands of an independent panel.  

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.

McHenry County

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

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.

No Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Yet in Northern Illinois

Mar 10, 2014

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.

Illinois State Police / www.isp.state.il.us

Illinois gun owners can soon carry their weapons in public.  Illinois State Police officials say they are mailing out the first concealed carry permits to gun owners who applied.

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.

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