Morning Headlines- Thursday, June 21, 2012
Seniority, income determining factors in new Illinois insurance law
Governor Pat Quinn's office announced early this morning that he has signed a measure that will require retired state and public university employees to kick in more money for their health insurance.
Retirees with at least 20 years of service currently get free health coverage. Those with less time on the job pay for a portion of the cost.
The new law eliminates those perks, and allows the Quinn administration to set up a system where health insurance rates will be determined by length of service and pension income. The legislation was passed in the spring as a cost savings move for state government.
Quinn's office estimates as many as 90 percent of retirees currently pay nothing toward health insurance. The governor has stated the costs were too much for the state to bear and called this is a way to preserve the system for retirees.
Groups representing public sector employees have argued the government is going back on a promise made to those who have served Illinois.
The law will take effect July 1, but the new rate system will be part of labor negotiations and no details have been released at this time.
Illinois to vote on East St. Louis School takeover today
Illinois state superintendent Christopher Koch’s push to take over East St. Louis Schools drew angry comments at the State Board of Education meeting yesterday.
District board members want to retain autonomy and some residents say the state is overstepping its constitutional authority.
Kevin Sheridan says a state takeover could be too little, too late. He told the State Board he was being "taxed to death" in order to fund a local board of education that he believes does not prioritize students.
“This removal is a little too late for the thousands of students who have been lost in two generations to this school district," Sheridan said, "but you have time to right this wrong for students and the taxpayers, by removing this board and putting in some people that care about the students, instead of themselves or their cronies."
The state board will decide today if the East St. Louis board will be dissolved.
Blues players, coach, GM honored at NHL Awards
The St. Louis Blues had a good night in Las Vegas last night at the NHL Awards.
The goaltending duo of Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak had already wrapped up the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals over the regular season with 165 in 82 games.
Ken Hitchcock won the Jack Adams award for best head coach. "Hitch" led the Blues to their best season in franchise history and the first playoff series win in 10 years, and Doug Armstrong received the trophy for the best general manager.