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Illinois Politics

Pritzker begins planning for inaugural weekend, swearing-in

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is starting to plan his inaugural festivities. Pritzker and Lt. Gov.-elect Juliana Stratton announced Tuesday they’ve formed an inaugural committee that will plan events surrounding their Jan. 14 swearing-in ceremony. Events will begin Jan. 12-13. A schedule and ticket information will be available on the committee’s website .…

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New Democratic governors show shift on US charter schools

by SALLY HO, Associated Press Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was not on the ballot in the Michigan governor’s race, but her legacy loomed over the campaign in her home state, which has the country’s highest concentration of for-profit charter schools. Republican Bill Schuette, a DeVos ally and the state’s attorney general, ultimately lost to Gretchen Whitmer,…

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House passes bill to name post office after Normal solider

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Legislation to rename a post office in the central Illinois community of Normal in honor of a local man killed in Afghanistan while serving in the Army has moved to the U.S. Senate after passing in the House of Representatives. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports that if the measure that was introduced…

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Environmentalists: Coal plant waste puts water at risk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Several environmental groups say coal ash dump sites at power plants across Illinois have contaminated the water sources of nearby communities. The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club released Wednesday indicates toxic pollutants emanate from 22 of 24 coal ash dump sites. The…

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Illinois House expunges lawmaker’s tainted water threat

by JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House took the rare step Wednesday of erasing from its record a Democratic legislator’s remark suggesting she’d like to infect the water supply of a GOP colleague’s loved ones with “a broth of Legionella.” Rep. Stephanie Kifowit apologized for the indelicate comment she made…

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Under-21 tobacco ban fails to become law in Illinois

by JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers failed Wednesday to reverse Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that banned the sale of tobacco to those younger than 21. The House voted 62-45 to overturn the “Tobacco 21” veto, but it needed a three-fifths majority of 71 votes to become law.…

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Activist voices opposition to legal Illinois marijuana sales

CHICAGO (AP) — An opponent to legal marijuana in Illinois says it will allow white corporate exploitation of minority customers. Chicago activist the Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston on Wednesday called the effort to take over a lucrative illegal market “a gangsta move worthy of Al Capone.” He added “profit is the motive,” in legalizing the…

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Fall session wraps up, Democrats anticipate Capitol control

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois General Assembly has ended its fall session as Democrats anticipate complete control of the state Capitol in January. The Senate canceled its session Thursday. The House took limited action and bid farewell to outgoing members. The 100th General Assembly will reconvene on Jan. 7 and 8, 2019, before the…

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Illinois governor puts pressure on Airbnb West Bank decision

by JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner attempted Thursday to pressure Airbnb into reversing its ban on lodging listings in the disputed West Bank, calling for an investigation into whether the company is violating Illinois laws prohibiting backlash against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The Republican governor released a letter to…

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Search warrants served at Chicago alderman’s office

by MICHAEL TARM, AP Legal Affairs Writer CHICAGO (AP) — Federal agents executed search warrants at the City Hall office of a powerful Chicago alderman on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation, the Chicago Tribune reported. An unidentified law enforcement source told the Chicago Tribune agents arrived at Ed Burke’s aldermanic office Thursday morning, told…

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Bipartisan Sponsors of SB 2641 Defend Consumers, Push to Override Governor’s Amendatory Veto 

A coalition of bipartisan lawmakers, Illinois car rental operators, consumer advocates and the Illinois Municipal League called on the General Assembly to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of legislation to extend common sense regulations to peer-to-peer car rental companies. Sponsored by Sen. Antonio Muñoz, Rep. Arthur Turner, and Rep. Grant Wehrli, SB 2641 would…

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The Latest: Senate fails on withdrawal from Crosscheck

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on the Illinois General Assembly’s fall session (all times local): The Senate has failed to overturn a veto on legislation that would withdraw Illinois from contentious multistate voter registration system. The vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto was 35-21 Wednesday. An override requires 36 votes. Chicago Democratic Sen.…

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Senate OKs Coast Guard bill with ballast water compromise

by JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Senate approved a compromise policy Wednesday on dumping ship ballast water in coastal ports and the Great Lakes, a practice blamed for spreading invasive species that damage the environment and the economy. The plan, part of a $10.6 billion Coast Guard budget authorization…

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Senate overrides Rauner veto on immigrant crime-victim visas

by JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate on Wednesday rejected Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation designed to ensure immigrant crime victims who cooperate with police get the assistance they need to stay in the country. The 40-12 vote to override the Republican’s veto came just a week after the…

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Democratic state gains may mean tighter gun, looser pot laws

by DAVID A. LIEB and GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press From New York to New Mexico, residents in a number of states can expect a leftward push for expanded health care coverage, gun control, education funding and legalized recreational marijuana as Democrats who gained new or stronger powers in the midterm elections seek to put their stamp…

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Pritzker name advisers who will look into Illinois’ finances

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker on Thursday named labor leaders, a former Republican lawmaker and allies of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to a team looking into Illinois’ troubled finances. The Democrat will be sworn in Jan. 14, and within weeks of taking office will have to deliver a budget proposal to the…

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