budget

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St. Louis SAFER grant
1:19 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

St. Louis gets SAFER grant for firefighters

Firefighters from IAFF Local 73 on the day they learned about possible layoffs. A federal grant may allow the city to avoid those layoffs.
(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Will be updated as more information becomes available

Firefighters in the city of St. Louis got some better news today.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that the department will receive $3.2 million federal funds over the next two years in the form of a SAFER grant. (That stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.)

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City budget
9:30 am
Wed March 30, 2011

City budget will be tight again next year

The city of St. Louis will start fiscal year 2012 with an $8.4 million gap in the budget
(via Flickr/puroticorico)

Updated March 30th

A spokesman for Comptroller Darlene Green says the Board of Estimate and Apportionment can only act on layoffs proposed by the St. Louis Fire Department. The meeting last week was the first time the Board had a proposal to consider, said John Farrell, even though the department's overspending had been evident for nine months.

Our earlier story:

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Illinois State Budget
12:13 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

Ill. GOP senators recommend significant cuts

The Illinois Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Updated 4:10 p.m. March 17, 2011 with Gov. Quinn's comments.

Gov. Pat Quinn says he opposes a package of budget cuts proposed by Illinois Senate Republicans.

The Chicago Democrat said Thursday the "foolhardy" cuts would kills jobs and weaken the economy just as Illinois recovers from a recession.

The Republican plan includes cuts to education, health care and local government. They estimate the savings at $6.7 billion.

The two biggest pieces are the most difficult.

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Police budget
4:18 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Budget changes will save officer positions

The city's Board of Police Commissioners today approved changes to the department's budget for the 2012 fiscal year that will prevent the loss, through attrition, of 65 officers.

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Morning round-up
9:18 am
Wed March 16, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Missouri House of Representatives chambers during Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State Address on Jan. 19, 2011. The House debated upon and passed the state's budget for next year yesterday.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
  • The Missouri House took only an hour to debate and pass the state's budget for next year. The $23 billion spending plan holds K-through-12 spending in place while cutting higher education funding by seven percent. The full Missouri House is scheduled to take up the state budget the week of March 28th, right after lawmakers return from spring break.
  •  A task force focused on rural Missouri crime has recovered more than $2.5 million worth of stolen property in the past year and a half.
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Police budget
3:44 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Better news on St. Louis police budget

Last month, the news about the 2012 budget for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department wasn't good.

The department was looking at $2.5 million in cuts it couldn't make up by doing things like freezing salaries, cutting scholarships, and furloughing civilian employees.

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McCaskill
4:52 pm
Wed March 9, 2011

McCaskill offers her views on John Cochran, Libya and the budget

Claire McCaskill in February as she outlined her quality of care survey for VA hospitals.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Sen. Claire McCaskill says two new federal reports out about health care at the John Cochran veteran's hospital in St. Louis are only part of the picture she wants to get on that facility.

The inspector general on Monday released reports on problems with sterilization at the hospital's dental clinic, and on complaints from employees that they did not have the equipment they needed to do their jobs.

Those reports are important because they outline existing problems, McCaskill says, but the specifics on dealing with those problems have to come from veterans. And that's where her new customer satisfaction survey comes in.

"I really want to see this through the eyes of veterans. I want to know how they feel on an individual basis about the services they’re receiving, and I think that's going to be a very good measure of the work we have to do, she says."

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Missouri House of Representatives
10:34 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Mo. hospitals charge state different rates for rape kits

Mo. State Rep. Chris Kelly.
(Office of Chris Kelly)

The amount Missouri hospitals charge the state for examinations to collect evidence from sexual assault victims varies widely between hospitals.

Lawmakers say the state should set a cap on the rates it pays.

Data from the Department of Public Safety shows the state paid $35.40 for a lab test at a Kansas City hospital and more than $1,500 for an examination at a Harrisonville hospital. The state paid an average of about $784 per examination last year.

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Other News
8:32 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

McCaskill unveils new Congressional reforms

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill speaks to reporters at her St. Louis office on Sunday. (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says Congress needs to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Speaking at her St. Louis office on Sunday, the Democratic Senator unveiled a package of reforms she says will help bring transparency and accountability to Congress.

McCaskill proposed creating an independent watchdog office to oversee Senate operations and take complaints from the public.

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Illinois School Transportation Cuts
4:42 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Slashing school transportation spending could hurt instruction, school officials say

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

School officials say Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's decision to slash school transportation spending could hurt instruction, even though he wants to increase the amount the state spends per pupil.

The budget Quinn unveiled in Springfield yesterday cuts $95 million from the state school busing fund.

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