Illinois lawmakers

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The head of the Colorado Department of Revenue has spoken to a panel of Illinois lawmakers considering a proposal to legalize marijuana in the state.

Barbara Brohl, the department executive director, told Illinois lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday that she believes the legal market for marijuana is eating into the black market, funding drug abuse treatment and prevention, and providing a safer product, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Partisan gridlock has caused Illinois to run without a full budget for more than a year-and-a-half. But there's one area Democrats and Republicans are working together.

It's one of the rare bright spots in Springfield: Members of both parties have been coming together to improve the criminal justice system.

"I think that's right. In fact, in the bill that you just called me about -- there was very strong bipartisan support."

Representative Barbara Flynn Currie is majority leader in the Illinois House. The "bill" she referred to is now a law.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Anxious legislators will once again see a deposit from the state of Illinois in their bank accounts. They’re getting paid tomorrow.

Illinois doesn’t have enough money in the bank to pay all of its own bills. As a result, the comptroller’s office is way behind paying businesses contracted to do work for the state.

The backlog of overdue bills is approaching $8 billion. A lot of money, to be sure.

But what does that even mean?

Maybe the best way to measure it: How often legislators themselves are getting paid.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan promised to call lawmakers into session weekly, but he canceled a planned session scheduled for today. He's already canceled several of these meetings.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner openly berated Madigan for his decision. But Madigan says bipartisan "working groups" are making progress on the budget.

Lawmakers have different approaches to finding a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. 

Rockford-area Rep. Litesa Wallace, a  Democrat, says there’s no reason to call lawmakers back into session.

Brian Mackey

Illinois legislators took time during session today to honor troops killed in war.

Senator Mike Hastings is a Democrat from Tinley Park, and also a combat veteran.

He says Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen.

"But I also think that it's a day to remember what you learned from their lives. And it's an obligation amongst yourselves to share their memories, to ensure that they're not forgotten," Hastings said.

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