Illinois lawmakers will be at the capitol today to address the state's pension woes. But there's growing skepticism that a deal can be reached at this time. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno is among those who anticipate the day will end without a pension overhaul.
Governor Pat Quinn toured Illinois Tuesday as he signed legislation that extends tax incentives for businesses within so-called enterprise zones. One of the stops was at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.
State officials are gathering public input on the pending closure of Rockford's Singer Mental Health Center. As part of a cost-cutting move, Governor Pat Quinn signed a budget that calls for shutting the facility's doors this fall. The governor says it's also part of an effort to focus more on community-based mental health care.
Governor Pat Quinn says without a retirement system overhaul, Illinois will spend more on pensions than education in the next five years. Quinn's office says under current projections, required state pension contributions will rise to over $6 billion in the next few years if no reform is enacted.
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has released another video message on his website detailing his recovery from a January stroke. In the three minute message, the Illinois Republican says he's still working as much as he can. Kirk says physically he is improving, and so far has been able to climb 145 flights of stairs.
Governor Pat Quinn is renewing his call for an assault weapons ban for Illinois. But in order to get it passed, he'll need the support of a Republican lawmaker who opposes the idea.
Quinn first raised the issue in the days following the Colorado shooting rampage. He spotted an opening in legislation that would have allowed people to purchase ammunition by mail from companies within Illinois. On Tuesday, Quinn used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite the proposal so it would ban many types of semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Non-profit organizations in Illinois are being urged to call the state comptroller, if delayed payments from Springfield are threatening their operations. Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka is touring the state, urging social-service providers to reach out to her office.
While in Rockford Monday, Topinka said she'll do all she can to help these groups, but made no promises.
Governor Pat Quinn has called members of the state legislature back to Springfield August 17th for a special session on government pensions. But it's not clear if they're prepared to vote on the issue.
There's been a consensus among political leaders in Springfield that something has to be done about the state pension system. It's estimated to be $83-billion short of being able to meet its future obligations.