Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:30 pm
Not long ago, it seemed every time a different type of crime started making the news, members of the Illinois General Assembly would rush to increase the penalty for that offense. But today — with prisons stuffed beyond capacity and state finances ailing — lawmakers have begun taking a more deliberate approach. Brian Mackey reports on a criminal sentencing culture change in the Illinois General Assembly.
An Illinois lawmaker is already looking to next year's Fourth of July.
State Senator Chapin Rose says he saw a lot of fireworks for sale on recent trips to Kentucky, Wisconsin and Tennessee -- and saw a lot of Illinoisans crossing the state line to buy them. The Mahomet Republican says Illinois’ ban on most consumer fireworks sales is bad for the state’s economy.
The General Assembly finished its legislative session shortly after midnight Saturday, approving a billion-dollar road construction program.
Democrats started the session with an ambitious agenda: raise the minimum wage, boost college assistance for low-income students, maybe even change Illinois' flat tax into a graduated one. In the end, none of that happened.