>>July 9th Significant For Two Reasons
(Springfield, IL) -- Lawmakers have until July 9th to come up with a pension fix. Governor Quinn set the date, which could be a slight indication on what he plans to do with the concealed carry bill. Quinn has until the same day, July 9th, to take action on the gun bill, which would give people the right to carry in public. If he vetoes it, lawmakers would have to make a trip to Springfield to override the veto. That sounds like a good time to take a vote on pension reform, or at least check in and see where the progress is.
>>GOP Supporter Calls Black Candidate, “Street Walker”
(Champaign, IL) -- Racial slurs are being tossed around about one African American candidate challenging Congressman Rodney Davis. A member of Davis’s campaign team says Erica Harold is being used as a "street-walker” and he calls her the love child of the Democratic Party. He also says Harold, who’s an attorney with a Harvard degree, would likely get hired by a Chicago firm because it needs to meet a quota. The GOP has had a hard time gaining support of minority voters in recent years and the comments about Harold certainly won’t help the situation. Davis has separated himself from the comments.
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>>School Board President Faces Sex Allegations
(Hardin County, IL) -- A school board president is under investigation for allegedly soliciting sex from women. Officials started getting tips about Hardin County School Board President Jerry Fricker back in February. The case was handed over to the Illinois State Police because of a possible conflict of interest in the county. Fricker’s son is the sheriff. So far no charges have been filed.
>>Honeywell Back In Business
(Metropolis, IL) -- The Honeywell plant in Metropolis is back in business. Front end operations started again today. The plant has been shut down since last summer because the building didn’t meet the safety standards. The company has taken the time off to make upgrades at the plan and they hope to return to full operations once they get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They plan to fill more than 250 full-time positions once operations are fully restored.
>>Governor Quinn Weighs In On Conference Committee
(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn says he thinks forming a conference committee will force lawmakers to work together and solve the state pension woes. The Governor says he will only sign a comprehensive public pension reform plan, one that fully funds the state's unfunded liability. Lawmakers formed the conference committee after Democratic leaders failed to find compromise on several pension bills. They’re charged with finding a fix by July 9th.
>>Rauner Campaigns In Springfield
(Springfield, IL) -- The Republican primary for Illinois governor is still months away but that didn't stop Bruce Rauner from stopping in Springfield. Rauner hosted a town hall yesterday, saying it would give him the opportunity to tell voters his stances on education and job opportunities. Rauner also visited with potential voters in Effingham. Rauner, along with state Treasurer Dan Rutherford [[ ROO-ther-ford ]] are so far the only confirmed GOP gubernatorial candidates.
>>Holbrook Taking Over For Delaney In St. Clair County
(Belleville, IL) -- Ex-state Representative Tom Holbrook is going to take over as St. Clair County Clerk. Holbrook tells the "Belleville News-Democrat" he was offered the job yesterday and is willing to help his county. He replaces Bob Delaney, who resigned yesterday for sexually harassing and wrongfully firing an employee. The County Board has to vote on Holbrook's nomination next week.
>>Raises Coming To 600 SWIC Workers
(Belleville, IL) -- Raises are coming to 600 Southwestern Illinois College workers. The board voted last night to five the workers a two-point-75-percent raise for the nonunionized employees. An SWIC spokesperson says the raises are close to what union workers got last year.
>>Protestors Briefly Take Over Chicago Elementary On Last School Day
(Chicago, IL) -- A group of protestors from Occupy Chicago decided to take matters into their own hand by briefly taking over a Lafayette Elementary classroom. Around six protestors staged a sit in at Lafayette yesterday, chanting it was "their school" and that the programs were vital to the community. Lafayette and 27 other schools had their last day of class ever yesterday. CPS is shutting down 49-schools due to lower enrollment.
>>Pension Deadline Pushed Back Three Weeks
(Springfield, IL) -- Taxpayers will be on the hook for at least another 340-million bucks before lawmakers come up with a pension fix. Governor Quinn has given lawmakers another three weeks to reach a deal. The move comes after Democratic leaders failed to find a middle ground on how to get the 97-billion dollar underfunded pension systems under control. The argument is over whether the two bills on the table either save enough money or meet constitutional guidelines. Now a group of ten lawmakers will sort through the issues and try to reach a deal before July 9th.
>>Quinn Still Not Sure If He’ll Sign Concealed Carry Bill
(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn says he’s still not sure whether he’ll sign the concealed carry bill. He has until July 9th to make a decision, otherwise constitutional carry could go into effect. In the meantime, counties are starting to come up with their own rules on concealed carry. Residents in at least five counties won’t be prosecuted if they have a FOID card and are busted carrying a gun. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the patchwork of laws can be confusing and they urge Quinn to sign the bill as soon as possible, so everyone in the state lives under one uniform law.
>>Supreme Court Wants Equal Access For Disabled People
(Bloomington, IL) -- The Illinois Supreme Court is trying to help the poor and disadvantaged gain access to justice. Chief Justice Tom Kilbride approved a legal service program designed to be a starting point for people who can't afford counsel or have a language barrier. The Eleventh Circuit Court will be the pilot site of the Justice Core, which will help educate people on how the legal system works. The Commission completed "listening conferences" with judges, circuit clerks, lawyers, and social service providers to best learn what type of help is needed.
>>Jacksonville Man Headed To Jail For Violating Probation
(Jacksonville, IL) -- A Jacksonville man couldn’t convince a judge he should avoid prison time after violating probation five times on burglary and growing marijuana. Circuit Judge David Cherry sentenced 20-year-old Jonathan Surratt to three years behind bars. Authorities say he violated the conditions of probation on the burglary conviction four times and once on the marijuana charge. Surratt tried to get his act together over the past several weeks. He voluntarily submitted clean drug tests and voluntarily began community service, but officials say it was too little, too late.
>>Probation Officer Charged With Drug Possession
(Ursa, IL) -- A trial date is set for a former probation officer accused of possessing meth, marijuana, and drug making materials in his home. Fifty Nine year old John Grotts faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s convicted. Grotts was once a probation officer and head of the drug court in Adams County. His trial begins August 6th with a pretrial hearing scheduled for July 16th.
>>Senator Wants Incentives To Keep OfficeMax In Illinois
(Villa Park, IL) -- A state senator from the Chicago suburb of Villa Park wants the state to offer an economic incentive package to OfficeMax to keep its headquarters in Illinois. OfficeMax is merging with rival Office Depot and Senator Tom Cullerton says locating the company in Office Depot's offices in Florida would cost the state two-thousand jobs. Cullerton points out that the state has offered similar incentives to Sears, Navistar, Ford and Motorola.