Democrats and Republicans haven’t been able to agree on a state budget or education funding plan, but lawmakers still managed to send Gov. Bruce Rauner more than 400 pieces of legislation, from measures aimed at expanding voter access to extending a medical marijuana trial program to protecting a historic fish.
While much of the focus centered around the partisan political fight that’s left Illinois without a budget since last July, there were areas of compromise, namely in criminal justice.
Both sides are looking to re-examine a tough-on-crime legal system that drove up the state’s prison population, and the corresponding cost of prosecuting and housing offenders. That’s seen more liberal Democrats who traditionally have pushed for more diversion and rehabilitation programs now aligned with the conservatives who have long pushed to cut the cost of government.
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