Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed nearly $1.6 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid into law.
His signature means that nearly 25,000 working parents will lose state-funded health care on July 1. Regular dental care is being eliminated for adults. Those who need eyeglasses will be able to get a new pair once every two years. And patients who take more than four prescription drugs will have to get prior approval from the state.
Quinn this morning also signed a dollar-a-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax.
Lawmakers in Illinois went past their midnight deadline in Springfield on Thursday in an effort to finish their business before the campaign season. In a frenzied end, the General Assembly approved a new state budget and authorized a massive expansion of gambling.
But they're not finished.
The collapse of pension reform means lawmakers will probably return to Springfield this summer. This recap is from Amanda Vinicky in Springfield.
Brian Mackey contributed reporting from Springfield.
An Illinois state House committee has approved sweeping changes to public employee pensions.
It's one of Gov. Pat Quinn's priorities for the legislative session that ends on Thursday.
Current and retired state and university employees, and public school teachers would face a difficult choice; keep their health care in retirement and have future pay raises count toward their pensions, but a smaller cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), or keep the current 3 percent compounding COLA but lose health care.
Reporting from Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.
Like its counterpart in Missouri, the Illinois General Assembly is heading into the home stretch.
Lawmakers there have a bit more time to get through their agenda - their session isn't scheduled to end until the end of May. But unlike lawmakers in Missouri, Illinois legislators have a monumental task in front of them - passing a state budget.
Most state agencies will have their budget cut by 9 percent.