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Steans seeks to mend budget woes by legalizing marijuana

legal marijuanaCHICAGO – Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) seeks to create a new revenue source for the State of Illinois by legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana. Senate Bill 316 legalizes the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and will allow facilities to sell marijuana products.

“Right now, all the money being spent on marijuana is going into the pockets of criminals and cartels,” Steans said. “In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses. It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it.”

Budget cuts force Lake County domestic violence center to cut services

safeplaceIt has been nearly two years since Illinois had a full budget. As a result, many human service providers have been forced to cut back on services and lay off staff. One organization that has been impacted is A Safe Place, a domestic violence support center in Zion that serves more than 15,000 individuals each year. 

Since it was founded in 1980, A Safe Place has grown into a $2.2 million agency with seven offices across Lake County. Services include emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis line, legal advocacy, permanent housing, case management, individual and group therapy, mentoring programs, supervised family visitation and custody exchanges, and more.

Peoria domestic violence shelter among those devastated by budget impasse

Peoria dv 032117PEORIA – A Peoria social service provider that helps victims of domestic abuse is one of the many groups affected by a cut of $9 million in state funding.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse stands to lose $200,000 due to the cut. The organization was already owed over $400,000 by the state for previous programs the state never reimbursed them for.

Manar determined to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois

Manar avr 031517SPRINGFIELD – As lawmakers around the country propose new ways to restrict voters’ access to the polls, State Senator Andy Manar is determined to expand access in Illinois, simplify voter registration, clean up the voter rolls and save money for taxpayers.

Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has re-introduced commonsense legislation to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois. Last year, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the effort even though it had bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature.