Cullerton: Parts of House gun bill 'offensive'
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says a concealed carry bill that would wipe out all local gun ordinances in the state is "offensive."
Cullerton's comments Friday came after the Illinois House approved such a measure by a vote of 85-30.
The measure brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan also would allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public, with some restrictions.
Cullerton says another problem with Madigan's bill is that it would allow people to bring guns into some places that serve alcohol.
Cullerton says his Democratic caucus will meet Monday to decide whether to vote on the House's bill.
He says his chamber also is revising a Senate gun bill that would adopt some of the House's suggested restrictions.
Madigan's bill is SB2193.
Dems: Budget deal would keep school funding level
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - House and Senate Democrats have agreed on a proposed Illinois budget that would keep education funding at the same level and increase human services spending.
Senator Heather Steans is 1 of the Legislature's budget negotiators. She says Democrats will present their 2014 spending plan early next week, after which Republicans will get a chance to weigh in on it.
Governor Pat Quinn proposed cutting education funding by about $400 million, a cut he said was difficult but necessary.
But Steans says unanticipated revenue increases helped restore that money. Democrats also want to reduce the amount of money that goes to local governments.
Representative Greg Harris says new revenue also will be used to pay overdue bills to organizations that help the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, and the homeless.
IL-QUINN-VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOLS
Quinn signs moratorium on online charter schools
CHICAGO (AP) - Virtual charter schools in Illinois are being placed on temporary hold.
Governor Pat Quinn on Friday signed legislation placing a 1-year moratorium on any new online charter schools in Illinois districts outside of Chicago. The State Charter School Commission must also submit a report on virtual schooling by March 1st of next year.
The legislation was approved by the state House in April and the Senate this week. It follows lobbying efforts by a number of school superintendents who questioned the effectiveness of virtual learning.
A proposal for a virtual school by nonprofit Virtual Learning Solutions was rejected by 18 separate school districts in Chicago's suburbs.
State Representative Linda Chapa La Via is an Aurora Democrat who proposed the moratorium legislation, saying the process was moving too quickly in Illinois.
Illinois investigating infections tied to steroid
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois health officials say they're investigating reports that five patients developed abscesses after receiving potentially contaminated steroid injections at a downstate clinic.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday that all five patients received injections at the Logan Primary Care clinic in the Williamson County town of Herrin between Jan. 3 and Feb. 21. The steroid was methylprednisolone acetate, and was produced by a compounding pharmacy in Tennessee.
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it's investigating seven reports from patients who received steroid injections from Main Street Pharmacy.
Methylprednisolone acetate is the same drug at the center of last year's deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, caused by contaminated injections from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.
Health officials say no reports of meningitis have been reported.
Former Bears tackle Dick Evey dies at 72
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Dick Evey (EE'-vee), a tackle who played most of his eight seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, has died at age 72.
Smith Funeral and Cremation Service in Maryville, Tennessee says he died Thursday at the Ben Atchley State Veterans Home in Knoxville after a long illness.
Evey played from 1964 through 1969 with the Bears, who selected him out of Tennessee in the first round of the 1964 draft. Evey played with the Los Angeles Rams in 1970 and the Detroit Lions in 1971.
BURGER KING KILLING
Man found guilty of 2006 slaying at Burger King
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) - A suburban Chicago man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2006 strangulation death of a Lindenhurst restaurant manager.
After three hours of deliberations Friday, James Ealy was convicted of killing 45-year-old Mary Hutchison of Trevor, Wisconsin during a robbery of the Burger King she managed. After the murder, prosecutors said Ealy stole cash from the restaurant safe and headed to a job in Gurnee.
Lake County prosecutors said telephone records and evidence linked Ealy to the murder. However, defense attorney Keith Grant said investigators uncovered no physical evidence putting Ealy in the restaurant on the day of the murder.
The 48-year-old Ealy was convicted in 1982 in the deaths of a Chicago woman and her three children. An appellate court overturned the conviction on a technicality.
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