Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is still on board with the idea of gay marriage in Illinois.
This comes after a string of headlines about the divisive issue, including the revelation that the CEO of Chick-fil-A opposes it. Most recently, Democratic leaders agreed to address gay marriage at their upcoming national convention.
Quinn said he wull continue to push for a change in policy.
“I do favor marriage equality when that bill comes before the legislature I hope it passes and if it gets to my desk I’ll sign it,” he said.
President Obama endorsed equal rights for same-sex couples earlier this year.
One day after that announcement, Quinn said that he agrees with the President’s stance.
Quinn also signed a law establishing civil unions for same-sex couples in Illinois last year.
Inmates recently released from prisons in Illinois say they're not surprised that Gov. Pat Quinn won't let reporters in to see conditions.
Chris Clingingsmith just completed seven years behind bars for driving drunk. He lost his wife, his house, his cars and his motorbike, but he’s glad he got caught when he did because he would have been in a much worse situation than he’s in now if he had stayed on the streets and hurt someone.
He said prison isn't supposed to be fun, but the Vandalia prison doesn’t meet even basic standards. He said he wouldn't even house a dog in the kind of conditions men are enduring in basements at the minimum security institution.
Chicago Public Radio has been asking to visit the prison for several months, but Gov. Pat Quinn has said no.
“They don't want you to see firsthand what we're telling you,” Clingingsmith said. “I have no reason to lie. I'm not in there anymore so they can't do anything to me. If you walked in there, I'm not going to exaggerate, you would probably just go wow, they actually house people in these areas. You would be amazed. You would think that's above and beyond punishment.”
Clingingsmith said a lot of the men housed at Vandalia are getting very mad. Clingingsmith said the lawmakers who oversee the prisons need to get to Vandalia so they know what’s going on.
Gov. Quinn said he wants to look into the conditions at some of Illinois' minimum-security prisons. A watchdog group and former inmates have reported deplorable conditions at the prisons in Vienna and Vandalia.
Those reports indicate some areas were overrun with rats and roaches, and men slept in rooms that flooded every time it rained. But despite repeated requests, Quinn says he won’t let reporters in to see the conditions firsthand.
"Yeah, well I don't believe in that. I think that it's important that -- when it comes to our security of our prisons, I go with the correctional office -- the director that I have at the Department of Corrections. Security comes first and it isn't a country club," Quinn said.
Quinn said he will look into the conditions, and would only say if reforms are needed. He wants to be sure they're done "properly."
Quinn is currently working on closing some prisons, but the union representing workers opposes those closures, saying overcrowding will get worse.
Illinois spends more than a billion dollars a year on prisons.
Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has agreed for now to stop moving inmates out of Illinois prisons that he plans to close. It is a temporary victory for the union that represents prison workers.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said the agreement is an important first step. Spokesman Anders Lindall said Gov. Quinn's administration has been "reckless" in its rush to move troubled inmates from the "supermax" prison at Tamms. He said dangerous prisoners were sent to facilities that are not ready to handle them.
The Peoria Catholic Diocese is filing a federal lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers provide contraceptive services.
According to the suit, the mandate violates core religious and moral convictions. Diocese Attorney Patricia Gibson said in a statement the suit is "not about whether people have access to services, but rather about the freedom to practice religion without government interference."
A child who contracted a new strain of swine flu has become the first Illinois case of the illness.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the case today, encouraging state and county fairgoers to wash their hands frequently around pigs.
A vigil Thursday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign comes in response to the shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and a fire at a mosque in Missouri.
Six worshipers died and three others were injured in the Wisconsin attack, while there were no injuries as a result of the fire in Missouri.
Falling water levels at Lake Decatur are bringing additional limits on water usage starting Thursday (July 9th) in Decatur, Mount Zion and Long Creek. The only exemptions are for residents who draw their water from private wells.
University of Illinois Campus police report a carjacking Thursday morning, at a parking deck on the north end of campus.
Lieutenant Roy Acree says it happened around 7:10 AM, to a woman in the parking deck at Goodwin and University in Urbana.
(With additional reporting from The Associated Press)
The Illinois Supreme Court has allowed a lawsuit accusing McLean County school officials of not doing enough to keep an abusive teacher from being hired in Urbana.
31-year old Jon White was teaching at Colene Hoose Elementary School in Normal when parents complained about him abusing their daughters. He wasn't charged with a crime at the time, but the school did suspend him. White went on to abuse at least eight girls at a new job at Thomas Paine Elementary School in Urbana.
A vote on a bill to overhaul pensions for state employees will go ahead at the Illinois Legislature's special session this month.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that House Speaker Michael Madigan has decided to allow the vote on Aug. 17.