Illinois Legislature

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The Illinois Legislature has wrapped up its official 2013 session after passing historic gay marriage legislation.

But it made little progress on many other high-profile issues.

Lawmakers have yet to solve the state's $100 billion dollar pension crisis. They haven't raised the minimum wage, enacted an assault weapons ban or approved additional ethics reforms.

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says his state is an example for the nation after the House approved legislation allowing same-sex marriage in the state.

The Democrat says he'll sign the bill when it gets to his desk.

He says Illinois is on the right side of history and took a stand for equal rights. The House approved the measure 61-54 Tuesday.

Quinn watched the floor debate which lasted more than two hours.

Illinois lawmakers are convening in Springfield for the final three days of their annual fall session.

The action kicks off with hearings today on corporate tax incentives and stricter gun penalties in the Illinois House. Same-sex marriage legislation could also come up for a vote in the coming days.

A coalition of clergy members and faith leaders has sent a letter to Illinois House members encouraging them to support gay marriage.

The letter has more than 300 signatures. It says allowing same-sex couples to marry is "morally just."

The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield this week and supporters of gay marriage hope the House will take up the bill, which passed in the Illinois Senate on Valentine's Day.

Two Illinois state senators say they want "partisan bickering" over the state's budget to be put aside.

Democrat Dan Kotowski and Republican Pam Althoff are holding a news conference today in Chicago to announce the findings of a study on what Illinois taxpayers' want.


Illinois lawmakers have re-opened talks on a bill to expand gambling, but many of the concerns from earlier proposals remain. The House Executive Committee held a hearing yesterday on a measure to add five casinos and allow slot machines at major airports.

Illinois lawmakers are returning to the state capitol for a second day of their annual fall veto session. After getting off to a sputtering start, today’s schedule is expected to include a hearing on gambling and requests by state agencies looking for additional money.

Horsemen and officials from the Illinois racetracks want lawmakers to legalize online betting.

Illinois lawmakers reconvene Tuesday to address pressing issues such as pension reform and same-sex marriage but those issues could be pushed off again because of a looming deadline for opponents to challenge sitting lawmakers in 2014.

United States Senate office of Sen. Barack Obama / wikimedia commons

From NPR: Winning matters. Having earned a second term, President Obama will attempt to build on and expand the agenda from his first, launching new initiatives on tax policy, education and immigration. But having won the popular vote by a bare majority — and still facing a divided Congress — Obama may find it difficult to gather momentum for his policies.

Plan ending free IL retiree health insurance goes to Quinn

May 11, 2012

Longtime Illinois state employees could be on the verge of losing the free health insurance they get in retirement.  The state Senate approved legislation ending the benefit yesterday. It now goes to Governor Pat Quinn, who is pushing to cut retirement benefits.