Tim Butler

LUKE RUNYON/HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Illinois lawmakers approved legisltation that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. Hemp is derived from the cannabis plant, but it has a non-drug use. It can create bio-degradable building materials, paper, textiles and more.

State of Illinois

A Springfield-area lawmaker wants to change the official state seal. 

The date on the bottom of the seal is the date when the first state constitution was signed.  Rep. Tim Butler wants that date changed to December 3, 1818 --  the date when Illinois officially became a state.  He says he spent a lot of time researching the issue.  

"I am the fourth great-grandson of a gentleman named Lewis Barker, who served in the very first General Assembly," Butler said. "These issues have a personal meaning for me because of my family history."