Chicago, IL – On the first day of the state's new fiscal year, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced $1.4 billion in cuts to state spending. Quinn also issued an Executive Order to place additional restrictions on government spending.
The state faces a budget shortfall of roughly $13 billion. For the second year in a row, the General Assembly approved an underfunded state budget, leaving most of the budget cutting to Quinn.
Monmouth, IL – In an unusual move, the Monmouth-Roseville school board has approved a one year contract for its unionized teachers. Superintendent Paul Woehlke says it's unusual because new contracts usually extend over several years.
But he says both the union and district understand that, given the state's current financial crisis, it's fiscally irresponsible to plan too far into the future.
Macomb, IL – A McDonough County man accused of murder has been allowed to retain additional counsel. Daniel Belknaps attorney, Ramon Escapa, requested the additional lawyer because he's been practicing law for only one year. Escapa says he wants to make sure his client is adequately represented.
Prosecuting attorney Edwin Parkinson says he doesn't have a problem with the request given the severity of the charges against Belknap.
The new attorney will be Daniel Fultz, based in Springfield.
Fort Madison, IA – Kevin Sullivan of Cary, NC served in the United States Air Force from seven years. He flew more than 400 flights in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa.
Sullivan was released from duty in 2007 after being diagnosed with severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Sullivan is one of 18 disabled soldiers who are now riding across the country as part of the Sea to Shining Sea Tour. They left San Francisco on May 22 and are scheduled to arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia on July 24.