U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has visited the eastern Illinois community of Gifford to get a firsthand look at tornado cleanup efforts there. The Chicago Democrat says the Gifford residents are "pulling together to get this community back." Gifford has about 1,000 residents.
The post office in the city of Washington is becoming a hub in the tornado-ravaged community as more than 1,400 people a day visit the facility to pick up their mail. Daily mail service has been cut off to many homes and businesses after the Nov. 17 storms.
By: Laura Kennedy
It's holiday time, but the Bloomington-Normal-based Illinois Shakespeare Festival is already thinking of summer and their 2014 season. Festival Artistic Director Kevin Rich is currently casting for the three plays that are each uniquely connected to each other.
By: Charlie Schlenker
Police are trying to stimulate new leads in the assault death of a 26 year old Bloomington woman last May. Officers are releasing the last known photo of Haileigh Eichhorn taken the morning of her disappearance April 28th.
Bloomington Thunder head coach Brian Gratz is stepping down. The move comes as the last place Thunder work to turn around a season that has started with a 3-9 mark in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
By: IPR's Amanda Vinicky
While much of the attention was focused on pensions, state legislators yesterday also dealt with measures intended to get a trio of companies to call Illinois home.
The pension changes will all of the state's retirement systems but one ... the fund for Illinois judges. House Speaker Michael Madigan says that's because the pension legislation will surely face a constitutional challenges, that members of the State Supreme Court will have to decide.
By: IPR's Brian Mackey
The Illinois General Assembly approved sweeping cuts to state employee pensions yesterday. The move comes after years of stalemate over how to address a hundred-billion dollar liability -- the worst-funded pension plans of any state.
The Illinois Legislature has approved a historic plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion pension shortfall, considered the worst in the nation. The House voted 62-53 Tuesday in favor of the plan, which the Senate approved just minutes earlier. It now goes to Gov.
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Tue, 03 Dec 2013 15:39:16 CST By: AP
Public employees could see significant reductions in long-term retirement income under a proposed bill that Illinois legislative leaders are pushing as a way to solve the worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. One of the biggest cuts would come from a change in annual cost-of-living adjustments. The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability has developed a formula to calculate estimated changes in retirement income over the years if the bill passes, based on the best information available right now, pension specialist Amanda Kass said.
Here are three scenarios:
Employee 1: Retired teacher, 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $67,000. Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $121,009 a year under the current pension system; $91,183 under the proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $284,030
Employee 2: Retired Department of Children and Family Services caseworker, 20 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $50,000. Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $90,306 under current system; $63,000 under proposed changes
Cumulative 20-year decrease: $261,001
Employee 3: Retired teacher, age 75, with 30 years of service
Initial annual benefit: $25,000
Retiree's COLA increase would remain unchanged until benefit reaches $30,000, which is years of service multiplied by $1,000. After that, the annual benefit would drop below what it would be under the current system. Annual pension benefit after 10 years: $33,598 under current system; $33,529 under proposed changes
Cumulative 10-year decrease: $137