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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton says he will keep working to pass a pension reform bill he believes can survive a court challenge.

Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton and fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan have "the same goal but different approaches" to solving Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

Madigan filed his pension plan on Tuesday. It caps the salary on which a pension can be based at $110,000 and limits annual cost-of-living increases.

Madigan's legislation also removes language from a plan backed by Cullerton that got Senate approval last month. Cullerton's plan offers affected state-government employees and teachers a choice of benefits instead of unilaterally cutting them.

Cullerton believes the state must give retirees a choice in benefits in order for the legislation to be considered constitutional.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 16:07
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Another Missouri Lottery jackpot winner from the St. Louis area.

The newest winner bought the ticket for the Saturday drawing at a St. Peters Dierbergs. Just a week before the newest winner, another person bought a ticket in St. Louis County that is worth $2.7 million.

This past weekend's jackpot was $1.1 million.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 15:46
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DIXON, Ill. (AP) - The Lee County state's attorney says she decided to drop state charges against former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell because a second trial after her conviction in federal court would not result in additional jail time or restitution.

Crundwell admitted in the federal case that she stole nearly $54 million in public money from the northern Illinois city over some two decades that she served as its bookkeeper.

The Lee County prosecutor, Anna Sacco-Miller, said Tuesday that any sentence in the state proceedings would be served concurrently with the nearly 20 years that Crundwell received in February in the federal case. As a result, she says, the expense to taxpayers of a second trial cannot be justified.

The charges can be refiled if Crundwell's appeal of her federal sentence is successful.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:40
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The Clayton School District started a large solar project Tuesday. Eight solar panels were installed on six separate buildings.

Officials say the project will produce over $650,000 in utility savings over the next 20 years. In addition to a few administrative buildings, panels are also being placed on Wydown Middle School, Captain Elementary, and Clayton High School.

Students will be able to monitor the activity of the panels through touch screen monitors installed in the schools.

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:27
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