Communities in Illinois are adopting their own penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana now that state law has eliminated the possibility of jail time.

The Tribune-Star reports that the law passed last year provides that people caught with 10 grams or less of the drug be issued citations carrying a fine of $100 to $200. Possession of such an amount was previously a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,500.

The new legislation allows local governments to set their own standards concerning the amount of marijuana and fines.

Steve Johnson / Flickr/Creative Commons

Illinois elementary schools and daycares would have to test drinking water for lead and notify parents of the results under newly-filed legislation.

The plan was introduced Monday in the final days of the current legislative session. The proposal applies to all public and private schools built before 2000 with students through grade 5.

Illinois has roughly 2,500 elementary schools. Many including over 300 in Chicago have already tested. The proposal also covers licensed daycare centers.

Environmental experts estimate it'll cost between $500 and $5,000 per facility.

Officials say a brawl at the Cook County Jail left five inmates hospitalized with injuries that were apparently inflicted by makeshift weapons.

Jail spokeswoman Cara Smith says Friday's brawl in the jail's Super Maximum security division was quickly brought under control.

The five injured inmates were in serious to critical condition at two local hospitals. But Smith tells the Chicago Tribune that none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

The state’s ongoing budget impasse has hit community colleges particularly hard, with funds to these schools and the students who attend them drastically reduced.


The Illinois Community College Board is distributing $3 million dollars in emergency aid, divided among seven campuses.


Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

A new law designed to relieve the statewide shortage of teachers and substitute teachers was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner today.

State Senator Dave Luechtefeld, a Republican, taught history and government at Okawville High School for more than 30 years, so it’s hard to argue with him about what it takes to be an educator.

That’s probably why the bill he sponsored passed unanimously in both chambers of the Illinois legislature. It lowers the fee for a substitute teaching license, and smooths the way for retired teachers to work as subs.