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During his verbal sparring with Texas governor Rick Perry, Missouri  Governor Nixon said states shouldn't be poaching business from each other, but should be looking to foreign markets to bolster their economies. It appears his Illinois colleague would agree.

Governor Pat Quinn has released some figures about the Illinois economy during his trip to Japan. Quinn's office says more than 2,000 foreign-owned businesses employ more than 350,000 people in Illinois. State officials say Japan and the United Kingdom are the top contributors. That number has gone up about 70 thousand positions since 2009.  

Quinn has been in Japan since Friday with his trip scheduled to end Tuesday.

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials are urging residents to make plans for disasters as Gov. Pat Quinn has declared September "Emergency Preparedness Month."

   Authorities will work with other states and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to encourage individual plans for homes and businesses.

   Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monkenb says a plan should include where to go and how to communicate during disasters as well as an emergency supply kit.

   IEMA relies on its Ready Illinois website during disasters. Updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter. Information is provided about the incident, shelter locations, road closures, safety information and more.

   The agency will host its annual emergency management conference Wednesday through Friday in Springfield for more than 1,000 representatives from fire, law enforcement, emergency management and public health.

 

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois will regulate the use of drones by law enforcement under a bill signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn.

   The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday. Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says the governor signed the law to protect people's right to privacy.

   Drones are sophisticated, unmanned aircraft that authorities are considering for aerial surveillance. The law requires authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information.

   Bill sponsor Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss has said the law helps maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy.  The American Civil Liberties Union praises the new law as appropriate and reasonable.

   The legislation outlines a few exceptions, including when the Department of Homeland Security decides surveillance is needed to prevent a terrorist attack.

 
Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the outline of a pension reform proposal from a bipartisan panel is "positive indeed."

However, the Chicago Democrat was less clear about whether he's fully behind it or not, saying he wants to see final details.

He told reporters Sunday after an unrelated event that the panel tasked with coming up with a way to address the state's nearly $100 billion pension problem has made progress.

Pensions have been Quinn's top issue. He recently halted lawmakers' pay after lawmakers missed another one of his deadlines to solve the issue.

The pension committee is considering a plan that would, among other things, end automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases for retirees. Increases would instead be linked to the rate of inflation.

Committee members say the details are preliminary.

 

Published in Local News

Drivers will soon be able to speed up a bit on some highways. ]

Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that raises the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 miles an hour. The new law takes effect on January 1 and raises the limit from 65 miles an hour. Illinois joins 36 other states that have at least some parts of highways with speed limits of at least 70.

The bill also lowers the limit for excessive speeding by 5 miles per hour. The more severe penalty now kicks in when drivers exceed the speed limit by 26 mph. The measure was opposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation and State Police.

 

Published in Local News
Monday, 19 August 2013 02:03

Gov. signs in tougher new IL gun laws

   CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois gun owners who fail to report the theft or loss of a weapon will face tougher restrictions under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

   The law beefs up background checks and requires firearm thefts or losses to be reported within 72 hours.

   Quinn signed the bill Sunday at a South Side Chicago park where police officer was fatally shot in 2010. The Chicago Democrat says the restrictions are common sense and will help crack down on crime.

   Democrats State Sen. Kwame Raoul and state Rep. Mike Zalewski sponsored the bill.  It's also supported by Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy.

   The requirement to report thefts goes into effect immediately. The background check changes start next year.

 

 
Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that bans tanning in Illinois for anyone under age 18.

Quinn signed the measure on Thursday, saying he wants to spare families "serious and preventable" health problems.

Its supporters include 51-year-old Donna Moncivaiz of Beach Park. Moncivaiz is a former tanner who suffers from late-stage melanoma. She testified at a Senate committee hearing in support of the ban. Her daughter had an early-stage melanoma removed from her hip.

Tanning industry advocates say a ban is bad for small businesses. They say parents, not the government, should decide if children can use tanning equipment.

The American Academy of Dermatology says about 8 percent of those who tan indoors in the U.S. every year are teens.

Chicago and Springfield already ban teen tanning.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 15 August 2013 14:16

Gov. Quinn signs electronic cigarette bill

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in Illinois by anyone under age 18.

Quinn signed the measure on Thursday. The new law applies to electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products. Electronic cigarettes don't contain tobacco, but do contain nicotine which is the addictive substance that makes smoking difficult to quit.

State Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago is the bill sponsor. He says governments ban minors from buying other forms of nicotine and electronic cigarettes should be no exception. Mulroe says the new law helps the government "keep up with the advancements" in the ways nicotine is being sold.

The law takes effect Jan. 1.

 

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has until Saturday to act on legislation that would ban indoor tanning in Illinois for anyone younger than age 18.

   The General Assembly sent Quinn the legislation in June. Its supporters include 51 year old Donna Moncivaiz of Beach Park. Moncivaiz is a former tanner who suffers from late-stage melanoma. She testified at a Senate committee hearing in support of the ban. Her daughter had an early-stage melanoma removed from her hip.

   Tanning industry advocates say a ban is bad for small businesses. They say parents, not the government, should decide if children can use tanning equipment.

   The American Academy of Dermatology says about 8 percent of those who tan indoors in the U.S. every year are teens.

   Chicago and Springfield already ban teen tanning.

 
Published in Health & Fitness

CHICAGO (AP) - Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan are trying to speed up the resolution of a lawsuit they filed against Gov. Pat Quinn over his decision to cut lawmakers' pay.

A spokeswoman for Cullerton says the two leaders are asking a Cook County Circuit judge to rule on the merits of the case following Sept. 18 oral arguments, rather than just on a motion for a preliminary injunction.

Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislative salaries from the state budget as a consequence for lawmakers' failure to address Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

Madigan and Cullerton say the line-item veto is unconstitutional and violates the separation of powers.

Lawmakers, who already missed their August paycheck, would miss another one before the motion would be decided.

 

Published in Local News

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