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   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.
 
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 02:15
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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has picked up a major labor endorsement for his re-election during a campaign that's already focused on union influence.
 
Service Employees International Union in Illinois said Monday it was backing the Chicago Democrat because of his stance on the minimum wage and integrity in Springfield.
 
Quinn faces what's expected to be a tough challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.
 
The Winnetka venture capitalist made fighting "government union bosses" a theme during the GOP primary. Unions also made the unusual move of endorsing a Republican in the primary: state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale.
 
Quinn has traditionally enjoyed union support. However, public employee unions disagreed with his signing of a pension overhaul that cuts benefits for state employees and retirees.
 
SEIU represents roughly 170,000 workers in Illinois.
Monday, 24 March 2014 15:59
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - The largest airline at Lambert Airport is preparing to expand.

 

On September 20, Southwest Airlines will introduce new, non-stop service from St. Louis to San Francisco. Additional flights to Washington DC and Los Angeles are also being added. Flights to DCA will increase from two to three starting on November, 2nd. Service to LAX will also increase to three daily flights.

 

Southwest is currently Lambert Airport’s largest carrier. They handle 91 daily departures to 33 non-stop destinations.

Monday, 24 March 2014 15:40
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's auditor is raising concerns about state payments to subsidize child care costs for lower-income families.
 
Auditor Tom Schweich criticized the state Social Services Department for not having enough quality control over the payments. The findings were included in an audit issued Monday of nearly $12 million in federal funds received by Missouri.
 
Schweich found that one-third of the payments reviewed by his office were not supported by proper documentation or were not in compliance with department guidelines.
 
The audit also questioned five welfare cases where benefits were paid to recipients who might not have been eligible for the program.
 
In a response included with the audit, the department says it "partially agrees" with Schweich's conclusions on the child care payments. It agrees with the audit's welfare findings.
Monday, 24 March 2014 15:39
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