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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for November 21st, 2014

Judge rules Illinois’ pension law unconstitutional

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois judge has ruled that a law intended to fix the nation’s worst state employee pension crisis violates the state Constitution.

Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Belz ruled Friday in favor of state employees and retirees who sued to block the state’s landmark pension overhaul.

The state is expected to appeal the ruling directly to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The overhaul was approved by lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn last year. Years of underfunding had put the state’s pension systems roughly $100 billion short of what they need to cover benefits promised to employees.

The law reduces benefits for retirees, but also reduces employee contributions. The lawsuit argued that the Constitution prohibits reducing benefits or compensation.

The state argued that pensions can be modified in times of crisis.

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Wintry mix could make driving tough in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2014

It could get messy in the Illinois Valley.

A Freezing Rain Advisory takes effect at 10pm Friday and lasts until 6am Saturday. Freezing rain or sleet is likely overnight with a small amount of ice accumulation possible. Roads could become slick.

The rest of the weekend will have warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast. The next chance of snow is Monday.

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Annual beard growing fundraiser underway in Peru

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2014

The beards are growing at Maze Lumber and Maze Nails in Peru.

It’s the fourth annual “Beards for Christmas” fundraiser. Fifteen Maze Lumber and Maze Nails employees have been growing beards since November 3rd. You help pick the best beard by casting a vote at Maze Lumber. It’s a dollar per vote with the proceeds going to the Illinois Valley Marine Corps League’s Christmas for kids.

Voting ends on December 19th. Contestants can trim but must keep some type of beard until voting ends.

The fundraiser has raised over $6,000 in its three years.

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Illinois Republicans react to Obama’s immigration plan

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2014

An immigration plan that would allow adult, illegal immigrants with American children or children here legally to avoid deportation would do so without receiving approval from Congress. That has Illinois’ Republican congressional delegation angry.

President Barack Obama explained his executive actions during primetime television last night. He also challenged the Senate and Congress to pass a bill.

Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock were among a group of congressmen that call Obama’s plan, “a lawless move that will ultimately do much more harm than good.”

They say Congress should take the lead on immigration reform, securing our borders, and improving the visa system.

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