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.
Most of the big issues this legislative session were tied to the state budget, which has been passed and sent to Governor Jay Nixon. That has many political pundits wondering if the last week of the 2012 session will be anticlimactic. But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, there are still a few hot-button items left to fight over.
Credit (Associated Press Data/compiled by Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)
A chart which compares the amounts allocated for specific state agencies in the Missouri State Budgets of FY 2012 and FY 2013. Some 2013 figures are higher because legislators used precise amounts for some budget items. Click to enlarge for a better look.
The $24 billion spending plan passed both chambers with little difficulty, but not without some complaints. State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) was not happy with language restoring a health care program for blind Missourians. He says he’ll file a constitutional objection.
A proposed constitutional amendment to revise the selection process for appellate judges is headed to Missouri voters.
Members of the Missouri Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals are appointed by the governor from three finalists recommended by a special commission. The commission is made up of one Supreme Court judge, three lawyers and three non-lawyers picked by the governor.
Missouri lawmakers have sent the governor a measure providing a dedicated funding source to veterans' nursing homes.
The bill given final approval Thursday by the House would earmark most of the state's fees from casinos to a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. The intent is to provide a permanent, predictable funding stream for the state's seven nursing homes that serve more than 1,300 military veterans.