The Illinois Senate took a key step toward implementing the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." Senators approved the creation of a "health insurance exchange."
Starting next year, Americans must have insurance or face penalties. Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to create their own health insurance exchanges or partner with the federal government.
There's a lot of angst, uproar and fussing at the capitol over what's happening with the state's pension systems.
What legislators do about it will have ramifications for the Illinois budget, as well as for state employees' and teachers' pocketbooks - not to mention politicians' own political and financial futures.
The Illinois House voted to again approve the bill Wednesday. The Senate approved it for a second time Tuesday.
ComEd pleaded its case to lawmakers when it was unsatisfied with how a state regulator was handling its request to raise rates. The utility says the higher rates are needed to pay for upgrades to the state's electric grid. AARP spokesman Scott Musser says the legislation would let ComEd collect past rate increases it believes it deserved -- with interest. But Musser says the utility is behind on making promised upgrades: