Updated at 8:45 p.m. to clarify the location of mingled funds.
The Missouri Ethics Commission has fined St. Louis city Alderman Antonio French nearly $38,000 for a series of campaign finance violations that occurred during his successful 2009 campaign for the 21st Ward seat.
French, a Democrat, was charged with five violations, including failing to maintain a checking account at a chartered bank for about nine months, and failing to update campaign records to indicate the closure of the old account and the opening of a new one.
Democratic Illinois lawmakers have approved a 67% income-tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state's crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday morning to pass the politically risky plan before new General Assembly was sworn in at noon. The increase now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He supports the plan to temporarily raise the personal tax rate to 5% from the current 3% rate. Corporate taxes also would climb.