Illinois' top speed limit will go up on many highways beginning in January. Governor Pat Quinn has signed a new law increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 m.p.h. Quinn bucked the advice of his Department of Transportation, which opposed the legislation. IDOT says a higher speed limit will raise average speeds leading to more crashes and fatalities. But the measure's sponsor, Rep. Jerry Costello (D_Smithton) says more accidents happen because of vehicles traveling at different speeds ... not because of higher speeds.
Students in Illinois public schools that teach sex education will now be taught about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases _ not just abstinence. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that requires schools to provide the information. It takes effect Jan. 1. Sen. Heather Steans sponsored the bill. The Chicago Democrat says it's intended to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Using a hand-held cell phone while driving in Illinois will be illegal on Jan. 1. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday aimed at reducing distracted driving. It requires motorists to use speaker phones or headsets that allow for one-digit or audio dialing. Illinois joins 11 other states and Washington, D.C. in banning hand-held phone use on the road. Texting while driving is already illegal in Illinois. Sen. John Mulroe -- a Chicago Democrat and sponsor -- says he wants motorists to ``keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.''
Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed a 15-member independent panel including former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate fraud and overhaul Chicago-area public transportation. The move follows allegations of political hiring at Metra and calls for change at its overseeing board, the Regional Transportation Authority. The Chicago Democrat issued an executive order Thursday creating the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force. Quinn previewed the idea last week.
The Director's lawn on the fairgrounds is usually full on Governor's Day, when Democrats traditionally rally; instead it was largely empty on Gov. Pat Quinn's revised version, which featured multiple bands.
Illinois Democrats put on happy faces Wednesday in Springfield for one of the party's biggest annual gatherings. But even as they brushed off suggestions of turmoil and division within their ranks, a prominent member of the party was being sentenced to prison, another didn't show up and there's a battle for the top of the state Democratic ticket.
A state fair is a place for tradition: carnival rides, corn dogs, barnyard animals. And politicians.
The state fair got its start Thursday night with the Twilight parade through the north end of the capital city. It's an annual tradition. But indications are that another tradition -- a Democratic party rally -- will not continue this year.
There were cheerleaders, bands, children scrambling for candy, and of course, a parade of politicians.
The Attorney General, Treasurer, Comptroller, Lieutenant Governor were all there.
First in that line: Governor Pat Quinn and an army of supporters and staffers, wearing his trademark kelly green campaign t-shirts.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's disappointed a judge has delayed ruling on the legislator salary lawsuit. Gov. Pat Quinn used veto powers last month to suspend pay because of inaction on pensions. Then Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, claiming a misuse of power. A Cook County judge will hear arguments Sept. 18, meaning lawmakers could miss another paycheck. Madigan told reporters Wednesday before a closed-door speech that voting to override Quinn is still a possibility. That's according to Chicago's WLS-TV.
Gov. Pat Quinn predicts that a lawsuit over his decision to suspend lawmaker pay for failing to act on the state pension crisis will be a ``landmark'' case. Quinn attended a court hearing Tuesday involving a lawsuit filed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton force Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks. A Cook County Circuit Court judge set oral arguments for Sept. 18.
Attorneys for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton will be in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday to try and force Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue legislators' paychecks.
Last month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks in the state budget. He'd threatened consequences if lawmakers failed to act on addressing the pension problem. When a bipartisan pension failed to meet a deadline, Quinn cut their salaries.
Illinois has a trio of new laws that officials say will make the roads safer. But the governor has yet to act on other measures that could have a significant impact on drivers.
Two of the new laws apply to people who've already had traffic troubles, like one named after 15-year-old Kelsey Little, who was seriously hurt in 2011 when she was hit by a teen just learning how to drive.
Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a measure that makes Illinois the 20th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. But how long until it actually goes into effect? And what sort of restrictions will there be for patients hopeful to gain a prescription to the drug? WUIS's statehouse reporter Brian Mackey recently discussed the news with us:
CHICAGO (AP)- Illinois has become the 20th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law today at a new University of Chicago medical facility.
Illinois' law takes effect Jan. 1, but it'll take several months before medical marijuana will be available for purchase. The measure outlines a four-year pilot program for patients suffering from more than 30 serious illnesses or diseases.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign legislation making the state the 20th in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana.
His remarks Thursday will focus on providing relief to the seriously ill, including veterans.
The Chicago Democrat will also tout the legislation's strict standards, which experts say are among the nation's toughest. That's according to a copy of details obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
A member of the Illinois legislature's special committee on pensions says the group is closing in on a compromise. But it remains to be seen whether the measure will have enough support in the full General Assembly.
The 10-members of the bipartisan conference committee have been meeting for more than a month. A good chunk of that time has been waiting for actuaries to analyze the various proposals — seeing how much of Illinois' nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities might be eliminated.
Gov. Pat Quinn is hinting at the possibility of a special session on pensions when lawmakers are in Springfield next month for the Illinois State Fair. A bipartisan panel is attempting to come up with a solution to the nearly $100 billion crisis after the House and Senate remained deadlocked. However the panel blew past Quinn's deadline on pensions and he halted their pay as a consequence. Quinn told reporters Tuesday that legislators will be in Springfield for the annual days devoted to state political leaders. But he wouldn't specifically sayif that's his plan.
Governor Pat Quinn had harsh criticism for a bipartisan panel of legislators assigned to draft a new plan to reduce the state's pension costs. He wanted legislation passed Tuesday. Lawmakers say they're close, but Quinn is not helping.
Quinn was quick to criticize lawmakers' failure to pass pension legislation in time to meet his July 9 due date.
Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers who didn't send him a pension overhaul bill have let down Illinois taxpayers. The Chicago Democrat set Tuesday as a deadline for a bipartisan pension panel to report back with a plan. That was even as members of the so-called conference committee formed last month called his deadline arbitrary and irresponsible. Quinn says there'll be consequences for lawmakers. He's declined to say exactly what he'd do.
A bipartisan panel finished a third meeting about the state's $97 billion pension crisis as another deadline set by Gov. Pat Quinn is set to lapse without a solution. The group has now asked for reports of the cost-savings of a university-backed retirement funding proposal after meeting Monday in Springfield. Quinn gave the committee a Tuesday deadline to achieve pension reform. Lawmakers moved to form the committee after a compromise couldn't be reached last month.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he's ready for a ``showdown'' in Springfield over concealed carry legislation. The Chicago Democrat has spent days making appearances talking up his sweeping changes to a bill that'd make Illinois the last state to allow concealed weapons. But lawmakers are expected to override Quinn's changes when they meet Tuesday in Springfield. The bill's sponsor, among others, says the original measure came out of months of negotiations. Quinn wouldn't say if he has the votes, but says he's working on it. He says the bill was influenced heavily by the National Rifle Association.
Governor Pat Quinn took his anti-gun message to the streets Friday. He spoke with reporters outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. People come to Wrigleyville to watch the Chicago Cubs. Many of them also come to drink. The neighborhood is home to many bars, and Quinn used that to highlight a change he's demanding in concealed-carry legislation. As originally passed by the House and Senate, guns would only be banned at businesses that get more than half their revenue from selling alcohol -- basically, that means bars.
With a week to go before a deadline requiring Illinois allow people to carry guns in public, Gov. Pat Quinn today vetoed the legislation that would have authorized concealed carry. The Democrat claims he's concerned about public safety, but he's already under fire by critics who say it's a political stunt. The measure's sponsor has already filed paperwork to override Quinn's changes.
Illinois is the only state in the nation without some form of concealed carry.