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ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

Budget included language notifying consumers that state suspended a 2-cent tax hike By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.”…

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Pritzker signs bill aimed at addressing organized retail crime

AG Raoul says task force recovered millions of dollars of stolen merchandise in December By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois gkinnicutt@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Friday, May 13, that is aimed at cracking down on high-profile “smash-and-grabs” and other organized retail theft. “This important piece of legislation will help to combat these…

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What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved

Law enforcement opposition has softened since initial passage, although concerns remain By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois gkinnicutt@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Amid a campaign season in which every constitutional office and seat in the Illinois General Assembly will be up for vote, rising crime and a landmark criminal justice reform passed in 2021 have become dominant…

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Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’

Use of home-assembled firearms for crime rapidly increasing: State Police By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFILED – Owners of firearms that do not have serial numbers, referred to as ghost guns, will have 180 days to take them to a federal firearm dealer to have them serialized or they will risk being charged…

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Fuel shortages slow planting in Ukraine

By DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek Spring planting continues in Ukraine where possible. But fuel shortages are among the latest set of challenges Ukrainian farmers face as they attempt to plant crops amid the ongoing Russian invasion. “Diesel has been really, really in short supply,” Gordie Siebring, who moved to Ukraine to farm in the 1990s after…

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Illinois Democrats’ public safety approach centers on funding infusion

While supportive of individual measures, GOP criticizes lack of accountability By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In the run-up to the early-morning April 9 adjournment of the spring legislative session, Illinois lawmakers passed a spate of public safety measures backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in the $46 billion Fiscal Year…

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Illinois Supreme Court weighs ex-lawmakers’ case for back pay

Former Democratic state senators who supported pay cuts now suing for restitution By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Two former state senators who sponsored and voted for bills to reduce lawmakers’ pay and forgo annual cost of living adjustments are now asking the Illinois Supreme Court to declare those measures unconstitutional and…

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Pilot program to send mental health professionals with law officers in four Illinois communities

Budget included $10 million for programs in Peoria, Springfield, East St. Louis, Waukegan By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Police departments in four communities in Illinois will be part of a co-responder pilot program that aims to send social workers and mental health professionals on law enforcement calls. That was part of…

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ANALYSIS: Where does the GOP governor field stand on abortion?

Money frontrunner Richard Irvin silent amid leak of draft Supreme Court decision By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Perhaps the biggest news affecting state government this week came not from Springfield but from Washington, D.C. That news was an unprecedented leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the landmark 1973…

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$309 million available through federally-funded mortgage assistance program

Pandemic-affected homeowners could see up to $30,000fee for housing costs, other expenses By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois gkinnicutt@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker was joined by the Illinois Housing Development Authority and local elected officials in Chicago Friday to promote the Illinois Emergency Homeowner Assistance Fund for struggling homeowners. Overseen by IHDA, the emergency…

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