Statewide update—May 9, 2011

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Belleville News-DemocratMoney talks, defendants walk: Ethics of payments questioned, “Defendants accused of rape, homicide, drug dealing and other serious crimes in five rural Southern Illinois counties have paid thousands of dollars into “anti-crime” funds that benefit or are controlled by local prosecutors in return for probation or dismissal of charges.  A Belleville News-Democrat investigation found that payments negotiated by prosecutors and approved by judges ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 resulted in probation or dismissal of felonies in 17 cases in Saline, Pulaski, Franklin, Wayne and Hardin counties.”

  • Chicago TribuneIllinois lawmakers try to rein in spending to make tax hike go away, “Three approaches are dominating discussion at the Capitol heading into the May 31 deadline to get a plan in place. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn wants to spend the most, including more on schools. The House wants to spend less, including cuts to education and social services. The Senate falls somewhere between.”
  • State Journal-RegisterGov. Quinn’s influence wanes at Capitol, “When Quinn gave his budget address in February, he called for saving money by reducing the number of school districts from 868 to 500, eliminating regional school superintendents, getting rid of legislative scholarships and borrowing billions of dollars to refinance the debt the state owes to local governments, schools and vendors. As the General Assembly enters the final three weeks of its regular session, none of those ideas have gained much traction.”

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