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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to call today for additional cuts and more scrutiny of money that's automatically sent to local governments, public transportation and other programs as he presents his proposed budget.

The Chicago Democrat will propose slashing $400 million from education in the fiscal year that starts July 1. It also will pin the blame for the cuts on lawmakers' failure to fix the state's worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

The automatic fund transfers include more than $2 billion in spending that Quinn's aides describe as "on autopilot." The amount those programs receive is set in state statute. Trying to cut it is likely to cause a contentious debate.

Quinn's proposed budget also attempts to pay down $2 billion in unpaid bills.
Published in Local News
Thursday, 28 February 2013 03:34

St. Louis Public Schools face cuts, closures

Three public schools and more than 130 staff members, including 82 teachers, are facing the budget ax in the cash-strapped St. Louis public school district.

At Wednesday night's school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams recommended closing Sherman Elementary, L’Ouverture Middle School, and the Cleveland NJROTC Academy. Scores of students and parents attended the meeting in support of the military magnet school.

Adams also proposed increasing class sizes at the remaining schools.

The proposed cuts would trim $14 million from the district's budget.

The Special Administrative Board will vote next month on the recommendations.

District officials will gather feedback on the proposals at two forums this Saturday. The first will be from 10 a.m. to noon at Vashon High School, 3035 Cass Avenue. The second will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Central Visual Performing Arts High School, 3125 South Kingshighway.
Published in Local News
Monday, 25 February 2013 01:09

The "Sequester" would hit bi-state area hard

Unless a deal is reached by Friday, massive federal budget cuts will automatically go into effect -- and Missouri and Illinois will feel the pinch. The "sequester" would cut $85 billion from the budget, half from defense and half from domestic programs. As part of their campaign to avoid the automatic spending cuts, the White House Sunday released a state by state breakdown of the impact.

Besides the pain of deep defense cuts which could lay off some 8,000 defense workers, Missouri could lose nearly $12 million in education funding.

In Illinois, the defense cuts would furlough more than 14,000 defense department employees and cut more than $30 million from education.

Democrats have proposed a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, including a tax on income above $1 million and eliminating tax breaks for oil companies.

Republicans have said they will only consider spending cuts.

Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart of Belleville, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the defense cuts would hit the area hard because of the importance of Scott Air Force Base and other military installations to the local economy.

Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus told KSDK-TV that he doesn't believe a deal will be reached before the deadline.
Published in Local News
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