illinois

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Illinois' state climatologist says late-October rains helped restore soil moisture after three exceptionally dry months.

Climatologist Jim Angel says a near-normal 3 point 2 inches of precipitation fell in October, most of it in the last few days of the month.

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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.

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Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has launched a public database that puts local government financial information and tens of thousands of other records online.

Topinka's office is calling the database "The Warehouse" and says it will include information from  counties, municipalities and special taxing districts across Illinois.

Thousands of disappointed Illinois residents are expected at the state Capitol to rally for same-sex marriage.

Organizers say several thousand people are expected to take part in today's "March on Springfield." The grassroots effort is urging lawmakers to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

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Illinois' treasurer says he's monitoring the debt ceiling showdown in Washington and the impact it could have on the state's finances.

Members of Congress continued late Tuesday to search for deal that would allow raising the country's cap to borrow more money in order to pay its bills.

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The federal government's partial shutdown is worrying some Illinois government workers and retirees involved in a state audit.  Workers in four state health insurance programs need Internal Revenue Service documents to meet a late October deadline proving their dependents should still be eligible for coverage. But the shutdown means the IRS isn’t providing the documentation. 

Illinois military veterans are joining the effort to legalize gay marriage in the state. A group called "Veterans Unite for Marriage" is pressing the Illinois House to OK same-sex marriage during the legislative session that begins later this month.

Federal benefits are available to spouses of gay service members, but only if their marriages are recognized in their home states.

Illinois' legalization of medicinal marijuana takes effect January 1st and sets up a 4-year pilot program for state-run dispensaries and cultivation centers. While Illinois is predicted to enact some of the strictest regulations in the nation, law enforcement officials and prosecutors from neighboring states worry about transport of the drug over state lines. 

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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the state will seek to recover damages from Apple Incorporated after a federal judge found the company violated antitrust laws.  A U.S. District Court judge in New York ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired with book publishers to raise electronic book prices significantly in spring 2010.  Madigan says Apple and the publishers forced book buyers to pay millions more for e-books than they would have otherwise.  She says Illinois will be one of 33 states and territories trying to recover damages in a second trial.

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An Illinois bipartisan panel has finished a third meeting about the state's $97 billion pension crisis as another deadline set by Governor Pat Quinn lapses without a solution.  The group has now asked for reports of the cost-savings of a university-backed retirement funding proposal after meeting Monday. Quinn gave the committee a deadline of today to achieve pension reform.  Lawmakers moved to form the committee after a compromise couldn't be reached last month. 

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