Leaders Push for Local Definition of Obscenity

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Byline: Steve Warmbir Daily Herald Staff Writer

A state crime group, local politicians and religious leaders are holding news conferences across Illinois today to push for passage of a state bill that would give county governments more control over strip joints and dirty book stores.

Palatine Village President Rita L. Mullins and Illinois State Crime Commission Executive Director Jerry Elsner are among the supporters of a bill that would let counties set their own legal standards of what is obscene, rather than having to rely on the state's definition. Critics of the state definition say it isn't strict enough.

"Illinois is a very diverse state, and it ought to be a local standard," said State Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald of Inverness, another supporter of the bill.

The Illinois Senate has passed the bill by a wide margin, 40 to 14, and it's expected to be brought to a vote early next week during the House's veto session. Republican supporters of the bill are trying to get it passed before the Democrats officially take control. …