SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois prison officials estimate nearly 30,000 newly freed inmates will be eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2014 under President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports state officials say better access to care for physical and mental health issues may help parolees succeed outside of prison.
The Department of Corrections plans eventually to help inmates connect with Medicaid before they're released, so they can make a smooth transition into the state and federal health care program for the poor.
Illinois is among about 26 states planning to expand Medicaid benefits to childless adults under the Affordable Care Act. Last year's Supreme Court decision upheld the law, but made Medicaid expansion optional for states.
Many parolees in the past didn't qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Police search for a pair of bank robbery suspects today.
Fox 2 reports that the PNC Bank on South Grand near Ted Drewes' was robbed. Two men stole an undisclosed amount of money and sped off in a gray Cadillac. No word of any injuries during the robbery.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Backers of a plan to change Illinois' income tax structure say they've collected more than 150,000 signatures from supporters.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that members of the group A Better Illinois say they hope to keep collecting signatures on their petition through the spring. They want to convince lawmakers to put a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot. The amendment would allow the state to adopt a graduated or "progressive" tax.
Under a graduated tax, higher earners pay a larger percentage of their income than middle and lower-class taxpayers. It's similar to the federal income tax structure.
Illinois' Constitution currently requires a flat income tax. Changing it would require a three-fifths vote in the Legislature and approval by voters.
Schnucks supermarkets already have pharmacies, floral shops and cooking classes. Now the St. Louis chain is branching into healthcare.
Schnucks is opening its first Schnucks Infusion Solutions facility to treat acute and chronic conditions.
Infusion therapy is administered by injecting medicine through a needle or catheter. It treats conditions ranging from infectious diseases to cancer.
The new 65-hundred square foot healthcare facility is located on Page Service Rd. There, pharmacists will prepare infusions to be given to patients either at the center or at home.
Schnucks Director of Pharmacy Services Dave Chism, calls outpatient infusion therapy a "safe and cost-effective alternative for patients to receive treatment" in an alternate healthcare setting.
Chism says patients tend to recuperate better at home, and with the focus now on shorter hospital stays, he says there is a growing need for infusion providers.
For more information visit: www.schnucksinfusionsolutions.com or call 1-877-386-4077.
St. Clair County is getting a financial boost for its emergency responders.
The county will receive 10-thousand dollars in grants from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, which will provide for upgrading and maintaining equipment that allows different agencies to communicate with one another.
The grant money comes from the September 11th Fund which is supported by part of the fee charged for state's "America Remembers" license plates.
A Cuba, Missouri man is in police custody after allegedly placing an online ad asking for someone to sexually assault an 11 year old female relative. St. Louis County Police say that ad was reported and prompted them to set up a sting.
They arrested 32 year old Anthony Brinkman Friday after he arrived to meet an undercover police officer at a south county Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Police say Brinkman had brought the child with him. She is with her family. Police say they don't believe Brinkman had assaulted her, but they are still investigating.
Brinkman has been charged with attempted statutory sodomy. He's jailed on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
A second lawsuit has been filed challenging the legitimacy of the pending Loop Trolley project.
The first, filed last week in federal court, alleges the 2007 vote to set up the special taxing district to support the trolley violated the constitution because it allowed property owners multiple votes based on the acreage they own. University City Council member Elsie Glickert is one of four plaintiffs in that lawsuit.
Now Glickert has filed a separate lawsuit in state court. The new suit claims University City violated Sunshine Laws when a meeting agenda failed to specify the details of a permit change up for a vote in March.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are convening in Springfield for the final three days of their annual fall session.
The action kicks off with Tuesday hearings on corporate tax incentives and stricter gun penalties in the Illinois House.
Same-sex marriage legislation could also come up for a vote in the coming days. The measure was approved by the state Senate in February but stalled in the House in the spring. Advocates have since launched a more collaborative push and several undecided lawmakers announced their support for the measure. Opponents say they're prepared to mount primary challenges against members who vote for the legislation.
Lawmakers are not confident there will be a vote on a deal to solve the state's $97 billion pension crisis, but they say they are making progress on a deal.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk took to the U.S. Senate floor for the first time since suffering a stroke to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The bill would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
Seated at a desk, Kirk said it was especially important for an Illinois Republican to speak out for the legislation in the tradition of Everett Dirksen and Abraham Lincoln. Kirk hadn't taken the Senate floor since suffering a stroke in January 2012.
Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin. But it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire workers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
All of the Senate Democratic majority and at least five Republicans are expected to vote for the bill.
A clinic that serves mostly the uninsured and under-insured in St. Louis is closing its doors. St. Louis ConnectCare has announced it will close the Smiley Urgent Care Center November 15th.
The non-profit had announced in August it would shut down its specialty services, but now says it must also close the clinic at the old Regional Hospital on Delmar.
St. Louis Regional Health Commission Chief Robert Fruend believes other health care providers will follow suit because of state budget cuts. Fruend told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that 1,000 healthcare jobs have been lost in the region in the last six months.
The paper reports a Missouri Hospital Association estimate that the state will lose $4 billion in health care funding over the next six years, mainly from budget cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. They say the decision by Missouri lawmakers not to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act will further limit the amount of health care funds coming into the state.