Ill. unpaid bills top $4.2 billion in Comptroller's office
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says there are even more bills piled up in other government departments. She said Wednesday the state's overall backlog is about $8.5 billion. That means organizations that provide services for the state, from businesses to hospitals to charity groups, must wait months to be paid for their work. Topinka's office is still paying bills that date back to Sept. 1 - four and a half months ago.
Jerry Clinton, a longtime St. Louis business leader and philanthropist, has died.
A spokeswoman for Clinton says he died Wednesday morning. He was 74 and had cancer.
Clinton was the former president and owner of Grey Eagle Distributors. He sold the company in 2005.
Clinton was instrumental in the effort to bring an expansion football team to St. Louis after the Cardinals left for Arizona in 1988. The effort was unsuccessful, though the Rams moved to St. Louis from Los Angeles in 1994.
The measure would limit state spending each year to the annual rate of inflation and would take population growth into account. The sponsor, State Representative Eric Burlison (R, Springfield), told fellow lawmakers that they should follow the example of everyday citizens who have to balance their household budgets. Democrats,however, including Leonard Hughes of Kansas City, argued that the proposed ballot measure would be redundant.
Eight of 10 Occupy St. Louis protestors arrested in Kiener Plaza on Oct. 6 pleaded guilty in municipal court today to violating the city's ordinance banning people from being in city parks past 10 p.m.
Attorney Maggie Ellinger-Locke says the eight were sentenced to time served - about 24 hours - and Judge Richard Torack waived court costs. Ellinger-Locke called it a victory that individuals who "went to jail for justice" and were protesting economic inequality didn't have to pay any money.
The campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Missouri state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, says he does not intend to follow Gov. Nixon's recommendation of a 12.5 percent cut to higher education institutions in the state.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said Wednesday he does not intend to follow Nixon's recommendation. The Columbia Republican says the cut would be a huge blow to higher education.
“I support your effort to help make sentencing practices more cost effective, helping Missouri to become, as Judge (former Chief Justice William) Price stressed so often and so eloquently, both tough and smart.”
Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith told a panel of lawmakers Tuesday that changes to the interstate, such as widening it to six lanes, could create construction jobs and make the state more economically competitive. Keith said such improvements could cost as much as $4 billion.
Private companies would finance the project up front and collect tolls on I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis.