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Righter calls legislation decriminalizing marijuana wrong

Despite State Sen. Dale Righter raising several concerns about public safety, social implications, and the negative message it sends to our youth, the Senate passed legislation May 21 that would decriminalize some amounts of marijuana.

IDOT agrees to Righter’s request for feasibility study to help solve Mattoon’s rail and traffic congestion

State Sen. Dale Righter announced May 20 that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will conduct a feasibility study to study alternatives on how to best solve Mattoon’s rail congestion problem.

Weatherization program raises concerns in Senate Committee

A 2009 program intended to “create jobs in low-income areas and improve energy efficiency” sparked debate in a Senate Committee May 14, when Senate Republican lawmakers raised concerns about problems within the state’s Urban Weatherization Program, recently identified by the Better Government Association (BGA).

Measure to decriminalize marijuana held in Senate

Legislation to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis was debated in the Senate on May 14, but later held by the sponsor in response to concerns with the legislation. House Bill 218 would reduce penalties for possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis, establishing a maximum $125 fine for the offense.

Firefighter Memorial held at State Capitol

Hundreds of firefighters from across the state gathered at the State Capitol grounds on May 12 for the annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony. The event honors those who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those who heroically serve with courage, pride, and honor.

IDOT Releases multi-year highway construction plan

On May 14, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released an $8.4 billion six-year highway construction plan as part of the state’s Proposed Highway Improvement Program. Of that, $1.85 billion is to be invested in Fiscal Year 2016, which begins July 1.

Illinois’ budget crisis the worst in the country

A recent Associated Press report underscored the significant challenges Illinois faces when it comes to filling its anticipated multi-billion dollar budget hole. The Associated Press found that of 22 states facing budget deficits, Illinois has the worst deficit by far, at more than $6 billion.

Illinois farmers making major progress

Illinois farmers continue to make major strides throughout the state. Overall, 88 percent of corn fields have been planted, compared to 73 percent at the same time last year, and the five-year average of 64 percent. The total amount of corn plants that have emerged jumped to 42 percent, up 27 percentage points from last week.

Memorial Day Remembrance Wall

As a way to honor loved ones and friends who have served in the U.S. Military, we encourage you to submit a photograph and written remembrance of your deceased veteran to be displayed on the Illinois State Capitol Memorial Day Remembrance Wall. Your contributions will be displayed in the State Capitol Rotunda starting on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 through Saturday, May 30.

Resolution Honors WWII’s Powell Brothers

A resolution honoring the seven Powell brothers from Greene County, all of whom served in World War II, unanimously passed the Illinois Senate on May 7. Senate Joint Resolution 2, sponsored by Senator Sam McCann names a section of Route 67 through Greene County the “Powell Brothers Memorial Highway.

Police Memorial held at Illinois State Capitol

Hundreds of police officers from throughout the state gathered at the Illinois State Capitol on Thursday, May 12, for the 2015 Illinois Police Officers Memorial Ceremony. The annual ceremony honors officers who have fallen in the line of duty.

Measure Aims to stop expansion of taxing bodies

State Senators Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) and Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) are leading the charge against the expansion of taxing bodies in Illinois.

Senate considers cannabis measures

Legislation to extend the state’s medical cannabis pilot program and decriminalize small amounts of cannabis advanced out of Senate committees this week.

Senate action round-up

Action continued on the Senate floor and in committees this week as legislators consider various pieces of legislation before the scheduled May 31 adjournment. Following are several notable measures approved by Senate lawmakers this week, and you can find a full round-up of all the measures that passed in committees and on the Senate floor this week visit the Senate Action Page at the Senate GOP website.

Sen. Righter to host teleforum May 6

Please call in from 7:00pm-8:00pm May 6 to hear from Sen. Righter live and to ask him questions.