University of Missouri Curators to consider raising tuition today
The special meeting comes after the governing board postponed consideration of a tuition increase three weeks ago at its regular meeting in Kansas City. This time, the curators will meet by video teleconference along with new university president Tim Wolfe.
Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.
House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.
Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law pension reforms aimed at fixing some loopholes in the system.
The law takes effect immediately. It aims to end the practice of so-called double dipping for public employees. In some cases, employees took leaves to work for their unions but continued to build benefits in government pension systems based on union pay.
Mo. Supreme Court to hear arguments in public defender case
A case that could decide how Missouri public defenders deal with case overload will be heard by the state's Supreme Court today. In July 2010 the public defender office in Christian County announced it had reached its case threshold and could take no more cases. The next month a judge assigned an indigent defendant to that office anyway and the public defender system filed suit.
St. Louis University law professor Susan McGraugh says the high court's decision could have a big impact.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley admits that he made missteps over the last few months as Missouri's largest county tried to deal with an unprecedented budget shortfall. Dooley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he made what he called clumsy mistakes, saying the recession is "new territory" for the county.
Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.
Rod Blagojevich has forfeited all his state pension benefits. That's the opinion of Illinois' Attorney General.
The legal opinion likely means Blagojevich won't begin getting checks when he turns 55 this weekend. The board overseeing the General Assembly Retirement System moved earlier this year to block the payments.
Update: Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reports via Twitter that the two lobbyists in question - David Piccioli and Steve Preckwinkle - believe the pension reform bill is unconstitutional and are reviewing legal options.
The Illinois General Assembly has sent legislation to Gov. Pat Quinn that would curb pension abuses.
The Illinois House has voted to crack down on public pension abuses.
Lawmakers voted 111-3 Thursday to prevent public employees who served in union positions from receiving pensions from both the government and the union.
The measure sponsored by House Minority Leader Tom Cross also limits the size of pensions. An employee who takes a leave of absence from his public job to serve in a union post must receive a pension based on his public salary before the leave -- not the higher union salary.