Illinois budget

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Mo. Senate to consider new measure repealing teacher social media restrictions

A Mo. Senate committee has endorsed a measure to repeal a contentious new law restricting teachers' interaction with students over websites such as Facebook. The Senate Education Committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to repeal the law.

The action comes after  a Mo. judge issued an order in September blocking the new law from taking effect, citing concerns that it could violate free speech rights.

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Gov. Pat Quinn is defending signing a budget that state officials say didn't fully fund 12 of 14 agencies even before the Chicago Democrat canceled raises for thousands of state workers.

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Updated 1:21 with story from WBEZ.

Reporting from WBEZ's Sam Hudzik used in this report.

A victory today for a public employee union in Illinois.

An arbitrator says Governor Pat Quinn cannot cancel pay raises promised to state workers, but the issue is far from settled.

(Here's a link to the full text of the decision from the arbitrator)

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he's ready to go to court over canceling pay raises for nearly 30,000 state workers.

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.

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Updated 1:39 p.m. and again at 3:27 p.m. with information about union.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to cancel raises for thousands of state employees to help cope with the Illinois budget crisis.

The administration notified 14 state agencies and the affected unions that the 2 percent raises won't be paid as required by contract.

Quinn's office said Friday that lawmakers did not provide enough money in the new budget to cover raises for nearly 30,000 employees.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report. 

Mere hours before the start of a new fiscal year, Ill. Governor Pat Quinn signed a new state budget into law. But not without making some changes to it.

Immediately after legislators sent Quinn a budget, he panned it for not spending enough - especially when it comes to education.

U.S. Marshals Service

Loughner can be forcibly medicated

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. 

Flickr/ jglazer75

Ill. General Assembly Approves Budget

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.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois businesses waiting for long-overdue tax refunds aren't getting any good news from the state capitol.

Illinois owes about $850 million to roughly 36,000 businesses that overpaid their income taxes. Some have been waiting since 2008 to get their money.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposed borrowing money to pay the refunds, but legislators have shown little interest in that idea.

Budget proposals being considered by Democratic lawmakers would do little to chip away at the backlog.

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