Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.
The Illinois Senate has approved changes intended to help revive electricity legislation vetoed by the governor.
The changes passed 37-20 Tuesday, despite opposition from Gov. Pat Quinn.
At issue is a plan to let power companies raise rates to pay for infrastructure improvements, including high-tech changes called "Smart Grid." Critics say the plan guarantees unfair profits and weakens state regulators.
Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed a new leader for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Quinn on Monday named Ann Schneider to be secretary of the state transportation department. Schneider has been acting secretary since July and previously was chief of operations for the department. Schneider also was chief fiscal officer for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and in the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.
The governor also named John Holton as director of the Illinois Department on Aging.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says state officials expect to finalize billions of dollars of export agreements during an upcoming trade trip to China. Nixon plans to announce more details of the trip today during a visit to a Cargill soybean processing facility in Kansas City.
The governor said Monday the trip will allow the state to sign export agreements with Chinese agencies and provide a chance for numerous Missouri businesses to close deals with Chinese customers.
Reporting from WCBU's Denise Molina-Weiger used in this report.
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn is traveling the state urging lawmakers to uphold his veto on a measure that allows Ameren and ComEd to automatically raise electric rates on consumers. The utilities say the rate increases are necessary to help pay for modernizing Illinois’ power grid.
Arbitrator Edwin Benn ruled Monday that Quinn's plan would violate his agreement with a major union. The Democratic governor signed a deal last year that promised no layoffs or closures if the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees agreed to various cost-cutting measures.