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Special Session To Cost 40-Grand
Taxpayers will dish out about 40-thousand dollars to pay for special session, even though an actual pension deal doesn’t appear likely. Each lawmaker will get 111-bucks apiece to be in Springfield for the day tomorrow. Some of them don’t accept the cash and others give it to charity.
GOP Lawmakers Back New Pension Plan
Republican lawmakers want to add another pension plan to the mix. They’re asking Democratic leaders to consider a plan that switches state workers over into a defined contribution plan, or a 401k. They say the plan would cut the state’s pension liability by about 50-billion dollars right off
the bat, and it would save about 221-billion dollars over the next 30 years. Supporters say it’s a win-win for the state and for workers, because it would give workers more control over their own benefits. The lawmakers are asking leaders to call the plan for a vote when they return to Springfield tomorrow.
White County Residents Get Right To Carry
Yet another Illinois county is trumping state law and giving people the right to carry a gun in public. White County now joins Randolph, Madison and Tazewell counties in a growing list of counties that won’t convict people for concealing a weapon, so long as they have a valid FOID card. The federal courts have ruled Illinois’ ban on concealed carry unconstitutional, and White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud says that’s reason enough not to prosecute. But State Police and the Sheriff’s Association say carrying is still illegal in Illinois and they’ll arrest anyone whose illegally carrying a gun. Meanwhile, Governor Quinn has until July 9th to either sign or veto the bill that’s on his desk.
Elected Officials Call For Vote On Senate Pension Plan
More than two dozen elected officials are calling on House Speaker Michael Madigan to take a vote on the senate’s pension bill. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is among those who say the senate plan is the best deal for the state, claiming it represents real pension reform that will stabilize the pension systems and get the state’s finances under control. The senate plan asks workers to make changes to their retirement package and gives them several options to choose from. The elected officials say the senate bill is more likely to clear the court for constitutionality. They’re calling on Madigan to call the bill for a vote during special session tomorrow.
Madigan Wants More Time To Decide On Concealed Carry
Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking the court for another month to decide whether to appeal a ruling on concealed carry. As it stands right now, she has to make the decision by June 24th. But Governor Quinn has until July 9th to take action on the bill and some believe Madigan wants to wait and see what he’ll do before making her decision. In the meantime, officials in at least three counties have decided to let people go ahead and carry guns in public, claiming they won’t enforce a law that’s unconstitutional.
Quinn Signs Bill Regulating Fracking
The fracking industry should be booming in Illinois within the next three years. That’s according to Mark Denzler, with the Illinois Manufacturers Association, who says the industry will put tens of thousands of people to work. Governor Quinn signed a bill yesterday which will regulate the industry and ensure companies abide by rules designed to protect the state’s air and water. The new law requires companies to disclose what chemicals they’ll be using in the fracking process and it requires they do ground water testing both before and after they drill.
Jackson Jr. Wants To Serve First
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. says if he and his wife are both sentenced to prison, he would like to serve first. They're scheduled to be sentenced on July 3rd. Jackson Jr. was found guilty of illegally using campaign funds, while Sandi Jackson was convicted of tax fraud.
Stanley Cup Or Not, Blackhawks Still A Loser Financially
Even if they win Lord Stanley's Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks will not be financially in the black. Crain's "Chicago Business" reports team owner Rocky Wirtz says it will take two more years of winning hockey to turn a profit. The team's run to the Stanley Cup final helped to offset the loss of revenue from the shortened season, but the team will still end the year ten- to 20-million-dollars short of breaking even. Wirtz has been supplementing the team's revenue with cash from the family's other successful businesses, including Wirtz Beverage Co. which had nearly two-billion-dollars in sales last year.
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