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   Veterans in Illinois will some be able to use their experience as military medics to become licensed practical nurses or emergency medical technicians.  That's because the state was one of six chosen by the National Governors Association to participate in the "Veterans Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy."  

   Governor Pat Quinn on Monday announced Illinois' participation in the program that eases licensing requirements for medics and helps ex-military police officers transition to civilian police forces.  

   The other state chosen to participate include Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada and Virginia.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn slashed lawmakers' salaries because he wasn't happy with their inaction on Illinois' pension crisis. But these days the only elected official working without pay is Quinn himself.

A judge told the Chicago Democrat it's unconstitutional to hold back legislators' salaries. But Quinn also gave up his own paycheck and still vows not to collect it until the pension crisis is solved. So three checks totaling about $44,000 await Quinn at the state comptroller's office.

Some Republicans challenging Quinn's 2014 re-election bid call it a populist stunt. But his supporters say he's as frugal as he's always boasted and is probably faring just fine.

But things could get tight for him if the committee charged with proposing a solution to the pension crisis doesn't come through soon.

 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's budget office says most state workers whose salaries are paid by federal money are back on the job, but more layoffs could come if the federal shutdown continues.

   Roughly 100 workers were issued temporary layoffs last week, including employees with the Department of Military Affairs, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and Labor Department.

   Quinn's budget office says temporary layoffs for more than 70 employees expired Wednesday. The U.S. House has approved back pay for some workers.

   More than three dozen workers are still off the job, including Labor employees who conduct work site safety inspections. More state layoffs could be issued next week.

   Quinn has sent U.S. House Speaker John Boehner a letter, urging the shutdown's end and predicting hundreds more layoffs if the shutdown continues.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he plans to talk to the Legislature about making sure state police have enough resources at their disposal to deal with a backlog of applications for gun ownership.

The Illinois State Police continues to struggle with a backlog of applications for gun ownership. So it remains to be seen how they can handle an influx of requests for permits to carry concealed weapons.

The department has 49,000 applications for Firearm Owners Identification cards awaiting approval.

Police estimate there will be 400,000 applications for "carry" permits in the first year.

Quinn says he wants to make sure police are able to do their jobs.

In July Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow residents to carry concealed weapons.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - A budget director for Gov. Pat Quinn says if the federal government shutdown proceeds, Illinois employees paid by federal funds could face temporary layoffs as early as Wednesday.

The budget office had no estimates Monday for how many employees would be affected.

Abdon Pallasch is Quinn's assistant budget director. In a statement, he says that the timing of the layoffs would depend on existing resources and individual agencies. Agencies that could be affected include Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs.

During the last shutdown in 1995, about 1,200 Illinois employees were temporarily laid off. They were hired back after two weeks.

Pallasch says most state agencies have sufficient funds to provide services in the short term, but a longer term shutdown would have a greater impact.

 

Published in Local News
Friday, 27 September 2013 02:15

Quinn: Juvenile justice has made great strides

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he hasn't seen a report released Thursday that details inadequate conditions at juvenile detention centers, but Illinois has made "important strides" with fewer juveniles incarcerated.

   Quinn told reporters Thursday that Illinois has to have a system where young people who make mistakes pay their debt and face consequences. He says if the report raises issues, they'll be looked at.

   Watchdog group the John Howard Association released a review Thursday on conditions at a Kewanee facility specializing in treatment for juveniles with mental health issues.

   Another report was submitted in federal court as part of the settlement. It describes incarcerated teens mowing lawns during the school day and being routinely subjected to more solitary confinement than necessary.

   Juvenile detention centers house more than 800 juvenile inmates.

 
Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's administration is trickling out information about what Illinois health insurance prices will be on the new marketplace that's a backbone of President Barack Obama's health care law.

Quinn's office announced Tuesday the monthly rates for the lowest-cost plan for a 25-year-old nonsmoker will be $120 in Chicago or $128 in Peoria. For a 40-year-old nonsmoker, the monthly cost of the cheapest plan would be $152 in Chicago or $163 in Peoria.

Most Illinois residents will be able to choose from at least 34 plans when the marketplace goes live Oct. 1.

Consumers will have to wait until then to learn exactly what choices will be available in their region and how much they'll pay. New tax credits will lower costs for some, depending on household income.

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - With his top Democratic challenger out of the 2014 race, Gov. Pat Quinn says he remains focused on his day job.

Quinn addressed reporters Wednesday in Chicago. The appearance was his first since former White House chief of staff Bill Daley bowed out of the 2014 race.

Quinn shied away from addressing Daley's criticisms, including parting statements that Quinn wouldn't win.

With just one lesser known candidate left, he's widely expected to get the nod from his party during the March primary.

Quinn says he'll still attend a statewide slating discussion this weekend in Springfield by the state's Democratic party.

Four Republicans are running for governor. Quinn says it'll be a tough contest.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has suspended funding for the next phase of a pricey renovation project at the state Capitol that's caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois and raised questions about how it was allowed.

The Chicago Democrat told reporters Tuesday that he's instructed his budget director to hold up any further appropriations for the project.

The restoration of the National Historic Landmark has already drawn criticism from officeholders and candidates, along with lots of finger-pointing. Sparking the outrage has been copper-plated wooden doors with a nearly $670,000 price tag and more than $323,000 for four chandeliers.

Quinn blamed Capitol architect J. Richard Alsop III and says he needs to be "reigned in" by the legislative commission he reports to.

It's a nearly $50 million taxpayer funded renovation.

 

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn claims Illinois has added 80,000 jobs through foreign firms since he took office, but some economists say he can't take all the credit.

   The Chicago Democrat released new jobs figures while in Japan for a conference with other governors and business executives. He returns on Tuesday.

   Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Sandra Jones says Quinn's figures come from a report from Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. That's a New Jersey-based credit reporting service for businesses. The figures are from 2009's end to earlier this year.

   University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz says the increase is possible, but much of it is automatic. He says international companies want to do business in Illinois and some will whether an elected official pushes it or not.

 

Published in Local News
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