Now, no one in Illinois can stop firefighters or police officers from collecting charitable donations on roads - even if they wanted to.
Under a new Illinois law, public safety officials can't be denied permits to collect money for charities from drivers along roadsides. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Friday and it takes effect immediately.
The governor's office says Illinois is the sixth state to adopt such a law. The others are Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California and North Carolina.
A St. Louis Fire Department firefighter waits for water as the excursion boat The Robert E. Lee is engulfed in flames at the riverfront in St. Louis on March 21, 2010. The boat was being prepared to be towed to the riverfront in St. Charles, Missouri.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)
Current and retired firefighters watch the Board of Aldermen debate reforms to their pension system on April 16, 2012.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says cutting the fire department’s pension costs will enable the city to take 30 police jobs off the chopping block.
The Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to hold onto 30 of the 80 police positions this year’s budget eliminates through attrition, but only if a pension reform bill is passed by the Board of Alderman.
Slay says the bill, which requires firefighters to pay more into the system and prevents full retirement benefits until age 55, would save the city more than $8 million.
An effort by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay to get the spiraling cost of firefighter pensions under control also allow the same sex-partners of city firefighters to get survivor benefits if their partner is killed in the line of duty.
"This is something that could not be done at the state level, would not be done at the state level, which is another reason we want to get local control of the firefighter pensions here in St. Louis," Slay said.
Though they waited until the last possible minute in the current session, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a measure that lays the ground for reforms to the pension system for its firefighters.