SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the people of Illinois have won after lawmakers approved a major overhaul aimed at solving the state's $100 billion pension crisis.
In a Tuesday statement, Quinn calls it "landmark legislation" that will ensure retirement security.
The Chicago Democrat has made pension reform a top priority for two years, but efforts had been unsuccessfully including previous special sessions and his social media campaign. More recently, Quinn had refused to take a paycheck until lawmakers came up with a comprehensive solution.
The Illinois House and Senate approved a bill that's estimated to save roughly $160 billion over the next three decades.
However, unions were opposed to the measure, calling it unfair and questioning its legality.
Mizzou's Football coach, Gary Pinkel, has been named a finalist of the Maxwell Coach of the year award.
Pinkel is credited with turning the team around in their second season in the SEC. Last year, the team managed only a 5-7 record. This year they stand at 11-1 and will play in the SEC Championship game this weekend.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Officials say Gov. Pat Quinn's constituent office in Springfield was evacuated after an envelope with a "suspicious substance" was found.
The Governor's Office of Constituent Affairs is located near the state Capitol where lawmakers and others were gathered ahead of an expected pension vote.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the envelope was received Tuesday, the office was evacuated and necessary precautions were taken.
The Springfield Fire Department, Secretary of State Police and Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.
The agencies did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' House Speaker told a bipartisan legislative committee that the state's pension systems are "just too rich" to be afforded in the future.
Madigan is a Chicago Democrat and the state's longest-serving House Speaker. He says Tuesday that a $160 billion reform proposal was designed to keep long-term low-income workers in mind.
He called the plan a balanced approach, "not just a reduction in benefits."
Leaders announced the compromise last week. A vote is expected Tuesday afternoon.
The proposal pushes back workers' retirement age on a sliding scale, has a funding guarantee, adds a 401(k)-style option and reduces employee contributions.
It'd also replace the current 3 percent annual cost-of-living increases. Retirees would continue to receive that rate up to a certain amount of annuity payments, based on years of employment.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The owners of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis remain hopeful the Rams won't leave after city leaders rejected $700 million in upgrades sought by the team.
The Rams can break their lease after the 2014 season but have said little about their plans.
The lease requires the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority to provide the team with a "first-tier" stadium by 2015, which is 20 years after the building opened.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has taken over negotiations with Rams owner Stan Kroenke after arbitration between the team and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission failed. The commission operates the dome.
Board chairman Jim Shrewsbury said Tuesday that dome officials haven't given up on keeping the team.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - New details about Missouri's bid for a Boeing assembly plant show the state could offer more than $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades.
Gov. Jay Nixon's office released details about the incentives Tuesday to The Associated Press as lawmakers prepared to hear testimony about it in a special session.
Nixon also said a new agreement among St. Louis labor councils could help Missouri compete for the Boeing 777X airplane.
Boeing solicited proposals to build its next-generation commercial aircraft after union members in Washington state rejected a proposed contract that sought concessions.
Missouri's potential package of incentives is based on the jobs created. If Boeing adds 2,000 jobs, the incentives could total up to $435 million by 2040. If Boeing adds 8,000 jobs, the incentives could total $1.74 billion.
CHICAGO (AP) - Public employees could see significant reductions in long-term retirement income under a proposed bill that Illinois legislative leaders are pushing as a way to solve the worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. One of the biggest cuts would come from a change in annual cost-of-living adjustments. The proposal would change the COLA increase from the current rate of 3 percent compounded annually on the full annuity benefit. Retirees instead would receive increases at that rate only up to a certain amount of annuity benefit.
The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability has developed a formula to calculate estimated changes in retirement income over the years if the bill passes, based on the best information available right now, pension specialist Amanda Kass said.
Here are three scenarios:
Employee 1: Retired teacher, 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $67,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $120,680 a year under the current pension system; $91,000 under the proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $282,632
Employee 2: Retired Department of Children and Family Services caseworker, 20 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $50,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $90,306 under current system; $63,000 under proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $261,215
Employee 3: Central Management Services data processor, age 43, planning to retire in 15 years with 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $72,000
Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $130,000 under current system; $85,400 under proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $441,700
Police say an employee of an Ellisville jewelry store fired a gun at two men who robbed the store this morning.
The incident started just after 10 AM when one of the suspects asked an employee to show him an expensive watch. The suspect then grabbed the watch and ran in the parking lot. Two employees chased the suspect out of the store. Officers say there was a physical altercation between the suspects and employees in the parking lot. But, when the suspect got into a waiting car, one of the employees pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the suspects.
Police captured the suspects after a short car chase ended in a crash near the Chesterfield mall. Officers recovered the watch the men had stolen--a Rolex worth nearly $35,000.
The suspects have not been identified.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is beginning to let immigrants apply for a driver's license if they're living in the U.S. illegally.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports appointments begin Tuesday for people to take license tests at two locations - one in Chicago and one in Springfield.
Four locations will offer the license exams by the end of the month. And about three dozen will offer the exams in January.
So far, more than 5,500 people have scheduled appointments.
The licenses are valid for three years and may be used only for driving. They can't be used as identification for activities like boarding a plane, voting or buying a firearm.
Supporters say the law will save Illinois motorists money and make roads safer. But critics say there's a potential for identity fraud.
A 53 year old Belleville man shot to death as he opened his front door Saturday night was not the intended target, police say.
The St. Clair County State's Attorney has charged 36 year old Dashon Hinkle with first-degree murder in the shooting of John Fath Senior.
Belleville police say Hinkle had gone to Fath's home in the 400 block of North 40th Street to "pay a visit" to the victim's son, John Fath Junior.
Police say the junior Fath and Hinkle both have long criminal records.
Hinkle is jailed on a $2 million bond.