A major state employee union has asked an arbitrator to decide whether Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn can cancel scheduled raises for thousands of workers.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sought the ruling Thursday. Quinn announced last week he was canceling the $75 million in raises to help deal with the state's budget crisis.
Quinn defended his decision to deny the raises by blaming the General Assembly for not appropriating the necessary money. He said Tuesday the state can't provide the increase unless lawmakers set aside enough money.
The raises are required under state government's union contracts.
A federal judge has ruled that prison officials can forcibly medicate Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner with anti-psychotic drugs.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns says he did not want to second guess doctors at a federal prison in Springfield, Mo. Burns issued the decision yesterday after Loughner's attorneys filed an emergency request to prevent any forced medication of their client.
Defense attorneys said Loughner had been forcibly medicated since June 21.
Schools are traditionally an area Illinois legislators have left untouched when they're looking to cut spending. But the budget the General Assembly approved Monday night gives 3 percent less to education for the coming year that begins in July.
Overall cuts are wide ranging and total $2.3 billion less than what Gov. Pat Quinn proposed in Feb. That was enough for Republicans in the House, but the Senate GOP says it's still too rich.