Missouri veterans homes are getting a significant boost as a result of new legislation establishing a dedicated source of funding.
Governor Jay Nixon attended a ceremonial bill signing at the St. Louis Veterans Home on Thursday.
Missouri currently has seven nursing homes which serve some 1,300 veterans. The legislation will allocate $32 million to the Missouri Veterans Commission annually, up from just $6.6 million, and will be paid for through per-patron fees paid by casinos.
Illinois lawmakers are scheduled to debate today a massive overhaul of the state’s pension system.
The measure’s revival was made possible last night by a surprise move from House Speaker Michael Madigan, who calls an overhaul necessary.
Madigan told Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky he regrets his role in passing an early retirement package a decade ago that added to the state’s $83 billion unfunded pension liability – and what he wants to do about it now.
Jim Mathewson (D) announced today he’s stepping down, one month after his three-year term officially expired. He was appointed chairman by Governor Jay Nixon (D) in 2009, but chose not to serve a second term in order to spend more time with his family. During his tenure, Mathewson oversaw the bidding process for the state’s 13th casino license, which eventually went to developers in Cape Girardeau.
The measure would make it a misdemeanor to use, “profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior,” or make loud disruptive noises within or just outside a public or private building where a worship service is being held. It was sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter).
“It’s important for citizens here in Missouri to have their First Amendment rights protected," Mayer said. "There (have) been instances across the country where there have been actual disturbances in churches and synagogues.”
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.