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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Ballwin lawmakers vote against city-county merger

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 02:22 Published in Local News
   City leaders in Ballwin are overwhelmingly opposed to the City of St. Louis rejoining St. Louis County. The Ballwin Board of Aldermen Monday night passed a resolution opposing reunification. The vote was 6-0 with Alderman Mike Boland abstaining.  Boland says he wants to know both sides of the issue before casting a vote.  
   Mayor Tim Pogue says there are concerns that the high quality of services the city of Ballwin provides to residents would be reduced or cost more under unification.  Several residents expressed concerns to the board that problems in the city of St. Louis would creep out to their community more easily with reunification.
   The City of St. Louis hasn't been part of St. Louis County since 1876.  
   Both St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley have said they favor reunification. 

Quinn budget speech to face election year scrutiny

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 02:19 Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's state budget address this week could be the most crucial of his political career.
   His pitch to lawmakers comes as Illinois grapples with a major financial dilemma: Whether to extend a temporary income tax increase. And Quinn is facing a serious re-election challenge from Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who already refers to Quinn as "the worst governor in America."
   It's the first major fiscal issue since Rauner won the GOP nod.
   Quinn is expected to reveal plans for when the tax sunsets and leaves a roughly $1.6 billion revenue hole, making deep cuts likely. The speech in Springfield on Wednesday will also be his opportunity to deliver a message to critical groups, like unions, that've been displeased with him and that he'll need come November.
 

IL lawmaker proposes increase in gun penalties

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 02:15 Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants to increase penalties for gun owners who illegally carry firearms into schools.
   State Rep. Deborah Conroy is introducing a proposal that would make carrying guns into Illinois schools a felony. That includes pre-schools up to colleges and universities. Currently, first and second-time offenders are charged with a misdemeanor.
   Another measure introduced by the Democrat from Villa Park increases fines for carrying guns into prohibited places from $150 to $500. Fines currently go to a state mental health fund.
   Conroy says this proposal is about providing more money to cover mental health services. She says the current amount is too low.
   The bill is in a House committee with other proposals changing the concealed carry law passed last year.
 

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