Politics and Government

OSF HealthCare employees will have available parking when its new mission headquarters opens in downtown. 

Tim Shelley / WCBU

There is considerable pressure on Peoria city council members to decide where the city will stand on recreational cannabis sales and cultivation sooner rather than later.

Like other local governments throughout the state, Peoria is deliberating whether to allow the sale and cultivation of recreational marijuana within the city's borders. Possession of up to 30 grams and usage in most private spaces becomes legal in Illinois on January 1.

Jeff Smudde / WCBU

The Peoria City Council will hold a special meeting on Saturday to determine the city's directon on recreational cannabis businesses. 

The new state law legalizing recreational cannabis usage goes into effect on Jan. 1. But the law also allows municipalities wide leeway on whether or not to allow the cultivation and sale of recreational cannabis within their communities. 

This Nov. 13, 2013 file photo shows the Ameren Corp. power plant outside of the southern Illinois town of Newton. / AP Photo/Jim Suhr, File

Vistra Energy announced Wednesday it is closing its coal burning power plants in Canton, Havana, Hennepin and Coffeen.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In the wake of two high profile mass shootings this month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office is making gun violence prosecutions a priority. A leader of the Illinois House, meanwhile, said new gun legislation will be on the table during the next legislative session.

NPR Illinois

Power in Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's office has been too centralized and its environment has fostered an atmosphere that condones bullying, intimidation, hazing and long work hours with inconsistent direction, according to an investigative report released Tuesday.

Mel Evans / AP Photo

There is no dearth of opinions for East Peoria city commissioners to weigh as they decide whether to allow the sale of recreational cannabis next year.

The city council held a public forum on the issue on Tuesday evening. Residents fell on both sides of the issue. Some called for East Peoria to follow Morton and El Paso in banning recreational cannabis sales within its borders, while others said it presents an opportunity to create new jobs and tax revenue.

The president of the Peoria firefighters’ union says he hopes the recent Illinois Labor Relations Board ruling in their favor coaxes the city to head to the bargaining table. 

An investigation of sexual harassment in House Speaker Michael Madigan's office found that control has been too centralized and discourages complaints about mistreatment.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The city of East Peoria will hold a public forum Tuesday to gauge where citizens stand on recreational cannabis sales. 

SENBARICKMAN.COM

State Senator Jason Barickman concedes a new law he co-sponsored to prevent further trauma to some sexual assault victims might not be enough to assuage victims' concerns.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) said it’s hard to tell which way the president is leaning after he again mused about commuting the sentence of former Governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday. 

City of Galesburg

The city of Galesburg is bumping a police captain up into the chief's office. 

Eight years after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted of corruption, the state of Illinois seeking to bar him from practicing law. 

Woodford County is drafting an ordinance to ban recreational cannabis cultivation and sales. 

JERRY NOWICKI / CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS, USED WITH PERMISSION

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs is among the first Illinois officials to endorse a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and he's backing Elizabeth Warren.

Frerichs made the announcement seemingly out of the blue this week. Other statewide officeholders — including Governor J.B. Pritzker — have so far kept out of the crowded Democratic primary.

He said Warren “stands out” among the 20-plus candidates — and particularly likes her plan to cancel student loan debt for a large swath of Americans, paying for it with a wealth tax.

NCDOTcommunications / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Illinois’ 45 billion dollar infrastructure plan is expected to attract a lot of outside contractors to help complete the work. But union worries over whether those contractors will pay the required salaries has spurred action from the Comptroller’s office.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

There will soon be 30 new houses built in Peoria’s East Bluff neighborhood.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The frustration and anxiety about a recent uptick in violent crime on the East Bluff was palpable during a policing update for the neighborhood on Monday.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU

Attorney Chris McCall announced he’s running against recently appointed Peoria County State’s Attorney Jodi Hoos in the March primary.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin via Twitter

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants to spend more money on agricultural research. 

Jeff Smudde / WCBU

The Peoria Fire Department may receive body armor in the wake of recent mass shootings. 

Angela Weck / PAWAC

An expert on Korean affairs says North Korea is far closer to its goal of normalizing itself than the U.S. is in its aim of denuclearizing the autocratic international pariah. 

WCBU News/Jeff Smudde

The city of Peoria is challenging residents and business owners to balance the city’s 2020 budget. 

Sarah Jesmer / WNIJ

Congressman Adam Kinzinger toured parts of his northern Illinois district on Tuesday. The Republican  offered comment on next steps forward after recent shootings in Ohio and Texas. America is grappling with issues of racism and gun control in the wake of gun violence.

Kinzinger said the gun control debate, specifically as to whether assault weapons should be available to civilians, is valid but he isn’t optimistic it will be promptly solved. He said mass shootings stem from mental health issues.

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

China’s decision to cut off purchasing American agricultural products could make an already bad situation even worse.

“We’re going to have way less of a demand, way oversupplied. That’s going to drive these market prices potentially further down than they already are. That’s a potential more of a crisis for farmers," said Malena Wheeler, the manager of the Woodford County Farm Bureau.

Wheeler said Woodford County farmers are telling her they’re concerned and would much rather be able to sell their products on the market than continue to receive government aid.

Courtesy Angela Weck / PAWAC

Foreign policy expert and Washington Post columnist Max Boot said he isn't sure how the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China will ultimately be resolved.

WCBU News/Kristin McHugh

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) said she’s tackling the recent problems at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee she chairs with eyes open.

HARSHA KR / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

A new law will protect victims of sexual abuse from potential arrest while reporting the crime.

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