Illinois quick hits: Railroad merger moving forward; House passes bills about marriage

Railroad merger moving forward

The first major railroad merger in over 20 years will move forward after federal regulators approved Canadian Pacific’s $31 billion acquisition of Kansas City Southern.

The U.S. Transportation Board said the new service will facilitate the flow of grain from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico and the movement of goods between Chicago and Dallas. Several suburban Chicago cities opposed the merger, fearing constantly blocked railroad crossings.

House passes bill to allow elected officials to conduct marriages

The Illinois House approved a measure amending who can conduct a marriage. House Bill 1111 passed mostly along party lines Wednesday.

The measure provides that a marriage may be solemnized by a state executive branch constitutional officer like governor or comptroller, or any member of the Illinois General Assembly who is in office at the time of the ceremony.

Ethanol pesticide bill advances

It’s onto the Illinois Senate with a bill to prohibit the production of ethanol using seeds that have been treated with a pesticide.

House Bill 1440 passed the House Wednesday mostly along party lines. The measure amends the Illinois Pesticide Act to include language prohibiting seeds treated with pesticides from being used for such production.

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