Springfield, ILL. – Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich Wednesday urged the state Senate to pass his plan to refinance part of the state's pension debt.
He wants to borrow up to $10 billion to make state pension payments, which he says would save Illinois nearly $2 billion in lower interest rates.
The loans that are currently used to float the state's pension system have about an 8% interest rate. Blagojevich says that's too high, and Illinois should refinance the loans at current rates of closer to 6%.
St. Louis, Mo – Captured Al-Qaida leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has reportedly told investigators that bridges in St. Louis were considered for terrorism.
St. Louis police chief Joe Mokwa says the FBI contacted him about two weeks ago with a so-called "generic threat." Police are now more closely watching two of the seven bridges across the Mississippi River; Mokwa wouldn't say which ones.
Springfield, IL – Illinois public health officials today suspended smallpox vaccinations because of fears it causes heart problems.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to determine whether there's a link between the vaccination and cardiac problems in seven people nationwide who have received the vaccination.
Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Senate passed a number of pieces of legislation Tuesday that range from keeping a tax credit for the working poor on the books to taking some drivers off the road.
EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
Senators voted 45-0 to continue a tax break for the working poor. The state's earned income tax credit applies to people who qualify for the federal version of the credit. Illinoisans get to reduce their state tax by five-percent of their federal tax credit.
A growing number of Americans are buying or refinancing their homes with subprime loans. Most subprime loans are given for valid reasons. But others involve discriminatory practices, and are referred to as predatory loans. As the nation prepares to mark the 35th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act next month, KWMU's Kevin Lavery looks at the issue in the St. Louis region.