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Michael Golde

Michael Golde

Illinois House to vote Thursday on pension changes

Thursday, 28 February 2013 11:51 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.

Schoeller chosen executive director of Mo. GOP

Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:56 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A former southwest Missouri lawmaker has been chosen as executive director of the Missouri Republican Party. Former state Rep. Shane Schoeller, of Willard, was selected Thursday to oversee the daily operations of the Republican Party. Schoeller lost an election last November for secretary of state and previously served six years in the House, rising to the number two spot as House speaker pro tem. He succeeds Lloyd Smith, who resigned last month as executive director to make an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Missouri Republicans have revamped their leadership since the 2012 elections, when they lost five out of six statewide races but gained a supermajority in the state House. Ed Martin, who lost a bid for attorney general in November, was selected last month as party chairman.

Mississippi River bridge touches land

Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:14 Published in Local News
A milestone day in the construction of the new Mississippi River Bridge. At some point Thursday morning, contractors plan to 'touch land' on the Missouri side of the river for the first time. A MoDOT spokesman tells KTRS news the bridge won't meet over the water until late June or early July, depending on how the river cooperates. The new bridge is scheduled to open to traffic early next year.

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