IL: Macon County sues Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac over transfer taxes

By   /  December 12, 2012  /  WatchBlog  /  No Comments

HARDEST HIT: Only 13 percent of federal "Hardest Hit" Simulus funds intended to help struggling Floridians has actually been spent.

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD – Macon County is the latest Illinois county to file a lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over failing to pay real estate transfer taxes on foreclosure properties.
Officials in the central Illinois county filed suit Dec. 4 in federal court in Springfield, asking a judge to order the [...]

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IL: Expert: Cash-balance pension proposal good, but falls short

By   /  December 11, 2012  /  Illinois, Pensions  /  1 Comment

The Illinois Capitol

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD – A hybrid “cash-balance” pension plan proposed by a group of rank-and-file Illinois lawmakers last week is a step in the right direction, but falls short of setting the state on a course for a healthy pension system, one national expert says.
It doesn’t do anything to address the state’s [...]

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IL: Federal appellate court strikes down Illinois’ ban on concealed carry

By   /  December 11, 2012  /  WatchBlog  /  No Comments

LOCKED AND LOADED: A bill protecting gun owners from insurance discrimination advances in state legislature.

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog
CHICAGO – Illinois lawmakers have 180 days to craft a new law that allows concealed carry of weapons, according to a federal appellate court opinion handed down this morning.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stemmed from a case that challenged Illinois’ law against carrying concealed weapons.
“We are disinclined to [...]

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IL: Week in review – Pension reform hangs over lawmakers’ heads

By   /  December 7, 2012  /  Illinois, News  /  No Comments

MARTIRE: Ralph Martire, executive director of the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers wrapped up their fall veto session Thursday, failing to make headway on comprehensive pension reform. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of rank-and-file lawmakers unveiled a new reform proposal that could come up for a vote during the January “lame-duck” session.
Lawmakers unveil new pension-reform plan
Two Illinois pension experts [...]

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IL: Borrowing for old bills an ‘aah’ sure to be an ‘ugh,’ treasurer says

By   /  December 6, 2012  /  Illinois, News  /  1 Comment

Illinois Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD — It’s really enough to make your head spin.
A proposal in the state legislature to borrow $4 billion to pay down the state’s backlog of bills could mean a double-whammy for Illinoisans who ponied up to pay off old bills as part of a 67-percent “temporary” personal income-tax hike.
The [...]

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IL: Contender for Jackson Jr.’s seat arrested for having gun at airport

By   /  December 5, 2012  /  WatchBlog  /  No Comments

Illinois Sen. Donne Trotter

State Sen. Donne Trotter was arrested Wednesday morning at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after authorities found an unloaded handgun and bullets in his luggage.
Trotter, 62, who is a contender for the Congressional seat of ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., told police he worked late Tuesday night at his job as a security officer and didn’t [...]

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