Springfield, Ill. – Illinois is one step away from a two-tiered pension system for most public employees. The House and Senate easily approved changes for future workers Wednesday. Those currently on the payroll and retirees won't be affected. But anyone hired beginning next year will be required to work until age 67 and face limits on how much they can receive in retirement.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Pete Rahn has announced his resignation as Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, effective April 23rd.
He's been the head of MoDOT since September 2004. Rahn oversaw the massive redesign of U.S.40/I-64 in St. Louis and the approval of the program to replace or repair more than 800 aging bridges in Missouri.
St. Louis – Missouri governor Jay Nixon wants to cut the state's $650 million dollar tax credit program in half.
The budget Nixon outlined in January faces as much as a $500 million shortfall amid dwindling tax revenues and uncertain federal aid.
Nixon's economic development director outlined a plan to consolidate the state's 60 tax-credit programs into six broader initiatives. Those include redevelopment, low-income housing, and the financial and insurance industries.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House spent several hours Tuesday debating what to include and what to cut from the state budget.
Among the proposals is a list of salary reductions for the state's agency heads. It's sponsored by State Representative Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).
"I just think that if we're going to be firing state employees and if we're going to be talking about how government needs to tighten its belt, then we need to start and tighten our belt, from the top," Silvey said.
St. Louis – The Missouri Department of Social Services has restored full funding to the state's 12 crisis nurseries.
The facilities provide emergency shelter for young children whose families are under severe strain and may be at risk of abusing or neglecting the children. Earlier this week, DSS had informed the nurseries, which are funded through a combination of private donations and state funds, that they would not receive state dollars until July.
St. Louis – Prosecutors in St. Clair County have withdrawn a plea bargain offered to an Illinois state trooper accused of homicide in a freeway wreck that killed two sisters.
State's attorney Robert Haida said Tuesday he believes it's in the best interests of the victim's parents that he prosecute trooper Matt Mitchell for reckless homicide. He says complications with a civil case halted the deal, but would not elaborate.