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Quinn Calls Budget Most Difficult In IL History
Governor Quinn is calling his proposed budget yesterday the most difficult in Illinois history. Quinn's proposed operating budget of 35-point-six-billion dollars suggests huge cuts to education. Quinn thinks the state will have about 35-point-six billion dollars to spend, but state reps think it'll be about half-a-billion less than that. Most of the revenue proposed in the budget would be consumed by the 930-million dollar increase in pension costs.
Pensions Up For Debate Today
Speaking of pension. Pension reform is the topic of the day in the Illinois House. State reps will debate several amendments aimed at drafting a bill that both Democrats and Republicans can support. The state's pension system is in dire need of repair. It's eating up about 20-perecent of the budget and leaders say vital services like education and public safety are suffering because of it.
Quinn To Cut Boards And Commissions
Governor Pat Quinn says he will use executive orders to eliminate 75 state boards and commissions that he says are redundant and costly. In his budget address, the governor also proposed eliminating three business tax loopholes, a measure he says will generate 445-million-dollars for the
state. Business leaders have said cutting those deductions would amount to a tax increase on them.
New Gaming Bill Moving In Springfield
A new gaming bill is moving in the state senate. Lawmakers rushed to get the bill on the books after Governor Quinn mentioned he was more open to the idea. The bill would add five new casinos across the state, allow slots at race tracks, and create a new online gambling system. Supporters say the money from gambling would go toward education, which Quinn says will take a 400-million dollar funding cut next year.
Dwight Prison Slated To Close By Month's End
Dwight prison is slated to close by the end of the month. All the female inmates will be shipped to the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln. It's the last prison scheduled to close under Governor Quinn's rebalancing plan. He introduced the plan last year in an effort to save the state money.
Medical Marijuana Proposal Advances In House
Good news for people struggling with MS, cancer, and other terminal illnesses. Lawmakers are considering a plan that would let them use marijuana to ease their pain. It would allow some sick people to purchase two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Anyone who tries to buy more than the legal amount would face criminal charges. The bill passed a House committee and now heads to the floor.
FBI Executes Search Warrant At NIU
The FBI is looking into possible misconduct at NIU. They executed a search warrant at the university police department yesterday and removed several boxes. Officials would not provide specific details about what they were looking for, but they say it involves the Illinois State Police, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FBI says they'll release more details if and when any arrests are made.
IL Witnesses College Tuition Jump
A new report says Illinois is among the states witnessing a major jump in the cost of college tuition. The "Wall Street Journal" found that tuition and fees at the University of Illinois leapt nearly 50-percent between 2006 and 2012. U-I-C saw a 43-percent increase for in-state students during the same time period. The report attributes the increases on reduced state funding for universities.
Poll Suggests Voters Want Tighter Gun Control
A new poll suggests that 95-percent of Illinois voters want to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses. The "Freedom To Choose" PAC conducted the poll, asking 800 voters what they think about tighter gun control and concealed carry. Seventy-four percent say they would vote for someone who supports concealed carry. The PAC chairman says the poll clearly shows that people want to reduce gun violence, but taking their guns away is not the answer.
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