Illinois House

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Illinois lawmakers have approved a new version of a plan to keep emergency 911 call centers funded past June 30.

The plan will increase phone fees to pay for emergency services and allow Illinois to drop traditional landline service.

The original measure sponsored by Harrisburg Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps would increase the telephone surcharge for emergency services. It would go to $5 from $3.90 in Chicago and from 87 cents to $1.50 in the rest of the state. 

Rauner called those hikes "unacceptable.'' 

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One of the top  Democrats in the Illinois House is resigning. Democratic Representative Elaine Nekritz is stepping down after nearly 15 years in the General Assembly.

She’s helped pass major legislation on state pensions and criminal justice — and has a record of working to find bipartisan support for legislation.

M. Spencer Green/AP

Tougher sentences for repeat gun offenders passed the Illinois House by a 70-41 vote Monday.

The bill says if you're convicted of a gun crime more than once, then you face up to 14 years in prison.

The measure, intended to help curb violence in Chicago, won approval after a contentious two-hour debate.

Illinois House lawmakers voted to update state birth certificate laws for transgender residents.  

Current law allows a transgender person to change the official record of gender designation, but only after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery. However, Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago notes the law should reflect modern medical standards, which don't require the operation. 

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A measure to mandate state licensing of Illinois gun shops is advancing in Springfield. Gun dealers already are licensed by the federal government.

The bill passed a House committee mostly along party lines. The National Rifle Association argues this bill would impose added fees on the shops that sell guns in the state. 

"Despite what people have said, this is about running people out of business," lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said. "They expect to see smaller dealers go out and not want to contend with this."

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