St. Louis city firefighters took their objections to pension reform proposals from Mayor Francis Slay to City Hall on Friday, the day the legislation making the changes was formally introduced.
Firefighters say they don't object to the cost-saving proposals in the bills, including reduced disability payments for firefighters who can be retrained for a second career, and a two-tier system that could reduce pension benefits for new hires.
Updated at 12:20 p.m. with comments from the firefighters union.
Updated at 3:55 p.m. with timeframe, and more comments from Mayor Slay and the union.
Saying the current system is financially unsustainable and could result in huge reductions to city services, Mayor Francis Slay has officially unveiled his plan to change pensions for the St. Louis city firefighters.
Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will endorse legislation in his State of the State address next week that would raise Illinois' high school dropout age to 18, according to a statement from the Democrat's office.
The proposal would answer a call from fellow Democrat Barack Obama, who in his State of the Union address on Tuesday urged states to keep students in high school long enough for them to get their diploma.
During final debates, State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis) argued that limiting spending to the yearly inflation rate and population growth could make it very hard for lawmakers to address critical needs in the future.
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.
Governor Jay Nixon delivered his annual State of the State Address Tuesday night. He touched briefly on the state budget and other issues, while spending lots of time showcasing his administration’s accomplishments and praising the values of Missouri citizens as he prepares for his re-election bid this fall. St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin recaps the address.
The St. Louis County Public Works department is asking the County Council for permission to use more than $394,000 in unspent funds to make emergency repairs to the roof of the county jail.
Public works spokesman David Wrone says a hailstorm last spring punched pin-sized holes in the membrane of the roof. Resulting water leaks damaged mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as left some day rooms and cells on the 8th floor unusable.
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn and the state's top four lawmakers have reached a deal to keep seven state facilities open until June.
Quinn had targeted mental health centers and centers and developmentally disabled, as well as a prison in Lincoln, for closure, saying the legislature had failed to appropriate enough money to operate them for the entire year. The closures could have resulted in nearly 2,000 layoffs.
St. Louis County Executive is defending his proposed budget that includes layoffs and closing some 20 parks and other facilities. In a letter to the county council dated Tuesday, Dooley laid out the options for dealing with declining property tax revenues and rising costs. Dooley says it’s time for the county to live within its means.