Governor's Race, Gay Marriage Top 2014 List of Illinois Stories -BYLN- Associated Press

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 30, 2014 | Go to article overview

Governor's Race, Gay Marriage Top 2014 List of Illinois Stories -BYLN- Associated Press


The election of Bruce Rauner, Illinois' first Republican governor since 2003, topped the state's news in 2014, reflecting concerns about an uneven economy and showing that voters were unhappy enough with the state of the state to want change.

The Associated Press' Top 10 Illinois stories of the year also featured a number of specific state government issues -- enactment of the first law allowing state residents to carry concealed weapons, the first gay marriages in state history and a move toward the first legal sales of medical marijuana.

By the end of the year, evidence surfaced that the economy was improving. And sports was big news, too: A Chicago Little League team made global headlines, and Cubs fans saw reason to hope their team soon might truly be big league again, too.

The Top 10 Illinois stories of 2014:

1) Bruce Rauner, a Republican businessman, defeats incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November, giving the GOP control of Illinois' executive branch for the first time in more than a decade. Rauner vows to bring state spending under control but faces the challenge of working with a Democratically controlled General Assembly.

2) Illinois becomes the last state in the nation to implement the legal concealed carry of firearms. At least 84,000 people apply for permits. In Chicago, meanwhile, a federal judge overturns the city's ban on gun stores.

3) Same-sex couples across Illinois begin marrying after a judge tells county clerks to issue licenses even before the state's gay marriage law is fully in effect. A handful of counties started marrying gay couples in February with the remainder joining in June.

4) Lawmakers in November sign off on long-awaited rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling, known as "fracking." Opponents claim the rules don't address environmental concerns, but industry advocates had warned that businesses would go elsewhere because of delays. …

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