SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois prison officials estimate nearly 30,000 newly freed inmates will be eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2014 under President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports state officials say better access to care for physical and mental health issues may help parolees succeed outside of prison.
The Department of Corrections plans eventually to help inmates connect with Medicaid before they're released, so they can make a smooth transition into the state and federal health care program for the poor.
Illinois is among about 26 states planning to expand Medicaid benefits to childless adults under the Affordable Care Act. Last year's Supreme Court decision upheld the law, but made Medicaid expansion optional for states.
Many parolees in the past didn't qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Police search for a pair of bank robbery suspects today.
Fox 2 reports that the PNC Bank on South Grand near Ted Drewes' was robbed. Two men stole an undisclosed amount of money and sped off in a gray Cadillac. No word of any injuries during the robbery.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Backers of a plan to change Illinois' income tax structure say they've collected more than 150,000 signatures from supporters.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that members of the group A Better Illinois say they hope to keep collecting signatures on their petition through the spring. They want to convince lawmakers to put a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot. The amendment would allow the state to adopt a graduated or "progressive" tax.
Under a graduated tax, higher earners pay a larger percentage of their income than middle and lower-class taxpayers. It's similar to the federal income tax structure.
Illinois' Constitution currently requires a flat income tax. Changing it would require a three-fifths vote in the Legislature and approval by voters.