Illinois Legislature gives juvenile offenders second chance

Last week the Illinois legislature overrode the governor’s veto of SB 121. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul, replaces a provision which had required juveniles convicted of a sex offense to register as adult sex offenders as soon as they turned 17. Under the new law juveniles may also petition to be removed from the juvenile registry if they demonstrate to a judge that they do not pose a risk to the community. This law recognizes that there are differences between adult and juvenile sex offenders and many juvenile sex offenders do not re-offend. Furthermore, it ensures juvenile offenders do not have their lives ruined by what may have been a youthful mistake or “Romeo and Juliet” situation. At the same time, it gives courts the discretion to protect society from violent offenders who do pose a threat by initially trying them as adults or by keeping their names on the juvenile offender registry. Only law enforcement organizations, schools and day cares have access to the juvenile registry in Illinois. [Chicago Daily Herald]

Midwestern governors work together to address climate change

Nine Midwestern governors and one Canadian premier have signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. The agreement will set up targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, create a market-based cap-and-trade system, and establish a system to track and manage emissions. The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin all signed the agreement but Indiana, Ohio, and South Dakota are joining as observers. North Dakota and Nebraska will join the other states to develop the region’s use of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Governors in the Western states, Northeastern, and Southwestern states have signed similar regional agreements. For more information, see CPA’s Global Warming policy brief and model legislation. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Election Results for Ballot Measures Prove Largely in Support of Progressives

Tuesday’s election contained a large number of voter initiatives and proposed state constitutional amendments. Here are the results for those issues:

Abortion Ban
The South Dakota proposed constitutional amendment to ban almost all abortions failed with a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent. This amendment would have been a direct challenge to the US Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade.

Gay Marriage Bans
The proposed ban on gay marriage in Arizona failed with a vote of 51 percent against and 49 percent for the amendment. Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…