Pat Quinn

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Dying Woman Gets Last Wish: Right to Marry

Couple won't have to wait for Illinois law to kick in

(Newser) - A federal judge has decided to allow a lesbian couple in Illinois to get married before death splits them up. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a same-sex marriage bill into law last week, but it doesn't allow weddings to begin until June, which might be too late for Vernita Gray... More »

Illinois Is 16th State to OK Gay Marriage

'Triumph of democracy' as church attempts exorcism

(Newser) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn invoked Abraham Lincoln as he signed a marriage equality bill into law, making the state the 16th to legalize gay marriage—and the third in the space of a month, after Hawaii and New Jersey. Lincoln "said our nation was conceived in liberty," the... More »

No. 20: Illinois Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Law goes into effect in January, with strict conditions

(Newser) - Illinois became the 20th state in the nation to allow the medical use of marijuana today, with Gov. Pat Quinn signing some of the nation's toughest standards into law. The measure, which takes effect Jan. 1, sets up a four-year pilot program for state-regulated dispensaries and 22 so-called cultivation... More »

Last Holdout State Legalizes Concealed Carry

Illinois lawmakers shoot down governor's veto

(Newser) - The final state with a ban on concealed weapons has dropped it—just in time to beat a federal deadline . Lawmakers in the Illinois House and Senate, fearing a firearms free-for-all if they failed to act, voted by hefty margins to override Gov. Pat Quinn's veto and pass a... More »

Another Bloody Weekend in Chicago

67 shot, 11 killed on July 4 long weekend

(Newser) - It's been another grim weekend in Chicago, with 67 shot and 11 dead since Wednesday afternoon. One drive-by alone saw eight people shot, one fatally, the Chicago Tribune reports. Among those wounded: a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy, who were both shot in parks in separate incidents. The... More »

Illinois Shuts Down Death Row

State no longer executes criminals

(Newser) - After spending years at the center of national debate over capital punishment, Illinois' death row officially died yesterday when a state law abolishing the death penalty quietly took effect. The fate of executions in the state was sealed in March when Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation ending the death penalty,... More »

Illinois Senate Approves Anti-Westboro Bill

Bill would require funeral protesters to stay extra 100 feet away

(Newser) - Westboro Baptist Church could soon find itself foiled in Illinois. The state Senate passed a measure yesterday that broadens the protection granted to funerals, requiring any protesters to remain at least 300 feet away from the site rather than the currently required 200 feet. The original House bill, proposed by... More »

Illinois to Ban Death Penalty

Gov. Quinn expected to sign repeal bill today

(Newser) - Capital punishment is facing its end in Illinois and a last-minute reprieve from the governor is highly unlikely. Pat Quinn is expected to sign legislation today abolishing the death penalty in the state, and abolition supporters have been invited to a private bill-signing ceremony, reports the Chicago Tribune . "They... More »

Civil Unions Legalized in Illinois

Gov. Quinn: 'We believe in civil rights'

(Newser) - Illinois has become the sixth state to recognize civil unions between same-sex couples. A bill signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn Monday afternoon gives gay and lesbian couples many of the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, including the right to visit a loved one in hospital, the Chicago ... More »

Pat Quinn Wins Illinois Governor's Race: AP

Though GOP challenger hasn't conceded

(Newser) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has eked out a narrow win over his Republican challenger. An AP analysis of uncounted votes from absentee and other ballots showed state Sen. Bill Brady won't be able to overcome the 19,400-vote lead Quinn held today with all precincts reporting. (Brady's still not ready... More »

7 Governor's Races to Watch

Republicans poised for huge redistricting advantage

(Newser) - Governor’s seats are up for grabs in 37 states today, and Republicans look poised to win loads of them—which could have a profound impact when it comes time to redraw district lines . This Huffington Post tally shows 29 seats held by or leaning toward Republicans, to 16 for... More »

Illinois Gov: My Opponent Wants to Murder Doggies

Attack ad targets Brady for supporting mass euthanization of pets

(Newser) - Illinois' Democratic governor isn't doing much to change the state's reputation for bare-knuckle politics. An attack ad from Pat Quinn targets Republican rival Bill Brady for sponsoring a bill to "mass euthanize sheltered cats and dogs in gas chambers," with text appearing on screen over footage of whining... More »

Illinois' Political Culture Is Even Worse Than NY's

But scandals in both states makes it a close race, notes Gail Collins

(Newser) - Illinois and New York both have such awful political cultures that it's tough to decide which state is the biggest loser, writes Gail Collins. Both states have governors who were forced out by scandals and whose successors are mired in controversy, although at least Eliot Spitzer isn't going to be... More »

Scandals Force Out Illinois Lt. Gov. Candidate

Chicago pawnbroker was abusive steroid addict, deadbeat dad

(Newser) - Scott Lee Cohen, the Chicago pawnbroker whose surprise primary victory in the Illinois lieutenant governor race was quickly followed by an avalanche of scandalous revelations, has quit the race. Leading Illinois Democrats urged Cohen to drop out after the public learned he'd met a prostitute at a massage therapy spa,... More »

Anger Fuels Illinois Primary

Former Democratic frontrunners gird for Mass.-style rebuke

(Newser) - Tomorrow Illinois holds the nation’s first primary for this year’s elections, and some are predicting the populist rage recently displayed in Massachusetts will be on display. “It’s a very angry electorate, a very volatile electorate,” a union official tells Politico . Even within the Democratic primary,... More »

Illinois Prison Will Take Gitmo Inmates

Prison nearly empty, unemployment brutal in rural Thomson

(Newser) - A nearly vacant prison in a western Illinois town where unemployment is over 10% will be the new home of as many as 100 current Guantanamo Bay detainees. An announcement of the president's decision to acquire the 8-year-old jail is expected today, the Chicago Tribune reports. Gov. Pat Quinn and... More »

Ill. Dems Rally Around Plan to Take Gitmo Prisoners

Quinn, Durbin say detainees at empty prison would create 3,000 jobs

(Newser) - Illinois' governor and senior senator spent yesterday feverishly trying to regain momentum on their plan to use a nearly empty maximum-security prison 150 miles from Chicago to house Gitmo detainees. With federal officials visiting Thomson Correctional Center today, local GOP lawmakers had gone on the offense Saturday, calling it a... More »

Blago 'A Natural' in Radio Gig

Ex-gov bashes his trial, his successor; jokes about hair and lack of progress on book

(Newser) - Morning drive-time radio could be the future for Rod Blagojevich, if the impeached Illinois’ governor’s fill-in stint today on Chicago’s WLS-AM is anything to go by, Jimmy Orr writes in live-blogging the show for the Christian Science Monitor. Amid Elvis theme music and complaints about his successor’s... More »

Race to Replace Burris Already Under Way

Illinois gov threatens special election before senator can run in 2010

(Newser) - The jockeying has begun to replace Roland Burris in the Senate, the New York Times reports, though nobody’s certain when an election will be. Burris seems set on serving the remaining 2 years of Barack Obama’s term, but pressure is building for special elections. “The landscape on... More »

Burris Won't Quit, but Vows Not to Run in '10

Senator pitches compromise to Durbin to quell calls for ouster

(Newser) - Roland Burris won’t resign as senator in the wake of allegations he traded campaign donations for his appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich—or at least that’s what Burris will tell fellow Illinois Dem Dick Durbin today, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. But sources say Burris will pledge not... More »

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