Illinois

About a dozen Illinois newspapers are using their front pages to send a blunt message to the state's political leaders to end the state's year-old budget stalemate.

Newspapers in Springfield, Chicago, Peoria and elsewhere published the simultaneous editorials Wednesday as lawmakers return to the Capitol to debate budget proposals.

The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale directed Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders to "Do Your Job." Others joined with similar editorials on their opinion pages.

"Cigarette" By Flickr User Conan / (CC BY 2.0)

The minimum age in Chicago for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products goes up to 21 at the end of the week.

    

The city on Friday joins about 170 local jurisdictions around the country that have made the change, including New York City and Boston. Health advocates have pushed the policy to discourage teenagers from starting a harmful habit.

Hawaii and California have raised the tobacco purchase age to 21 statewide.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a similar measure.

Judge Orders Illinois To Add PTSD To Medical Marijuana List

Jun 29, 2016

A Cook County judge has ordered Illinois to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment in a case filed by a military veteran.

Judge Neil Cohen on Tuesday ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days.

The sternly worded ruling says Director Nirav Shah "engaged in a private investigation, hidden from public view" that was "constitutionally inappropriate."

Village of Rockton, Illinois

Plans for Rockton Rock Quarry building an asphalt plant were withdrawn officially Monday.

The quarry pulled its request due to financial and residential concerns. That’s according to Rockton village officials, who also say there will be no further review of the plan.

“It doesn’t affect the village financially; there’s no loss of income for this,” Tricia Diduch, the Planning and Development Administrator for Rockton, said.

Diduch says there would’ve been tax increases for the project, but no figure was ever provided.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner says the Illinois medical marijuana program's director has resigned.

Spokeswoman Catherine Kelly tells The Associated Press the administration has accepted the resignation of Joseph Wright, who was in the position for just over one year. She says the governor's office "will have no further comment."

Wright will be replaced by Jack Campbell, the program's bureau chief in the Department of Agriculture.

Where Does Illinois Rank For A Hot Summer Destination?

Jun 27, 2016
"Welcome to Illinois, U.S. 36..." By Flickr User Ken Lund / (CC X 2.0)

A recent study by WalletHub says Illinois is the 16th best state for a summer road trip.

The study compared three categories: driving and lodging costs, road conditions and safety, and fun and scenic attractions.  

There were seven metrics measured within each category. They include violent crime rates per 1,000 residents and the number of scenic byways. 

Illinois' best rating was number six for its road conditions and safety. Wisconsin came in at 13 for this category.

illinoisstate.edu

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against three retired central Illinois police officers by a man wrongfully convicted of a 1993 murder.

Douglas County Judge Richard Broch Jr. on Friday dismissed the lawsuit filed by Alan Beaman seeking $50,000 from retired Normal officers Tim Freesmeyer, Dave Warner and Frank Zayas and the city of Normal.

Beaman served 13 years in prison in the death of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller before DNA evidence pointed to other suspects.

The Illinois Supreme Court vacated his conviction in 2009.

www.cyberdriveillinois.com

The Illinois Secretary of State's decision not to send license plate renewal reminders has earned the state more than twice the amount of late fees so far this year compared to last year.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that so far this year the state has collected $9.5 million in late license plate fees, compared with $4.3 million during the same period last year.

Illinois Secretary of State's spokesman Dave Druker says there have been about 476,550 late fees collected so far this year compared with about 214,500 during the same time last year.

State of Illinois

Illinois legislators who have been working privately for the past month to craft a temporary budget have one drafted, but that doesn't make it a done deal.

Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield Wednesday. That’s only two days before the new fiscal year begins and the end of a full year of the state having no budget.

The strain of going nearly a year without a budget coupled with doubt that a full deal can be reached  in the near future have made a stopgap budget the priority.

Northern Illinois University

Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial remarks could affect the Illinois U.S. Senate race, according to one expert.

Northern Illinois University political scientist Matt Streb says he can’t remember a time when candidates distanced themselves from their party’s nominee. He says this is affecting the race between incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.

Pages