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State Reaches Tentative Deal With AFSCME
Union leaders are pleased with the deal they've hashed out with Governor Quinn. Details of the agreement haven't been made public. But AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer says the deal is fair and protects their standards of living. Governor Quinn says the deal is also fair to the taxpayers.
Senate Passes Medicaid Expansion
Lawmakers are moving forward on implementing the Affordable Care Act. State Senators approved a bill to expand the Medicaid program yesterday, clearing the way for about a half-million more poor people to get health coverage. Democrats say the federal government will pick up the full costs of the program for the first three years. The bill now moves to the House.
Pension Reform Hits Brick Wall
There's a big game going on in Springfield, and according to House Republican leaders, taxpayers are footing the bill. Leader Tom Cross says Democrats aren't making a real effort to reform the state's pension system, which is 96-billion dollars short of funding. Cross says it's time to
stop playing politics and get serious about shoring up the accounts, otherwise schools and other vital services will suffer.
Budget 'Doomsday' Is Mystery To Peoria Guard
Illinois National Guard officials in Peoria say they're ready for pending cuts by the federal government. Officials say they're concerned about the mysterious budgetary "doomsday" scheduled to have hit when the clock struck 12-oh-one this morning. The automatic cuts will strip 85-billion dollars from the federal budget over the coming months, including an eight-percent cut to Pentagon spending.
Cardinal George Watches As Pope Retires
Cardinal Francis George watched from a rooftop in Rome, Italy as Catholics around the world bid goodbye to Pope Benedict the 16th. The Pope spent his last official day as Pontiff yesterday before his retirement. The archbishop of Chicago watched from the Pontifical North American College in Rome as Pope Benedict addressed the masses for a final time.
Peterson Moved To Third Prison
Drew Peterson is being moved to another state prison - the third since his conviction for murdering his wife. Peterson was moved yesterday to Menard Correctional Center in southern Illinois. Peterson previously spent time at the Pontiac and Stateville prisons. He is serving time for his conviction in the 2004 death of his third wife Kathleen Savio.
Crundwell Homes Stay In The Family
Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell's homes are staying in the family. At least two of her homes have been purchased by relatives. Crundwell's brother paid 600-thousand for one of the homes plus 40-acres of farmland. Humphrey's son purchased a different home for 400-grand. Crundwell is serving 19-years in prison for stealing 53-million dollars from the city of Dixon.
Bill Would Require Kids Enter School At Age Five
Skipping Kindergarten is not an option when it comes to succeeding in school. That's according to Senator Kimberly Lightford. She's introduced a proposal that would require kids start school when they're five. Right now, kids in Illinois don't have to start school until they're seven. Lightford says those kids struggle with basic reading and math and typically lag behind their peers for most of their educational years.
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