Pat Quinn

Illinois Online Sales Tax
2:06 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Amazon, Overstock cut ties with Illinois affiliates

The front door of Amazon.com headquarters in Seattle.
(via Flickr/Robert Scoble)

Updated 2:12 p.m. March 11, 2011 to include Overstock.com information.

Amazon.com has made good on its threat to cut ties with Illinois affiliates because of a new law requiring the online store to collect sales taxes.

Amazon notified its Illinois partners Friday that it will stop doing business with them on April 15. It calls the tax law "unconstitutional and counterproductive.

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Morning round-up
9:27 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, March 11, 2011

John Cochran VA Hospital in St. louis has resumed surgeries. (SLPR news)
  • The John Cochran veteran’s hospital in St. Louis has resumed performing surgeries, more than a month after finding spots of surgical equipment. In a statement, the hospital says outside consultants and experts from the Department of Veterans Affairs could not pinpoint the exact cause of the problem. But officials say they replaced damaged instruments and tested the sterilization process several times. They say they’re confident it’s safe to do surgeries. The hospital has also awarded a $6.8 million dollar contract to build a new sterilization facility. The closure of the surgical wing marked the second time in less than a year that concerns were raised about the cleanliness of medical equipment at Cochran.

  • Legislation making it more difficult for people to win workplace discrimination lawsuits over their dismissals has cleared the state Senate. Missouri law now requires such workers to prove that discrimination was a "contributing" factor in a firing. The Senate bill would require a showing that discrimination was a "motivating" factor. It would also limit the amount of damages that could be awarded in such cases. Senators approved the bill 25-9 on Thursday. It now goes to the House. Proponents say the legislation would bring state law in line with federal policies, possibly making Missouri more appealing to employers. But some critics say the measure is a step backward and could make employers less likely to prevent workplace discrimination.

  • Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a measure Thursday that requires consumers to pay sales tax on some Internet purchases. The law says sales taxes must be charged when people buy from online retailers through an Illinois-based partner. For instance, an Illinois business might sell products through Amazon.com. Online businesses generally don’t charge state sales taxes. Illinois costumers are supposed to pay it directly to the state, but rarely do. Proponents of the measure say it levels the playing field between online businesses and brick-and-mortar stores. Opponents say it will drive business out of Illinois.

Illinois Online Sales Tax
3:13 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Quinn signs law to collect online sales tax

Boxes from Amazon.com. An Illinois retailer that might sell products through online retailers, such as Amazon.com, now must charge sales tax for their online sales, according to a new law.
(via Flickr/public.resource.org)

Illinois consumers may find themselves paying sales taxes on some Internet purchases under a new state law.

The law says sales taxes must be charged when people buy from online retailers through an Illinois-based partner. For instance, an Illinois business might sell products through Amazon.com.

Online businesses generally don't charge state sales taxes. Illinois customers are supposed to pay it directly to the state, but they rarely do.

Morning round-up
9:32 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The St. Louis Police Department S.W.A.T. team on the scene of yesterday's standoff on Osage St. in St. Louis, Mo.
  • A deputy U.S. marshal shot in the head while trying to arrest a fugitive early Tuesday morning has died. The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C. says 48-year-old John Perry died at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Saint Louis University Hospital. He had been with the U.S. Marshals for almost 10 years. Authorities say the suspect, Carlos Boles, shot Perry and a second U.S. marshal and a St. Louis police officer as they were trying to arrest Boles on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer and drug possession. Boles was killed in the exchange. U.S. deputy marshal Theodore Abegg was shot in the ankle and as of last night was listed in fair condition at SLU.  The St. Louis police officer was hit in his protective vest and received a grazing wound to the face. He was treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and released.

  • Illinois Governor Pat Quinn reportedly plans to sign a bill to abolish the death penalty in the state. The two sponsors of the bill say Quinn's staff told them he intends to sign it at a ceremony today. State Rep. Karen Yarbrough and state Sen. Kwame Raoul told The Associated Press on Tuesday that they have been invited to the bill signing in Quinn's Springfield office.  Quinn's office declined to comment about his intentions.  The new law would take effect July 1. Former Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions in Illinois in 2000 after the death sentences of 13 men were overturned. Ryan cleared death row before leaving office in 2003.

  • A former St. Louis alderman who was recalled from office in 2005 over his support for controversial development projects in his south city ward seems poised to take his old seat back in April. Tom Bauer defeated the current 24th Ward incumbent, Bill Waterhouse. Bauer will face an independent candidate in April. The three other incumbents facing primary challenges all won. In the south side’s 20th ward, Alderman Craig Schmid beat Shannon McGinn. Sixth Ward Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett beat out criminal defense attorney Brad Kessler to continue representing Lafayette Square and Downtown West. And in the St. Louis Hills’ Ward 15, incumbent Donna Baringer beat out former Circuit Clerk Mariano Favazza. As expected, voter turnout was low with less than 7 percent of the city’s registered voters casting a ballot.

Illinois Death Penalty
4:08 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

Quinn says will act on death penalty this week

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn says he will act this week on a bill that would abolish executions in Illinois.

Quinn said Monday that he's "going to act" this week, but not Tuesday. He said there's still information he wants to read and research he wants to do before acting on the legislation.

The legislation reaches Quinn after former Gov. George Ryan dramatically cleared the state's death row in 2000.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Morning headlines: Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist Church, during a protest. Despite a U.S. supreme court ruling Wed. in favor of such demonstrators, St. Charles and St. Charles County leaders say they will fight the protests.
(via Flickr/k763)
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Charles and St. Charles County leaders say they will push ahead in the fight against anti-gay protests at military funerals. That's a despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday in favor of such demonstrators. In an 8-to-1 ruling, the high court said Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church doesn't have to pay damages to the family of a Marine from Maryland.
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Illinois
3:39 pm
Mon February 21, 2011

Quinn waited to sign state budgeting law, timing draws criticism

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn, left, at his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 10, 2011. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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

A new Illinois law is supposed to clamp down on state government's habit of overspending. But, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn waited until after his budget presentation to sign it.

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Illinois School Transportation Cuts
4:42 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Slashing school transportation spending could hurt instruction, school officials say

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

School officials say Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's decision to slash school transportation spending could hurt instruction, even though he wants to increase the amount the state spends per pupil.

The budget Quinn unveiled in Springfield yesterday cuts $95 million from the state school busing fund.

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Illinois Budget Address
6:13 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Tune in tonight! Illinois Annual Budget Address

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his annual state budget address today in Springfield.

Join us tonight at 7 p.m.  for a broadcast the full address on 90.7 FM or online here.

You can also follow along and read the full text of the Governor's address here.

So far, here are some reactions to Quinn's budget:

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Morning round-up
9:23 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Morning headlines: Pujols reportedy rejects contract offer, Mo lawmakers to discuss "school bullying" legislation, Quinn to deliver budget address this week

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will enter spring training on Wednesday with no deal in place with the Cardinals. (via Wikimedia Commons/ Rafael Amado)
  • It appears that first basemen Albert Pujols will enter spring training on Wednesday with no deal in place with the St. Louis Cardinals. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a source familiar with negotiations confirmed Pujols recently rejected the team's contract extension offer. If so, talks presumably would halt Feb. 15 because of a deadline put in place by Pujols' agent. And the likelihood of the three-time National League Most Valuable Player reaching free agency after the upcoming season would increase. There was no comment from the Cardinals on Sunday night. According to reports, Pujols wants a 10-year deal.
  • Missouri lawmakers are calling for efforts to combat school bullying. Legislators are expected to hold a new conference today in the state Capitol building to discuss legislation. One proposal would develop definitions for "cyber-bullying" and instruct schools to develop policies to combat online bullying. The efforts are backed by the Safe Schools Coalition, which represents 40 organizations across Missouri.
  • Illinois Republicans are criticizing Governor Pat Quinn ahead of his budget address. Quinn is scheduled to lay out his proposed state spending plan for the next year on Wednesday. Last month, Quinn signed a bill raising income and corporate taxes to help balance the state's multi-billion dollar deficit. Republican State Senator Matt Murphy says he wants Quinn to repeal the tax increases and make more spending cuts. Murphy says given the state's budget problems, he would be open to cutting education funding. Meantime, Quinn says he's made $3 billion in budget cuts since taking office.

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