Senate wants recreational pot use question on ballot
The Illinois Senate wants to ask voters if the state should legalize recreational marijuana. The Senate approved a measure that is now on its way to the Illinois House. As currently written, it would ask Illinois voters, “Do you support the legalization of possession and use of marijuana by persons who are at least 21 years of age, subject to regulation and taxation that is similar to the regulation and taxation of tobacco and alcohol?”
If approved by the House, the question would be on the November ballot.
The measure is part of a larger effort to explore whether Illinois should liberalize marijuana laws, which has been ongoing as lawmakers obtain feedback from various stakeholders.
Republican lawmakers criticized the bill, arguing that a question on marijuana is not a high priority compared with other pressing issues in the state.
If Illinois legalized recreational use of marijuana, it would likely be the first Midwestern state to do so. While Gov. Bruce Rauner has not taken a position on this legislation, he has in the past said he is not in favor of legalization of recreational use of marijuana.
Downtown parking ticket fine increases
Be warned that you will be paying more for a parking ticket in Downtown Peoria. The price of a ticket is going up from $15 to $20, after a 9-2 vote by the Peoria City Council approved the hike.
In 2014, the city adjusted parking rates in the Downtown, increasing meter prices to $1 an hour while reducing rates in the four city-owned decks — Jefferson Deck, Twin Towers Deck, Niagara Deck and One Technology Deck — from $1.50 an hour to $1 an hour.
The city recently authorized a half-million dollars to install an automated system in the four decks to allow for credit/debit card use.
Old city bus finds new use at ICC
A retired CityLink bus will become a learning tool for students in Illinois Central College diesel service classes. CityLink donated a 35-foot Gillig diesel bus to ICC’s Diesel Powered Equipment Technology (DPET) program, which is educating the next generation of diesel service technicians.
The bus was purchased for about $268,000, and put into service in 2004. It was removed from CityLink’s active fleet in fall 2017, after exceeding the average useful life expectancy of 12 years for a public transportation bus.
ICC plans to incorporate the bus into the curriculum for the DPET class during the current spring semester. More information on the DPET program is available at icc.edu.
Smile and take a selfie with an alpaca
The Alpaca Owners Association will be offering a free opportunity to take a selfie with an alpaca at the Alpaca Owners Association National Alpaca Show sponsored by Fun in the Country Alpacas.
The event will take place at the Peoria Civic Center March 23-25. Doors will open at 7 a.m. each day. Alpacas will be available for selfies throughout the event. Stop by the registration desk for details on where these photogenic animals will be. Bring a smartphone or camera.
The event will have vendor booths, competitions, educational seminars and other activities. For details, go to alpacainfo.com.
Crime, policing survey next topic for Peoria Speaks
A discussion about a recent survey regarding crime and policing in Peoria will be held at the next Peoria Speaks. The discussion will be held at 6 p.m. March 8, at the Peoria Public Library North Branch, 3001 W. Grand Parkway.
Last fall, the Peoria Police Department, along the with University of Illinois at Chicago, conducted a survey regarding crime and policing in Peoria. The survey would be used to improve policing and develop strategies to reduce violent crime in Peoria. Kathleen Kelly, management analyst with the Peoria Police Department, will provide information about the survey and the results. After her presentation, the audience will discuss whether the survey results match the participants’ responses to the survey questions and make suggestions on improving police-community relations in Peoria.
Peoria Speaks, which was launched last month, is a new monthly community discussion program which will focus on topics of interest to Peorians. Funding for Peoria Speaks is being provided by Illinois Humanities through its Illinois Speaks program. Illinois Speaks is a small group discussion program aimed at strengthening the democratic process through community dialogues across the state of Illinois. Discussion topics differ from month to month and across regions and are often related to current events, questions and issues arising in a community.
–Peoria County News Briefs–