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Zoo-Museum District told to tighten its oversight

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:32 Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The chairman of the aldermanic parks committee in St. Louis says the Zoo-Museum District board needs to "reinvent itself" and become a watchdog organization for taxpayers.
The district oversees the St. Louis region's five taxpayer-funded cultural institutions. Alderman Joe Roddy told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the institutions should be judged on their performance and earn their collective $70 million annually, rather than get the money automatically.
Roddy on Monday released a report concluding that both the Missouri History Museum and the Missouri Botanical Garden should overhaul their governance.
Roddy's investigation was fueled by questions about executive pay at the five museums - the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Zoo and the History Museum.
 

Illinois goes Hollywood

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:26 Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Hollywood is spending big money in Illinois.
The state said Tuesday that the film industry generated $358 million in spending in the state during 2013. Officials say that easily surpasses the previous record of $184 million in 2012.
Chicago officials say filming last year included six TV series, three studio feature films and 137 commercials. Some of those projects include TV series like "Chicago Fire" and movies like the upcoming "Divergent" and "Transformers 4."
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says "Chicago fire" spent $58 million in 2013. "Chicago PD" has spent $21 million in Illinois.
The Chicago Film Office and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events cite a 20 percent increase in overall production compared with 2012. The city says 2012's numbers were 40 percent higher than 2011.
 

Illinois pension reform won't make much difference

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:21 Published in Local News

A report being released today says Illinois' plan to save 160-billion dollars ultimately won't make much of a dent in the state's growing deficits.  The University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs study says changes to the state's major public pension systems will eliminate their unfunded liability over the next 25 years, but the state's deficit will increase to $13 billion during that time.  Institute researchers projected a $14 billion deficit - a $1 billion difference - if the state had not implemented pension reform.  Institute Director Chris Mooney says the study was released as campaigns for the 2014 general election begin to heat up in order to make sure the state's fiscal crisis is addressed.

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