Illinois House

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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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Illinois House Democrats passed legislation Wednesday that would compel state agencies to buy more American-made products.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said the proposal he sponsored aligns with President Donald Trump’s focus on American manufacturing.

“I could just reference your president’s executive order regarding ‘Buy American,’ " he said. "This is saying our state taxpayer dollars should put our people to work and we should use the buying power of our state to create jobs and economic opportunity.”

Women from across Illinois are expected in Springfield today for a march and rally at the Statehouse.

The event is drawing a long list of Democratic officials and activists. Senate President John Cullerton and other state politicians will be joined by three gubernatorial candidates and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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The Illinois House approved a bill that would let hunters use crossbows during archery season. 

Sponsor Jerry Costello says the weapon is more humane than a longbow.  

"Many times, people who use a longbow don't practice enough and they end up wounding a lot more animals," he says. "A crossbow is typically more accurate.  It has the action of a gun, it has a scope and a trigger.  In my opinion, it's a more ethical harvesting of game."

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Two bills meant to expand internet privacy rights cleared procedural hurdles in the Illinois House.  

Chicago Democratic Rep. Art Turner Jr., says he wants to make it easier to find out what kind of information companies collect. He says that’s particularly important since President Trump and Republicans in Congress are scaling back federal protections.

“Illinois is in a unique position now to provide privacy rights and that protection for consumers here," Turner says.

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