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Local

Dear mayors: I now pronounce you able to perform marriage ceremonies

STERLING – Mayors across the state have a new gig: solemnizing marriages.

The law allows couples seeking a civil ceremony to be married by city mayors or village presidents.

The bill, which took effect June 14, came as a surprise to Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott and Sterling Mayor Skip Lee, who are not yet sure what’s required of them to fulfill their new role.

“We should have been advised that the law was being changed,” Wescott said.

He isn’t expecting any immediate request that the mayor wed them, although he doesn’t doubt requests will increase as more people become aware.

Lee said he’s happy to provide another service but thinks the state could have done more to prepare local governments for the change.

“I received no information from anybody about the process or what’s involved,” Lee said. “It’s like being told you can drive a car but you don’t know what you’ve got to do to get a license.”

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