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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

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.

 

Obama's Kenyan-born uncle allowed to remain in US

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 15:43 Published in National News

BOSTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's Kenyan-born uncle has been granted permission to stay in the U.S.

An immigration judge ruled Tuesday that 69-year-old Onyango Obama is a person of "good moral character."

Obama is the half brother of the president's late father. He has lived in the United States since the 1960s. He was ordered to leave the country in 1992, but remained.

Onyango Obama and a longtime friend testified at a hearing that he has lived in the U.S. for 50 years, been a hard worker, paid income tax and been arrested only once.

His immigration status didn't become public until his 2011 drunken driving arrest. At the time, he allegedly told police, "I think I will call the White House."

Nativity scene on display at Florida Capitol

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 15:38 Published in National News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Christmastime manger scenes in public spaces have often been the subject of legal fights in the U.S.

But the American Civil Liberties Union says the creche scene installed by the Florida Nativity Scene Committee at the Capitol in Tallahassee is legal - because it is privately funded, not government sponsored.

Still, the ACLU says that by allowing the exhibit, which depicts the birth of Jesus, the state will now have to allow anyone to use the premises of the Capitol to express messages.

Later this week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation will put up a banner at the Capitol stating opposition to religion in government.

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