ST. LOUIS (AP) — The organization that runs the Edward Jones Dome has made it official: The facility will not get a publicly funded $700 million upgrade that the St. Louis Rams requested.
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission President Kathleen Ratcliffe informed the Rams of the decision in a letter dated Tuesday.
It was no surprise. After arbitrators ruled in favor of the Rams' plan over a much more modest CVC proposal, the CVC said in February it was unlikely to implement the plan.
The decision allows the Rams to break their lease with the dome after the 2014 season, creating the possibility that the Rams could leave St. Louis.
The team's offices were closed Friday for the long Fourth of July holiday and a spokesman was unreachable.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to help veterans and service members get jobs as police officers, emergency medical technicians and commercial vehicle drivers.
Quinn signed the bills Thursday before marching in the July Fourth parade in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights.
One measure allows service members and veterans who have at least two years of experience operating a military vehicle to bypass the state skills test when applying for a commercial driver's license. Another eliminates the college degree requirement for veterans who've earned certain medals and want to become Illinois State Police officers.
Quinn says veterans are "some of the best-trained men and women in the world." He says anyone who performs those jobs in Iraq or Afghanistan should be qualified to do them in Illinois.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois high school juniors will be tested on writing skills for the first time in years during standardized tests next spring.
But lawmakers haven't given the state board of education extra money to pay for the 30-minute essay test. Board officials tell The Associated Press they've been given the same $27 million to spend on assessments next year. That budget includes the same testing requirements as last year, along with an additional writing test estimated to cost $2.5 million. The board may ask lawmakers to approve additional funding.
Proponents of the addition say writing is more important than ever as the state prepares for tougher assessments in 2014-15. Last year, less than one-third of high schools met federal education law benchmarks.
Others criticize lawmakers' spending money the state doesn't have.