Illinois

Jennifer Brdlik

Democratic State Representative Kelly Cassidy and Senator Heather Steans are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana.

Their measures would allow people 21 and older to possess up to 28 grams. It would also let facilities sell pot products.

Illinois currently allows medicinal uses of the drug for certain approved conditions.

Representative Cassidy says the state could rake in as much as $700 million a year from the sale of recreational marijuana; she says it’s critical to help chip away at Illinois’ massive budget deficit.

"Blake Wilbur Building - Stanford Hospital & Clinics" by Flickr User Jennifer Morrow / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Supreme Court has vacated a lower court's ruling that found unconstitutional a state law allowing not-for-profit hospitals to avoid paying property taxes in certain cases.

The court decided unanimously Thursday to vacate a ruling last year by the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court because it lacked jurisdiction and remanded the case involving an Urbana hospital to the trial court for reconsideration.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Dozens of crosses line sidewalks near the MLK Commons. Each is adorned by a red heart, and the victim’s name and age.

A number on each cross represents a murder in Chicago this year.

Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Aurora, says he plans to build a cross for each victim. He takes them to different locations, like Englewood in Chicago.

For NIU students like Matthew Moore, the collection is eye-opening. He says the community needs to work together to stop the line of crosses from growing longer.

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Two state workers who joined Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's lawsuit arguing labor unions shouldn't be allowed to collect fees from non-members say they're appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling Tuesday that allowed unions to collect the ``fair share'' fees from workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.

The U.S. Supreme Court has previously found the fees constitutional. The justices split 4-4 on another case challenging the fees last year.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse

Barack Obama's name is revered in his home state. But the Illinois House has rejected making his birthday a state holiday.

Legislation to make the 44th president's Aug. 4th birthday a state holiday fell six votes short Tuesday. Chicago Democratic Rep. Sonya Harper says it would honor a man who adopted Chicago as his home and served in the Illinois State Senate.

But Rep. Steven Andersson of Geneva suggested it be honorary. The Republican floor leader says even Obama wouldn't want the cash-strapped state to give state workers another paid day off.  

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