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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a series of measures that would ban semi-automatic assault weapons in Illinois.

One amendment approved yesterday would make it a felony for anyone to possess a military-style assault weapon or to have large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo says civilians shouldn't have these guns because they're made for "mass destruction."

The debate was part of a procedure House Speaker Michael Madigan set up to allow open discussion of contentious issues. The first was last week and he followed that one with another on pensions.

The amendments were approved with Democratic votes only.

Republicans refused to cast votes. GOP Rep. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst says Madigan's procedure puts politics before public safety.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 02:51
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to call today for additional cuts and more scrutiny of money that's automatically sent to local governments, public transportation and other programs as he presents his proposed budget.

The Chicago Democrat will propose slashing $400 million from education in the fiscal year that starts July 1. It also will pin the blame for the cuts on lawmakers' failure to fix the state's worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

The automatic fund transfers include more than $2 billion in spending that Quinn's aides describe as "on autopilot." The amount those programs receive is set in state statute. Trying to cut it is likely to cause a contentious debate.

Quinn's proposed budget also attempts to pay down $2 billion in unpaid bills.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 02:47
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St. Louis Aldermanic President Lewis Reed may be down, but he's not out. Although Reed lost the Democratic mayoral primary to three-time incumbent Mayor Francis Slay on Tuesday, he says it's still critical to focus on the city's future.

Reed says he's ready to get back to the work of moving the city forward and adds, don't count him out in four years.

"I can say absolutely, I want to run for Mayor, I think it's an important seat," Reed said. "If you take a look at the things that are plaguing us as a city that's the seat where you really truly have an opportunity to change the quality of life of people across the city."

Mayor Slay, meanwhile, will face Green Party candidate James McNeely in the general election on April 2nd. Slay is expected to win an historic fourth term.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 01:42
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Laurence Bowers had 24 points and 11 rebounds in his final home game, contributing to a rough evening for old coach Mike Anderson's first appearance as a visitor and helping Missouri finish unbeaten at home with a 93-63 rout over Arkansas on Tuesday night.

Fellow senior Jabari Brown helped finish off the Razorbacks early with 13 of his 23 points in a dominant first half with the Tigers (22-8-11-6 SEC) leading 48-22. The third senior, Alex Oriakhi, had 10 points and eight rebounds and topped 1,000 career rebounds.

BJ Young had 27 points for Arkansas (18-12, 9-8), which shot just 31 percent in the first half while going 1 for 15 from 3-point range. The Razorbacks surrendered a season high in points.

Missouri finished 17-0 at home for its second unbeaten slate in five years. The Tigers shot 58 percent in the first half and 57 percent the rest of the way.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 00:45
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