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Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:30

GOP candidates ready for next debate in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) - The four Republican gubernatorial candidates are gearing up for another televised debate just weeks ahead of the March primary.
 
Thursday's event in Chicago comes as two candidates lag far behind in money. State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady also acknowledge polls that show them behind businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) and Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd). But they say they're not worried.
 
They've vowed to defy expectation and are counting on a late surge. Dillard received an endorsement Wednesday from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association
 
The primary is March 18.
 
The debate is hosted by the League of Women Voters of Illinois, WLS-TV and Univision.
 
Gov. Pat Quinn faces primary challenger Tio Hardiman, an activist. Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat won't participate in any debates ahead of the primary.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn won't debate his lone Democratic challenger ahead of next month's primary.
 
Activist Tio Hardiman wrote Quinn a letter requesting debates ahead of March 18, saying the public "deserves a serious debate."
 
Quinn campaign spokeswoman Leslie Wertheimer said Friday she hadn't seen the letter but no debates were to "take place."
 
Hardiman faces an uphill battle. Records for the most recent quarter show Quinn's campaign has $4.5 million in the bank, compared with $550 for Hardiman, who's mostly self-financed.
 
He's been active in anti-violence efforts, but doesn't have statewide name recognition or party backing.
 
Hardiman insists he'll run a credible campaign.
 
The Republican gubernatorial candidates are participating in numerous debates. They are Treasurer Dan Rutherford, businessman Bruce Rauner, and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady.
 
Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A budding rift over the use of protected rivers and streams in south-central Missouri for baptisms is over before it really got started.

Republican U.S. Representative Jason Smith raised concerns in a letter this week to Ozark National Scenic Riverways superintendent William Black about permits required for baptisms. The riverways is part of the National Park Service, providing oversight for sections of the Jacks Fork and Current rivers, along with creeks and streams near those rivers.

Smith questioned why a government agency would get in the way of river baptisms, a tradition of rural Missouri life.

Black responded in a letter to Smith Thursday saying the permit issue was a misunderstanding, and that he was clarifying policy to ensure that no permit is required.

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The ACLU of Illinois says the state's abortion notification law will go into effect in 35 days.

The Illinois Supreme Court issued a ruling Thursday that ended a lengthy and emotionally charged legal battle of a 1995 law that's never been enforced. It requires doctors to notify a girl's parents of her abortion 48 hours before the procedure. It applies to girls 17 and younger.

The ACLU represented the southeastern Illinois clinic and the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Reproductive Health in the case.

The group says the measure "jeopardizes the health and safety of young women."

The ACLU says it will spend the next weeks working with health care providers and lawyers to counsel girls.

 
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A wide open debate on possible fixes for the state's pension mess is set for the Illinois House.

House Speaker Michael Madigan has scheduled a hearing for Thursday. Lawmakers are expected to vote on pension changes he is proposing.

A provision among the changes calls for penalizing retirement before age 67 with reduced benefits.

Another measure requires employees hired after January 2011 to pay an additional 5 percent toward their pensions on top of other contributions.

Riverside Democratic state Rep. Michael Zalewski says the expected votes are intended to gauge lawmakers' support for some potential reforms.

Zalewski says there's been enough talk about the changes and now is the time for legislators to actually show where they stand.
Published in Local News

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