* But, man, I hope this passes…
Legislation that would make the possession of small amounts of marijuana punishable by a fine has been approved by an Illinois Senate committee.
Officials say Senate criminal law committee members passed the measure in a 9-3 vote on Wednesday. The legislation’s sponsor, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, says it would help prevent discrimination of enforcement based on race. The bill passed the Illinois House last week.
It could, however, simply be a stalking horse to convince the governor to sign the medical marijuana pilot project extension into law.
* Probably not a bad idea at all…
A suburban lawmaker’s proposal in Springfield could put a halt to the creation of new units of local government in Illinois.
State Sen. Michael Connelly, a Lisle Republican, says the proposal would put a four-year moratorium on the state’s ability to create new layers of local government.
Originally proposed by state Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat, the bill would apply statewide “except a unit created as a result of combining, consolidating or annexing previously existing units of government,” Connelly said.
A state lawmaker wants to undo a portion of Illinois’ concealed-carry law that prevents cities from banning assault weapons.
Sen. Julie Morrison said her legislation is in response to a federal appeals court ruling last month that upheld Highland Park’s ban. The Deerfield Democrat said her measure would allow other cities to prohibit assault weapons.
“This is about local control,” she said.
Illinois’ 2013 concealed-carry law included a provision that gave local governments a 10-day window to enact their own assault weapons bans.
* If it’s passed and signed into law, this could wind up making some folks happy…
Legislation to provide $63 million in back wages owed to state workers is heading to the Illinois Senate.
The Senate executive committee approved the measure on a voice vote Wednesday. The House passed it last month.
The money is for raises approved for unionized workers in 2011. Former Gov. Pat Quinn later reneged on the raises, saying the Legislature hadn’t appropriated enough money.
* I’m not sure what I think of this. I don’t like government interference in the arts, but when you take the money, I suppose you sometimes have to pay the piper, or however that saying goes…
If movie director Spike Lee insists on maligning Chicago by calling his upcoming movie on black-on-black violence “Chiraq,” he should forfeit the right to a $3 million tax break he wants, a South Side alderman said Wednesday.
Ald. Will Burns (4th) took the municipal angst over Lee’s working title to a whole new level in a way that could run afoul of the First Amendment.
He introduced a resolution at the last City Council meeting before new aldermen are sworn in calling on the Illinois Film Office to reject Lee’s application for a $3 million film production tax credit if he chooses to name the film “Chiraq.”
“There’s nothing anti-First Amendment about it at all. If he wants to name the movie `Chiraq’ and film it in the city of Chicago, he should be able to get the permits for that and he should be able to do it. But we shouldn’t give him money as taxpayers to brand a part of the city as Iraq. That doesn’t make sense,” Burns said.