Prison closures, layoffs and cutbacks to health care for the poor are part of the budget proposal Gov. Pat Quinn released Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Hultgren Supports McConnaughay
Randy Hultgren, Republican congressman from the 14th District, which includes the far western suburbs, has endorsed Karen McConnaughay, who is seeking the Republican nomination in the 33rd State Senate District race, reported.
Durbin a Co-chair of Obama’s Re-election Effort
U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin is one of 35 national co-chairs named to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, according to the Washington Post. Obama’s co-chairs include elected officials, campaign volunteers and a few celebrities.
Quinn Says He is Not Sure About Supporting Same-Sex Marriages
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he doesn't know if he would support legislation that would give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, The Associated Press reported.
The Democrat supports same-sex civil unions, which became legal in Illinois last summer. However, he told AP he wants to study issues surrounding same-sex marriage before he makes a decision.
The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act was introduced in the Illinois House earlier this month. It would eliminate the part of state law that prohibits gay marriages and offer same-sex couples the rights currently available exclusively to heterosexual couples.
The measure also says religious groups will be free to decide which marriages they will perform.
Quinn has been criticized by state religious leaders for the civil unions law and his pro-choice stance. He would also have to fight social conservative groups if he came out in support of the equal marriage measure.
Bill Would Put 'Sin Tax' on Ammo
An Illinois lawmaker wants gun owners to shell out extra taxes in order to finance a new grant program for trauma centers, a move firearms advocacy groups say amounts to a "sin tax" on law-abiding hunters and target shooters, FoxNews reported.
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, in a bill introduced earlier this month, proposed a 2 percent surtax on ammunition. The proceeds would go toward a "high-crime trauma center grant fund," which would then send the tax money to trauma centers in "high-crime areas."
The Illinois Rifle Association opposes the bill.
Abortion Rights Group Wants PAC Limit Lifted
The Chicago Tribune’s Clout Street reported that an abortion rights group filed a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down a portion of the state’s campaign finance law that limits how much donors can give to political action committees.
Personal PAC argues that the limits are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court case that found expenditures independent of political candidates can’t be regulated.
The group is seeking an immediate and permanent injunction to do away with the limits, which were put in place along with Illinois first-ever limits on campaign contributions following the ouster of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Terry Cosgrove, president and CEO of Personal PAC, said the $10,000 donation limit has meant the organization has lost out on more than $100,000 in donations it would use to support candidates who support abortion rights in Illinois.