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Illinois lawmakers are debating more firearm related legislation

(Washington-jm) – After President Joe Biden dropped his name in the hat of candidates for the 2024 election, he announced how he's bringing along some familiar faces to help his campaign for a second term. 50 people were selected for Biden's Campaign National Advisory Board. One of which is U.S. congresswoman Nicki Budzinski of Illinois’ 13th district. Budzinski will also be joined by fellow Illinois lawmakers, Governor J.B. Pritzker, and Congresswoman, Lauren Underwood.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois lawmakers are debating more firearm related legislation. One bill pending in the Senate would hold gun manufacturers and dealers civilly liable for certain marketing practices and for not preventing the sale of guns to straw purchasers. Another aims to protect domestic violence victims by giving judges more power to have guns seized when issuing an order of protection, says Representative Maura Hirschauer of Batavia…



State Representative Maura Hirschauer of Batavia. The measure also requires a FOID card to buy explosive targets like Tannerite and lets counties ban discharge of a firearm within one thousand yards of homes. Right now that distance is 300 yards. Republicans argued the bill will hurt legal gun owners, not criminals. It now moves to the Senate for debate.


(Springfield-jm) – Prospective employees in Illinois may soon have access to increased salary transparency from potential employers. House Bill 3129 would require employers with 15 or more employees to publicly post the wage or salary and description of benefits offered for a job, promotion, transfer or other employment opportunity. It also requires employers to provide employees their current wage or salary range along with a general description of benefits upon that employee's hiring, promotion or transfer, upon the employee's request.


(Springfield-jm) – Some areas of drought are popping up in Illinois. Last weekend’s series of storms brought rain to most areas. But the heaviest rain fell in tight bands across Illinois, making for significant disparities in rainfall totals says State Climatologist Trent Ford…



State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says parts of Western Illinois didn’t get as much rain this past week, pushing portions of Adams, Pike and Calhoun counties into moderate drought conditions. The Metro East area, as well as spots in eastern and central Illinois are considered to be abnormally dry.


(Paxton-jm) – Paxton native Gina Miles will perform in the semi-finals of the hit NBC show The Voice tonight. Miles joins 7 others with a chance to make it to next week’s finale. A viewing party will take place again tonight in downtown Paxton.


(Rantoul–jc)  The Community Service Center Food pantry is accessible weekdays to help those with food insecurities. The Rantoul based center is also reaching out to the area through social media says Executive Director Cindy Crawford…



Community Service Center Executive Director Cindy Crawford. A fundraiser for the Community Service Center is set for Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus in the village from 5-30pm to 8pm.

(Watseka-jm) – The Watseka Police Department has notified the community that they are investigating recent scams. The police department shared on social media that police were notified of a situation in which a resident had seen a property that was listed on Facebook Marketplace as a rent-to-own property. They said the resident was in contact with an unknown person about this residence, which ultimately led to the resident meeting with the person, who police describe as a stocky male of unknown descent, at a residence in Watseka. Police said the unknown person then “showed” the residence to the resident as a potential place to rent to own. The resident later found out that the residence that they had viewed was unoccupied and was owned by another person who had no knowledge it was being “shown,” police reported. Watseka Police learned that the person “showing” the residence had asked for $300 in Walmart gift cards for rent in addition to her social security number, date of birth, address, and phone number.


(Champaign-jm) – Amy Grant has announced that her concert at the Virginia Theatre, Champaign, is moving from October 12 to October 15. All tickets purchased for the original event will be honored at the Virginia Theatre on the new date of Sunday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Any patron who purchased a ticket to the original date but who is unable to attend the new date may request a full refund by calling 217-356-9063. The deadline for all refund requests is Friday, June 9.


(Washington-jm) – USDA Friday issued its first look at crop supply and demand estimates for the 2023-24 marketing year. Rod Bain reports…



(Springfield-jm) – A statewide ban on vaping inside public buildings is close to becoming law in Illinois. The measure expands the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which prohibits smoking in public buildings and within 15 feet of entrances. In 2019, Illinois passed a law to raise the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, and in 2022, a law to limit the advertising of e-cigarette products. If the governor signs the bill into law, Illinois will become the 18th state in the nation to outlaw indoor vaping. 


(Springfield-jm) – It will soon be easier for women to get hormonal birth control. The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued a standing order that lets pharmacists dispense contraceptives without a prescription. Spokesperson Mike Claffey…



Illinois Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. Interested pharmacists will have to go through training before they can dispense birth control so patients should check with their local drug store to see if this option is available.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Republicans say Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration entrapped citizens who bought certain semi-automatic firearms during the six-day window when the state’s gun ban was blocked by a federal court. Six days later, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the injunction. Illinois State Police said after consulting with the attorney general, certain semi-automatic firearms purchased during that time are illegal.


(Springfield-jm) – After the recent "ComEd Four" guilty verdicts that dealt directly with corruption at the Illinois statehouse, the call for ethics reforms continue to grow. Last Tuesday in Springfield, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn urged Governor J.B. Pritzker and legislative leaders to call a special legislative session to focus on ethics. Then on Wednesday, Illinois Republican lawmakers made their push and called upon the Democratic majority and Pritzker to focus on cleaning up corruption. State Representative Jason Bunting Emington said so far this year, there has been no attempt at any significant ethics legislation…



106th District State Representative Jason Bunting of Emington.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Police Department say two women were hurt after a shooting near a Champaign business over the weekend. Champaign Police were dispatched at 3 a.m. on Saturday to a business located at the 900 block of Bloomington Road in Champaign for a report of disorderly subjects. Officials reported officers on the scene witnessed a battery in progress and quickly heard a gunshot from the same area. Officers then located two women who were hurt. They said the first victim was a 36-year-old woman who was hurt in the head, and the second victim, a 40-year-old Champaign woman who worked in the business, was shot in the right shoulder. Champaign Police said an initial investigation indicates that an impromptu gathering had started in the parking lot minutes before the incident. They said the 40-year-old victim had denied entry to several people prior to the incident when a fight broke out, including a battery using a baseball bat. Police said the fight quickly escalated to the discharge of a firearm.


(Paxton–jc)  New businesses continue to open in the city of Paxton. Two new coffee houses, an entertainment venue and Lucky’s Place. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the new venues…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Champaign-jm) – Changes are coming to a Champaign intersection near the busy north Prospect Avenue business district. The City of Champaign announced the intersection of Boardwalk and Interstate Drives is scheduled to be converted to an all-way top on Monday, May 22. City officials said Public Works Traffic and Lighting crews will install new signs. A portable, changeable message sign will be placed in advance.


(Champaign-jm) – State Senator Paul Faraci passed legislation to expand university admissions opportunities to community college transfer students who meet certain academic requirements. House Bill 3760 would require Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University and Western Illinois University to create a four-year admissions program that admits community college transfer students each semester, beginning with the 2024-2025 academic school year.


(Washington-jm) – The USDA has just made its first projections for the expected size and price of the U.S. corn crop. Gary Crawford reports…



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