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   WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) - The mayor the village of Washington Park, Illinois says city leaders are talking about disbanding the police department.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports Thursday that Washington Park Mayor Ann Rodgers says the village's financial situation is bleak. She says a number of options are being considered but nothing has been finalized. The village's police chief, Aubrey Keller, has previously suggested the department be abolished.

   Keller says the department has a staff shortage and is paying overtime costs.

   St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly also agrees that abolishing the department is an option.

   Washington Park has a $7 million deficit and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has called for the state attorney general to investigate the village's finances.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State senators are expected to consider two possible paths toward addressing the nation's worst pension crisis.

One option is legislation approved in the Illinois House last week. That bill is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan. It would require public employees to pay 2 percent more toward their retirement benefits. It would also reduce annual cost-of-living increases for retirees and raise the retirement age for workers under 45.

Labor unions also are expected to pitch a plan. The details of that proposal have not been disclosed. But a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton says it would offer employees a choice between health insurance or cost-of-living increases.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss the two options in a closed-door meeting on Monday before convening on the Senate floor.

 

Published in Local News

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