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Senate to Vote On Gay Marriage Today
(Springfield, IL) -- Gay couples could get a sweet victory this Valentine's Day. The State Senate is expected to pass a bill that will make it legal for the gay couples to get married. The couples can already engage in civil unions but they say it isn't enough, they want the same rights as any heterosexual couple. Senate leaders say they believe they have the 30 votes needed to pass the bill.
Lawmakers Want Voters To Decide On Gay Marriage Issue
(Alton, IL) -- Gay marriage could get a vote in the Senate today but two lawmakers want voters to have the final say. State Senator Bill Haine and Representative Dan Beiser each filed an amendment to the Illinois Constitution, which would only allow marriage to be between a man and a woman. At least one of their proposals would have to pass in the House
and Senate before it could be placed on the ballot in the next general election. Sixty percent of the voters would then have to approve the measure in order for it to become a part of the state's Constitution.
Quinn Wishes Simon Well In Next Endeavor
(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn says he wasn't surprised by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon's decision not to seek reelection. He confirms that Simon told him about the decision back in December. Simon says she plans to run for a different political office but won't confirm which one. She says she's keeping her options open and will make an announcement soon.
NIU Shooting Anniversary
(DeKalb, IL) -- Five years ago today, a gunman opened fire on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Six people were killed and 20 others injured when a man walked into a lecture hall inside and started shooting. The gunman was a former graduate student at the university. He turned the gun on himself before police arrived on the scene. Governor Quinn will join families of the victims on campus today to lay a wreath in memory of each life lost.
Lawmakers Consider Raising Doctor's Fees
(Springfield, IL) -- License fees for doctors appear to be heading up. A Senate committee approved a bill that will boost fees from 300 dollars every three years to 700 dollars through June of 2018, when the fee would drop to 500 bucks. The state would allow the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to borrow more than six and a half million dollars from the local government taxes account. The IDFR says the money will help them hire people to process licenses for doctors. Proponents say Illinois is losing doctors to other states because it's taking too long for them to be licensed here.
State Gets Go Ahead To Create Health Care Exchange
(Chicago, IL) -- Illinois has been given the go-ahead to create a health care exchange, giving hundreds of thousands of people a Marketplace to shop for health care coverage. Everyone in the state must be insured by January 1st of next year. Those who can't afford to purchase insurance might qualify for government assistance if they obtain coverage through the marketplace. People can start purchases plans in October of this year. Check out Healthcare.gov/Exchanges for more details.
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