CHICAGO (AP) — Candidates running for Illinois governor in 2014 have started shaping up their positions on a new pension proposal that lawmakers are expected to consider this week.
Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner said in an email yesterday to supporters that it's the wrong deal for Illinois. He says the savings are insufficient and he doesn't agree with how lawmakers reached the agreement.
Meanwhile Republican state Sen. Bill Brady says he's in favor. In a statement, he says that it's package of "meaningful reforms" that would strengthen Illinois' fiscal stability. Brady sat on a bipartisan pension panel for months.
Last week, the state's four legislative leaders announced some details of the deal aimed at solving the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis. It's estimated to save about $160 billion over three decades.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A recent Missouri Department of Transportation study estimates that the annual economic output of the state's airport system is $11.1 billion.
The study examined the nine commercial and 99 public-use airports that the agency supports. Combined, the airports contribute more than 100,000 jobs with a payroll of $3.1 billion.
Using Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the study examined direct and indirect impacts. It found that the economic contribution of Missouri airports grew 17.1 percent in the past decade despite the economic recession. The growth was fueled largely by an increase in business activity.
In 2012, an estimated 6.2 million travelers arrived in Missouri via commercial airports and more than 260,000 arrived on general aviation aircraft.
More information about the Missouri Statewide Airports Economic Impact Study can be found online: http://www.modot.org/othertransportation/aviation/aviationgeneralinformation.htm
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. (AP) — The family of a southeast Missouri mother killed by her estranged husband is trying to move forward after a June plea deal that landed the killer in prison while allowing police to recover her body.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jacque Waller, a mother of 5-year-old triplets, was missing for almost two years before her body was found on a Mississippi River island near Cape Girardeau. Forty-two-year-old James Clay Waller the Second pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received a 20-year prison sentence. The couple was going through an acrimonious divorce at the time of Jacque Waller's disappearance.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Waller's sister and brother-in-law now care for the 8-year-old siblings, who are second-graders. Bob and Cheryl Brenneke recently adopted the Waller children after serving as their legal guardians.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a fleeing motorist has suffered serious injuries from crashing into a suburban St. Louis home.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the 30-year-old St. Charles County woman was leading state troopers on a chase when she slammed into a Ferguson home around 5:45 p.m. Friday.
Police said no one at the home was injured. But the woman's vehicle caught fire, and she was taken to a St. Louis hospital.
Court records show the woman was driving on a suspended license after failing to pay court fees.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — It soon will look a lot more like the holidays at the governor's mansion.
The Christmas trees for the inside and outside of the mansion are arriving Monday.
The outside tree is a 30-foot blue spruce that was donated from the yard of Jose and Floetta Carrera of St. Peters.
Inside, the grand staircase will feature a gold- and burgundy-clad eastern white pine from Tannenbaum Tree Farm in Armstrong. Pea Ridge Nursery, near Hermann, is supplying trees for the parlor and library. The two parlor trees will feature a Victorian theme, and two in the library will have a musical theme.
A tree-lighting ceremony is planned for next Friday. Visitors also will have the opportunity to see the indoor Christmas trees during tours given that Friday and the following day.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A former Lindenwood University student faces additional charges accusing him of exposing four more people to the HIV virus that causes AIDS without the victims' knowledge.
St. Charles County prosecutors charged 22-year-old Michael L. Johnson in October with potentially exposing a 19-year-old Lindenwood student to the virus. Police said Johnson and the victim had unprotected sex in the wrestler's Lindenwood dorm after Johnson was diagnosed as HIV-positive.
Police asked anyone else who had an intimate relationship with Johnson to contact investigators.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports prosecutors last week added four felony charges to the initial charge. The St. Charles County prosecutor's office says the additional counts of recklessly risking infection of another with HIV were developed in the investigation.
Johnson's lawyer didn't immediately return a call for comment.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of pending child welfare investigations are at risk of being thrown out because they weren't completed fast enough.
The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri law requires child welfare workers to complete abuse and neglect investigations within 30 days after the initial hotline call unless there's "good cause" for a delay. The law also requires that those accused be notified of the conclusion within 90 days of the hotline call.
Two accused women, one from West Plains and another from the Kansas City area, sued to clear their names. Lower courts sided with the women, finding the 90-day deadline wasn't met. Now, the Missouri Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments in the cases.
Child welfare advocates say the litigation has created uncertainty.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A new lawsuit is seeking $30 million from an investment banking firm and 10 employees because of a failed factory project in central Missouri.
Morgan Keegan, which has merged with Raymond James Financial Inc., was the underwriter in 2010 for a $39 million bond issue for a failed artificial sweetener factory for Mamtek US Incorporated in Moberly. Construction on the factory stopped in August 2011 when Mamtek failed to make a required bond payment.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports new lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Boone County because $5.6 million worth of the bonds, in default since 2011, were sold there.
A Raymond James spokesman says the company denies wrongdoing, and the state reviewed the project before the city agreed to issue bonds before Morgan Keegan was hired.
Five stores in the Chesterfield Mall had their Black Friday sales interrupted by a water main break.
The break affected Express, New York & Company, CJ Banks, Lenscrafters and "I don't want to kiss a llama". A
mall spokesman says the break caused a power outage. The stores are closed until the outage is resolved. There is no timetable for when power will be restored.
CHICAGO (AP) - After wrestling with public pension reform for months, Illinois legislative leaders say lawmakers might only need a single day to pass their plan for dealing with the $100 billion crisis.
The 10-member conference committee on pension reform is set to meet in Springfield Tuesday. If six of the 10 members sign a report agreeing to terms of a deal, both chambers could bring legislation up for a vote the same day.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown, says the legislation could be considered in both chambers simultaneously.
Legislative leaders announced this week they had reached agreement on a plan that would save $160 billion over 30 years.
Along with Gov. Pat Quinn, they have spent recent days calling members and asking them to support the plan.