Statewide Update—Feb. 9, 2011

  • (Gatehouse News Service) Peoria Journal StarMadigan: Tough choices lie ahead, “House Speaker Michael Madigan hinted Tuesday that more changes are possible to state employee pension and retiree health benefits – including the constitutionally sticky possibility that future retirement benefits for existing employees could be reduced.”
  • State Journal RegisterEditorial: Republicans should help OK borrowing plan, “A bill now before the General Assembly would let the state pay its creditors, many of whom are small businesses already struggling in a weak economy, by borrowing $8.75 billion. As we see it, this is not so much an acquisition of ‘new’ debt as a transfer of existing debt.”
  • (AP) Belleville News DemocratIllinois officials urge testing of private well water, “Routine testing by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency near the McHenry County community show possible contaminants. A product of an industrial solvent was detected at levels lower than the standard at which experts usually express concern, an EPA spokeswoman said.”
  • Southtown StarAlvarez, Preckwinkle battle over budget cuts, “Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Tuesday angrily accused the county’s top prosecutor of ‘reneging on a deal’ to cut the budget in the state’s attorney’s office.”
  • Southtown StarACLU wants city to stop installing security cameras, “Chicago’s network of more than 10,000 public and private surveillance cameras is the most extensive and integrated in the nation. Most aldermen appear to like it that way because of the sense of security that cameras bring to residents of high-crime neighborhoods.”
  • Chicago TribuneCity’s do-not-hire list doesn’t go far enough, critics say, “It took Mayor Richard Daley’s administration years to come up with a roster of wayward city workers who should be banned from the public payroll, but the new do-not-hire list could die when Daley leaves office this spring. What’s more, the banishment does not extend to schools, the Park District, the CTA or the City Council.”

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