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>>No Pay For Lawmakers Anytime Soon
(Chicago, IL) -- Lawmakers' bank accounts will be a couple thousand dollars short come payday. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says she can't cut their checks because Governor Quinn slashed the funding from the budget. Some questioned whether Quinn acted within his authority when he cut lawmakers salaries but a legal review determined he has every right to take money out of the budget. Lawmakers will have to either, pass pension reform, take legislative action, or go through the courts to get paid again.
>>U of I Extends President's Contract, Offers Bonuses
(Champaign, IL) -- The U of I decided to keep its current president on board until July of 2015. His new contract comes with a 450-thousand dollar salary and an undisclosed amount in bonus payouts. The first bonus is scheduled for September. At the same time, the U of I has raised the
cost of tuition for several years in a row, students now pay more than 24-grand a year to attend the Champaign campus.
>>Policy Institute Criticizes Obama Economic Plan
(Springfield, IL) -- Officials at the Illinois Policy Institute aren't buying the hype around President Obama's economic plan. Vice President of Policy, Ted Dabrowski, says if the president wants to see how his plan will look like, all he needs to do is look at Illinois, where Democrats have been in charge for at least a decade. Dabrowski says Illinois is in bad shape with the worst funded pension system in the nation, the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, and its adding millions of people to the welfare system every year. Dabrowski says Obama's plan mirrors that of Illinois politicians and if it comes to fruition, the nation will soon find itself in the same situation that Illinois is in right now.
>>Decatur Metro Area Has Worst Unemployment Rate
(Decatur, IL) -- The Decatur Metro area is struggling the most when it putting people to work. It has the worst unemployment rate in the state at 12-point-five-percent. That's nearly a two percentage point drop since this time last year. State officials say the downfall can be blamed on layoffs in the manufacturing industry. People in the Quad cities are faring better than any other metro-area but the unemployment rate there is still six-point-eight-percent.
>>Police Beefing Up Patrols On I-80
(Undated) -- Police are ramping up patrols on I-80 not just in Illinois, but across all 29-hundred miles of the interstate that runs from coast to coast, through 11 states including Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. Officials say the last week of July is the deadliest on I-80. There were 350 deaths on the highway in 2009, 2010, and 2011 combined. Officials are hoping to cut that number down to zero by beefing up patrols and warning drivers stay off cell phones and drive the posted speed limits.
>>Volunteers Needed At State Fair
(Springfield, IL) -- The Illinois State Fair is looking for volunteers. People are needed to work at the information booths, the Illinois State Fair Museum and the interactive agricultural exhibit, Farmer's Little Helpers, and a three-on-three basketball tournament. Volunteers are asked to work at least three days between August 8th and 18th. For more details call 217-782-0777.
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