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It’s not going to be the end of the world

Friday, Feb 22, 2013

* My Sun-Times column

For well over 30 years, whenever the subject of gay rights came up in the Illinois General Assembly, legislators ran away in droves.

The excuses were always the same.

Homosexuality is immoral, so religious businesses owners shouldn’t have to hire a gay person, or serve a lesbian in his restaurant, or sell one of “those people” a home. The state shouldn’t “condone” this immoral act by passing such a law.

Besides, they said, Illinois just wasn’t ready to provide the same protection for gays as everybody else.

It’s been a long road.

Way back in 1819, a year after Illinois became a state, a law was passed setting the criminal penalty for sodomy between two males at 1 to 5 years in prison, plus 100 to 500 lashes with a whip and a fine of up to $500.

In 1845, the state kind of evolved a little and removed the flogging and the fine. But the Legislature also increased the prison term to one year to life.

Yes, life.

That penalty was “softened” in 1874 to 10 years maximum behind bars, with no minimum imprisonment specified.

In 1919, a minimum of one year in prison was added to the penalty, where it remained in the statute books until 1961, when Illinois finally repealed its sodomy laws, the first state in the union to do so.

And the world did not end.

The issue of gay rights didn’t surface in the General Assembly until the late 1970s. But no gay-rights bill ever received more than 15 percent of the vote in the Illinois Legislature until 1991, when 40 House members and 21 senators voted for a bill. That was far short of the 60 and 30 needed to pass both chambers, but times were starting to change.

By 1998, things had progressed so far that Republican gubernatorial candidate George Ryan won some liberal Chicago wards because his Democratic opponent Glenn Poshard opposed gay rights.

Even so, no gay-rights bill ever made it to Ryan’s desk.

Conservative Republicans controlled the state Senate and the bill went nowhere. They did pass a bill protecting motorcyclists against discrimination, which Ryan used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite into a gay-rights bill. His proposal died.

When the Democrats won control of the Senate in the 2002 election, gay-rights proponents thought their path to victory looked clear. But it took more than two years before the Senate went along with the House and approved a gay-rights bill.

And the world did not end.

Not only that, but not a single legislator lost a re-election campaign based on a vote for that gay-rights bill.

Six years later came the civil unions bill.

Oh, how our world would surely crash if gays were allowed to legally consummate their relationships, we were told.

The bill passed in January of 2011 and was signed into law. No legislator who voted for civil unions lost in the next election.

The only serious consequence of the civil unions law was that the state stopped giving Catholic Charities’ adoption program any taxpayer funds after the group refused to place children in the homes of gay civil union couples. Otherwise, the world kept spinning.

Now, it’s gay marriage. And the gnashing of teeth and predictions of imminent demise are all around us.

The Senate passed the bill with one Republican vote. The House will likely pass it this spring sometime.

And the world will not end.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


46 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    Nice bit of Illinois legal history in this article.

    It’s great that Illinois is moving to legalize gay marriage. In the way that Indiana and other states tried to poach Illinois jobs, Illinois should promote itself as a socially tolerant state. Indiana just passed a bill out of committee to force women who want to take an abortion-inducing drug to get ultrasounds before and after taking the drug. To remove any doubt that they are the party of smaller government, Wisconsin Republicans are considering an abortion ultrasound bill called “Women’s Right to Know Her Unborn Child Act.”


  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Great review, Rich. I’d forgotten about Ryan’s move, too.


  3. - Backwards - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:17 am:

    So it’s all ok, as long as the State only assaults the Religious Freedom of those dreadful Catholics (and Lutherans and Orthodox and Jews and Evangelicals)?


  4. - Lil Squeezy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:19 am:

    It’s sad that an article like this even needs to be written. It won’t be long before statements such as the ones expressed in this article are too obvious and widely accepted to be a story.

    I was surprised by how many people took a day off work this week to lobby against the bill. They could have used that day off work to take their kids sledding today, but whatevs.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Awesome!

    What is great about this place, Rich included, is the institutional knowledge and the historic perspective to where we are, where we were, and what is next.

    Sometimes every arguement needs that history lesson to put in context what is really being discussed, and its historical impact while movi forward.

    Outstanding, Rich.

    I know I learn something every day.


  6. - Calhoun Native - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:26 am:

    I agree with Oswego. Great perspective Rich and long overdue legislation.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    ===Indiana just passed a bill out of committee to force women who want to take an abortion-inducing drug to get ultrasounds before and after taking the drug. To remove any doubt that they are the party of smaller government, Wisconsin Republicans are considering an abortion ultrasound bill called “Women’s Right to Know Her Unborn Child Act.”===

    1) This isn’t WI or IN, and in so many ways, I am greatful for that.

    2) To even get bills to see the light of day here in IL, you need a GOP House, a GOP Senate, and a GOP Governor, (most likely). We in IL are no where close to having the GOP, let alone a social conservative agenda GOP taking the reins of Government any time soon.

    My point with #2?

    The Diverse Dem Caucuses, versuses the diverse-lacking GOP caucuses will prevent those bills from coming up more… than what makes IL not WI or IN …


  8. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    Backward,

    Seems to me you are prone to hyperbole. How, exactly, is marriage equality infringing on the right of any religious group? Are you being forbidden from practicing your religion? Denied admission to your house of worship? Catholic priests (and any other religious leader for that matter) are still free to perform the marriages or refuse to perform the marriages of their choosing. While the state recognizes remarriages of divorced individuals the Catholic church has never been required to sanctify those marriages. The same will be true of marriages between individuals of the same gender.


  9. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    Yeah the poor Xtians. They’re so oppressed.


  10. - B2Chicago - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    Fantastic perspective, Rich!


  11. - LisleMike - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    @ Cherty44 Close to a gratutious insult..how about just letting it be? No insult to you, just an unnecessary response…


  12. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    Makes me curious what the current penalty and jail time are for a consenting plural marriage. To my knowledge we aren’t threatening to lock gay people in cages if they say they are married like we do people who follow their religious beliefs about plural marriage. Will the world end if Muslims in America are finally allowed to fully practice their beliefs of plural marriage?


  13. - train111 - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to realize that Conservative Christians are the group with the biggest victim mentality out there. They all circle their wagons because everybody, every group, and every new law is out to get them.
    How come you can’t come out of your shell and meet people where they are at for crying out loud???

    train111


  14. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    “1) This isn’t WI or IN, and in so many ways, I am greatful for that.”

    I am also thankful for this. This is why taxes are not everything to people. I for one don’t care how low taxes are in Indiana, I would never want to live in a state that has the ability to pass draconian social legislation.

    As gay marriage legalization appears imminent here, I think it would make our state more attractive. Attitudes toward gay people are changing, and it’s good to capture that.


  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    So, Trigg, we can put you down as favoring legalized polygamy? Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.


  16. - John A Logan - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    Good to know the new standard of success is the world not ending.


  17. - LisleMike - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    @ train111 If you are referring to me, I am not in a shell. If anything, I am reaching out. I disagree with some of what is said and agree with much more. I am truly about working with not overpowering with rhetoric. Rich’s article is spot on and I agree with it. I have been called a RINO for some of my views and facist by others who do not share my views. What I have/am trying to do myself is avoid stereotypes and labels. Both are meant to divide. I cannot and do not speak for other conservatives, but I do try to keep lines of communications open. I am open to common ground to open discussions and find solutions. I try hard not to categorize or lump any with whom I disagree into “those”. There are many like me, BTW.


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    === the new standard of success===

    Who said that? Other than you, of course.

    Since you enjoy putting words in others’ mouths, should I just assume that you want to go back to putting people in prison for life for being gay?

    Get a clue, man.


  19. - NCarraway - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    The problem with superficial thinking with an issue like this is that it ignores the nature of homosexuality–which is behavior, plain and simple. It is unlike race (and yes, gender)…it is NOT immutable. What this means is that you are now violating the God given religious liberties of those who see this behavior as immoral. The First Amendment hasn’t been repealed yet, in case you didn’t know. I’d encourage all of you “deep thinkers” to do some research on the web. If you want to learn, avoid the left wing silly websites that ignore facts. Btw, I rarely visit this website so it’s doubtful I’ll read all of your hate-filled responses so save your energy and don’t be so intolerant.


  20. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    NC, thanks for the lesson in tolerance.


  21. - LisleMike - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    word
    I agree


  22. - ChicagoR - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    “the nature of homosexuality–which is behavior, plain and simple.”

    That’s a complete falsehood. I’m gay. I’ve been with my partner for over twenty years. Even if I never have sex again (the “behavior” you’re talking about), I’ll still be gay. I’ll still be in a relationship, and that relationship is every bit as valid as those of my straight friends and colleagues. And it won’t be violating anyone else’s religious freedom if that relationship is treated equally by the government to which I pay taxes.


  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===you are now violating the God given religious liberties of those who see this behavior as immoral===

    How? Because you don’t want to ride with the gays on the marriage bus?


  24. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    Yes, I would favor it if we removed all laws that puts people in jail for consenting plural marriages. Equal protection for all, including Muslims, old-school Mormons, and whoever else wants more than one spouse seems fair to me. As you point out, mainstream Americans have been horribly wrong in the past, just like they are now.

    I’m also not a fan of having to get a license from the government in order to get married. Civil unions for all, and let people define marriage however they want to without fear of government reprisals.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    - NCarraway -

    “It’s Science …”

    ===Btw, I rarely visit this website so it’s doubtful I’ll read all of your hate-filled responses so save your energy and don’t be so intolerant.===

    Is that a passive-aggresive statement?

    “I think William Jennings Bryant said it best, …”


  26. - TooManyJens - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    “Religious liberty” does not mean “the power to make civil law reflect my religion’s beliefs.”


  27. - Backwards - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    ===you are now violating the God given religious liberties of those who see this behavior as immoral===

    How? Because you don’t want to ride with the gays on the marriage bus?

    **
    Well, no, it matters very little what the State of Illinois wants to call one thing or another, You can call a dog’s tail a fifth leg, if you like etc

    It matters quite a bit, when they get around to enforcing things like State adoption regulation and the HHS Mandate Federally. The State has a track record here.


  28. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===when they get around to enforcing things like State adoption regulation ===

    Um, nobody has the right to a state grant.


  29. - Backwards - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    So TooManyJens,

    “Religious liberty” does not mean “the power to make civil law reflect my religion’s beliefs.”

    So, just because Quinn and the Madigans religious belief tells them to deny religious charities the ability to participate in adoption, they should not be able to make civil law forcing that denial?


  30. - Backwards - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===when they get around to enforcing things like State adoption regulation ===

    Um, nobody has the right to a state grant.

    **

    But the State gets to deny a grant based on Religious practice? What if the State gets it in their head that full-immersion baptism is no-good. Can they suspend all tax benefits to churches who like their baptism that way?


  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Backwards, you’re just chock full of red herrings today. Stick to the topic at hand.

    And we’re not talking about a “religious practice” here. We’re talking about a non-profit organization that refuses to abide by state law. So, no taxpayer subsidy for them. Seems reasonable.


  32. - TooManyJens - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    == What if the State gets it in their head that full-immersion baptism is no-good. Can they suspend all tax benefits to churches who like their baptism that way? ==

    You might want to look up the “Lemon test.”


  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===You might want to look up the “Lemon test.” ===

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_v._Kurtzman


  34. - qcexaminer - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    No, it won’t be the end of the world when Illinois approves gay marriage any more than it will be the end of the world when concealed carry is approved.

    Civil rights affirmed for both sides this time—a win-win for both left and right; something that doesn’t happen every day.


  35. - Capitol View - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    This really is a Libertarian perspective — let persons do what they choose, as long as it does not directly affect other persons. Some issues are so liberal they swing around the corner and become super conservative.


  36. - 2nd Generation Wannabe - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    I wonder if Mark Q. Rhoads, former state senator and contributor at the Illinois Review blog, included any of these events in the book he just published about Illinois history?


  37. - Midwest Mom - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    Rich–love ya, man!

    I can’t wait for next week’s legislative activity on this topic. I wish I were where I could help with the equality phone banks but I’m too far out of the metropolitan area. I sent several messages to my district representatives and I can only hope they rise above party rhetoric (and closeted homophobia, bigotry, and fear of unknown) and join Senator Barickman in supporting and embracing same-sex marriage equality. Illinois will be a better place for it!


  38. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    The church based organizations can run adoption agencies. They just don’t get to use state money to discriminate.


  39. - Liberty_First - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    Exactly what is the government’s interest in marriage?


  40. - ChicagoR - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    “Exactly what is the government’s interest in marriage?”

    Encouraging mutually supportive relationships that lessen the necessity for government help, and supporting good homes for children. Both of these apply to gay couples. Why do you ask?


  41. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    “The problem with superficial thinking with an issue like this is that it ignores the nature of homosexuality–which is behavior, plain and simple.”

    If you get out more and open your mind you will find that this is absolutely not true for many people. Many gay people are born that way or have a strong natural inclination that is not learned. I have gay friends who told me they struggled with their homosexuality because it was not acceptable. They said they wished to be straight but couldn’t, so they had to hide, and it was painful.


  42. - Juvenal - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    Rich, Cheryl44 & Backwards -

    Technically, the provision of foster care services is a state contract, not a state grant. It is a fee paid by taxpayers for a service. A service that, as Rich and Cheryl point out, some agencies were unwilling to provide.


  43. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    “Exactly what is the government’s interest in marriage?”

    I don’t know. But I know it is very interested. According to a GAO report, as of 12/2003, “1,138 federal statutory provisions classified to the United States Code in which
    marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges”

    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04353r.pdf

    Therefore, we shouldn’t discriminate based on the sex of people getting married and prevent them from getting in on the privleges (e.g., married filing jointly tax filings)


  44. - Just askin - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    Liberty 2:21
    =Exactly what is the government’s interest in marriage?=

    Taxes, survivors benefits, medical decisions, buying a home, all of these differentiate between married and not. They don’t all recognize civil unions.


  45. - Steve Downstate - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    There’s a blog out there (Southern Illinois Catholic, at http://soilcatholic.blogspot.com/) that takes Rich to task for documenting that equal rights legislation does not result in awful, terrible things. The author claims that society will unravel within two generations — it will “come crashing down,” to use that blogger’s phrase. Since just about everything on that blog smells of reactionary, innuendo-riddled, conspiracy-theory-based reasoning, I’m glad to assert that we are likely to see just about the opposite of what that blogger predicts.

    Yes, there is fear and bigotry that runs rampant when progress occurs. You have to wonder why some are eager to claim that society will come crashing down. Chicken Little is alive and well!


  46. - Bryan Kirchoff - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 5:54 pm:

    Gay marriage proponents raise a number of good objections when faced with opposition, but such objections are not unanswerable. Some include:

    - “Opposing gay marriage is an example of religion in politics.” Just because churches have a position does not automatically render it a “religious issue” – the Civil Rights Movement was led by a preacher and organized out of churches, for example. (In fact, it makes much sense that God gave us morality to help maintain society, a “crib sheet” so that we do not have to derive the long-term, wider consequences of our personal decisions replicated by thousands of others over years.) Church teachings intersect with politics on many subjects, such as environment, fair wages, labor rights, immigration, and the death penalty, to name a few, because both religion and politics have to do with how we live life as individuals and as a society.

    True religious interference in politics would be legislating something having only to do with salvation (such as belief in the Assumption, or adherence to a kosher diet, or prayer toward Mecca); few political figures argue against gay marriage for the good of their constituents’ souls, but rather on the social implications of redefining marriage.

    - “Opposition to gay marriage is discriminatory.” The state adopted the originally religious institution of marriage because society has an interest in assuring any children resulting from the relationship of a man and woman have at least the strong possibility of a stable household for their upbringing. If marriage is not about procreative potential, then the state gets into the awkward business of licensing peoples’ feelings for each other.

    Not being eligible for an institution/role in society because one cannot fulfill the purpose of that institution/role does not make one a “second-class citizen”. Just because a color-blind person cannot be a fashion designer or a film color technician does not mean he/she is less of a person, even though he/she, through no fault of his/her own, cannot take those particular opportunities open to others. He/she is simply missing something essential to the role.

    - “What about heterosexual couples that decide they don’t want children, the infertile, and post-menopausal women? Should their marriages not be recognized?” A very reasonable counter-argument, but the difference in these cases is that the complementary biology is in place such that, whether through change of heart, “accident”, surgical remedy, or plain biological quirk, there is still a small chance of a child resulting from the union.

    - “What about women who have had a hysterectomy or the removal of their ovaries due to cysts? Should their marriages be dissolved?” Also fair, but opposite-gender couples still have something to offer the wider world of children, including any children they adopt – an example of the heterosexual relationship that 95% of children are born to eventually have.

    - “Well, what about gay couples with children?” This counter-argument assumes that gay adoption should be accepted without reservation, which is not the case. There are studies that say the parent gender does not matter, and studies that say children need a mother and father. It seems reasonable to ask if a child 95+% likely born heterosexual is best served by having an adult heterosexual relationship modeled for him/her while growing up. This question does not imply gay men and women are not caring individuals, it simply points out something beneficial for the child that their relationship cannot do. (Some will claim “They must be okay with children being abandoned or neglected, then”. Not at all. Actually, many abandoned and neglected children are the result of our modern ethic that says intimacy is whatever we want it to be, whenever we want it to be. Some may also cite children they know raised by gay couples – certainly any individual child might do well, but anecdotal evidence does not constitute a general trend.)

    - “Numerous problems in heterosexual marriage are a a far worse threat to marriage than gay marriage.” Yes there are many problems in modern heterosexual marriage (many of them spurred by our commitment-averse modern sexual ethic), but that is an argument for addressing those problems, not for gay marriage.

    - “How could gay marriage possibly damage the institution of marriage?” It would redefine the institution away from a relationship that has procreative potential (and yes, it’s been trending that way informally for decades, but gay marriage would be a clear and formal ratification of that idea) to a relationship based only on consent. So first, it puts the state in the strange, undesirable position of certifying peoples’ emotional attachments. (Many alternative couples used to claim they did not need a “piece of paper” to prove affection, a stand that has gone out the window now that gay marriage is a possibility.) Second, if state recognition of marriage is based solely on recognizing consensual feelings, then the state is all the more obligated to facilitate the dissolution of that marriage when fickle human emotions change.

    Second, with consent the sole criterion, legal objections to other consensual arrangements fall apart. Today is gay marriage. Tomorrow are polygamy, incestuous marriage, temporary marriages, and even unmarried couples demanding some of the privileges of marriage. (Sound fanciful? Unmarried couples have already demonstrated in Italy demanding certain governmental recognitions and benefits.) Prostitution, too, is a consensual relationship. When one takes away the most lasting aspect of marriage – parenthood – then it has lost a very important bulwark against the ebb and flow of enthusiasm that almost any marriage has. It literally takes away the physical incarnation of a couple’s love.

    - “Why should heterosexual couples only receive the legal benefits of marriage?” Because many of those benefits were instituted to help families care for their babies (i.e. society’s future). Other benefits can be legislated separately or addressed by power of attorney.

    - “Prohibition of gay marriage denies a right to marry.” Is there a “right” to marry? The argument seems dubious at best. Some cite the decades-old Loving vs. Virginia interracial marriage case as establishing such a right, but keep in mind the judges probably never pictured marriage being anything but between a man and a woman. Note that nothing about interracial couples hinders the possibility of parenthood forseen in the traditional understanding of marriage.

    I realize this is a subject that strikes deep for many people – we are, after all, talking about peoples’ lives and dreams here - and that homosexuals have been on the receiving end of disrespect and even violent abuse in history. Certainly many gay men and women make truly remarkable contributions in the community, worthy of great admiration, every day. Unfortunately, though, such contributions do not constitute an argument for legalized gay marriage. Indeed, there is nothing in law right now that prevents any two (or more) people from holding a ceremony where they publicly promise lifelong commitment, so the focus on a state marriage license seems to have another goal in mind – establishing legality to take advantage of people’s tendency to believe if something is legal, it must be right. Here’s hoping that civility holds out as we work our way through this question as a nation.


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        * Illinois lawmakers OK state budget fix that rai.....
        * Illinois Senate passes compromise plan to fix b.....
        * Illinois Gov. Rauner's anti-labor ploy actually.....
        * Illinois Senate OKs budget fix..
        * Illinois Senate Sends Budget-Balancing Plan To .....
        * Revealed: Chicago-Area Cousins’ Plan to Bring ‘.....
        * Lawyer disputes police's hoax claim in Californ.....
        * Feds: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist.....
        * JJC anticipated to stay lean with next year's b.....
        * New York City fire, building collapse injure se.....


        * Reform panel seeks 25 percent drop in prison population
        * US: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist attack
        * Illinois Senate passes compromise plan to fix budget hole
        * Illinois has needle-exchange programs in 5 cities
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves federal prison for halfway house
        * Suspects in new Islamic State case appear in Chicago court
        * Tollway board approves higher speed limits but not 70 mph
        * Illinois Guard revokes soldier's clearance after ISIS arrest
        * Illinois bill would bar public funds for graduation speakers
        * Americans' trial in Indonesia delayed after baby gets sick

        * Senate passes plan to fix $1.6B budget hole
        * Illinois Army National Guard member, cousin arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group
        * Schock says he leaves Congress with sadness, humility
        * Suburban Chicago men arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group
        * Bill would bar public funds for graduation speakers at state universities
        * Bills banning powdered caffeine, alcohol pass committee
        * Illinois Senate on spot to find votes to close budget gap for current year
        * Court reporter contingencies go down to the wire
        * Illinois Senate on spot to find votes to close budget gap
        * Aging brickwork prompts restrictions at Capitol's north entrance

        * Meet ad exec Jim Misener of 50,000feet
        * You can clothe yourself in Big Macs--if you're Swedish
        * Chicago's Inventus buys London's Unified to add legal services
        * You can clothe yourself in Big Macs—if you're Swedish
        * Presence Health CEO to retire


          * Indiana Gov. Pence defends religious objections law: 'This bill is not about discrimination'
          * Feds: National Guard soldier, cousin plotted to attack Illinois military facility, fight for ISIS
          * Senate vote patches budget crisis, restores court reporter funding
          * 3 hurt when pickup crashes into restaurant in Kane County village
          * Indiana governor overrides law to authorize needle exchange
          * Roosevelt University names new president
          * Terrorist suspect's stepmother: 'Is it a dream? I don't know what to believe'
          * In Endia Martin case, juvenile who took gun pleads guilty to weapons charge
          * Schock leaves Congress with sadness, humility: 'I know that God has a plan for my life'
          * Does craft beer have a sexism problem? Binny's rejects Happy Ending


          * Where can a politician wield more influence? Chicago's City Council vs. Illinois' Statehouse
          * More people moved away from Illinois last year than any other state
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * ACLU: Chicago police make more stops than New York at its peak
          * Under Emanuel, more unsolved murders, fewer detectives
          * Indiana Gov. Pence signs religious objections bill
          * Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves federal prison for halfway house
          * Kennedy: Jesse Jackson Jr. leaving prison for halfway house


          * Senate passes plan to fix $1.6B budget hole
          * Illinois Army National Guard member, cousin arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group
          * Schock says he leaves Congress with sadness, humility
          * Bill would bar public funds for graduation speakers at state universities
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Ward 10 race heats up over attendance
          * Tony Leone: Restructure Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to find success
          * Eugene Robinson: An early look at the GOP field
          * George Will: Who says economics is hard?
          * Bills banning powdered caffeine, alcohol pass committee
          * Illinois Senate on spot to find votes to close budget gap for current year


          * Rawlings Highway plan takes step forward
          * Some concerned over plan for librarian at GCMS
          * Mahomet public works director leaving
          * Merged zoning-planning board has perfect attendance
          * Westville OKs budget
          * St. Elizabeth’s parent company explores adding Greenville hospital
          * Woman sues Onarga fire department over injury at fundraiser
          * Feds: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist attack
          * PODCAST: U of I's John Wilkin, Dean of Libraries 3-26-15
          * Police: Couple's deaths murder-suicide


          * Wheeling man faces gun charges
          * Waste haulers make pitch to North Barrington
          * Feeling right at home again
          * New Roosevelt president to review Schaumburg campus plan
          * Kane fifth healthiest among state's counties

          * Politics as Usual: Bustos, Moffitt continu...
          * Lawmakers reintroduce bill to revise FEMA ...
          * Graham: ‘No Military Member…Should Expect ...
          * STAND Scoffs At Newest FAA 'Study', Rep. K...
          * U.S. Rep. Dold backs bill to nationalize r...
          * U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis to speak at Adams C...
          * House Financial Services Subcommittee Gril...
          * Watch: Rep. Kelly Floor Speech - Resolutio...
          * Bustos given tour of new Monmouth cold sto...
          * Congress agrees! Roads and bridges worn ou...

          * House passes conservative budget; Senate u......
          * House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill;......
          * Twisted immigration policy shields violators...
          * Gauen: Illinois tax and spending woes are ......
          * Champaign mayor candidate Q&A: Don Gerard...

          * Capitol Hill Buzz: Senators vote on amendm......
          * U.S. Senate votes unanimously for amendmen......
          * Gauen: Illinois tax and spending woes are ......
          * David Axelrod (very nicely) warns Chicago ......
          * Lawmakers reintroduce bill to revise FEMA ......

          * New Poll: Attack ads continue to produce results for Emanuel
          * Before Aaron Schock, Journalists Took Lincoln to Task for Travel Reimbursement
          * Downstate lawmakers wear "Superman" shirts to honor accident victim fighting for life
          * Illinois General Assembly passes emergency budget bill
          * Civic Federation Proposes Local Government Protection Authority at Illinois House Committee Hearing
          * Illinois House Sends Budget Gap Bill To Senate
          * Chicago Voter Registration Numbers Increased By 20,000 Since February
          * Illinois Disability Advocates Want 6 Of 7 State Developmental Centers Closed
          * Alaniz: Illinois' Proposes New Taxes
          * FBI says two Aurora-based homegrown terrorists planned two-pronged attack


          * Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats
          * Health Matters: 2015 Illinois Minority Health Efforts - Creating & Sustaining Healthy Communities
          * ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes - IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies
          * New Illinois Server Training Law effective July 1 - State currently offering FREE responsible beverage server classes
          * Motorists Urged to ‘Expect the Unexpected’ in Work Zones this Construction Season in Illinois - Work Zone Safety Week Reminder: See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives.




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