Ill. legislature in session for Memorial Day holiday

By WEEK Producer

May 28, 2012 Updated May 28, 2012 at 10:21 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- While Monday was a government holiday, state lawmakers were in Springfield trying to finish the spring legislative session on time.

Monday, a Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved the bill that would remove Wildlife Prairie State Park from the control of the Department of Natural Resources.

If the bill passes, it would move the park over to the Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park. The bill, sponsored by Peoria senators Dave Koehler and Darin Lahood, is now headed to the senate floor.

And the House Judiciary Committee voted 7-1 in support of a proposal that would allow some non-violent offenders to leave prison without serving their entire sentences. That is if they meet certain standards for good behavior.

The measure comes in response to Governor Pat Quinn's decision in 2009 to suspend an early release program after an Associated Press investigation showed that some potentially dangerous inmates were being freed within days of entering prison. The end of the program contributed to severe prison overcrowding

The measure was approved in the Senate earlier this month. It now heads to the full House for further debate.

Lawmakers still have a lot to accomplish before the spring session is set to finish on Thursday. Lawmakers still need to pass a budget, and find solutions for the Medicaid program and state pensions.

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