State help possible for U.S. Steel workers in Granite City

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A group of Illinois state lawmakers say they're working to find resources to help more than 2,000 Granite City workers who will be laid off from U.S. Steel.

Winning recipe?

A Chicago-based analyst who follows Kraft Foods Group said the proposed acquisition by H.J. Heinz Co. could help open up new markets for Kraft products.

"Our initial take is that the deal stands to enhance Kraft's narrow economic moat," said Erin Lash, an analyst for Morningstar Inc.

62 questions

SIDELL — Sunrise Coal officials described the state's 62-pronged request for more information about plans to develop their Bulldog mine in southwestern Vermilion County "as a benchmark that brings us one step closer to approval."

UI unified in support for academic professionals

URBANA — University of Illinois staffers put up a unified front speaking for the importance of academic professionals in some positions at a hearing Wednesday.

The State University Civil Service System said a 2013 audit showed that almost 90 percent of one category of "academic professional" positions examined could have been classified as civil service.

UI job classification hearings set for Urbana

URBANA — An ongoing dispute about job classifications for hundreds of University of Illinois employees is expected to draw a crowd at a public hearing of the State Universities Civil Service System today in Urbana.

John Roska: Paying taxes for household workers

Q: Do I have to pay taxes or Social Security for baby sitters, or people who work around my house? What happens if I don't?

A: If you paid someone $1,900 in 2014, you're supposed to pay Social Security tax. If you paid a total $1,000 per calendar quarter to one or more employees, you're supposed to pay federal and state unemployment taxes.

Updated: Rauner's pension plan not exactly popular at UI

URBANA — The headlines over the pension debate in Springfield focus on billion-dollar shortfalls, last-minute legislative deals, court challenges and an outcry over six-figure pensions.

For Denise Jayne and her co-workers, it's about having a livable income when they retire.

'Legal uncertainty' about Rauner plan for pensions

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to reduce the state's pension debt — by moving most state workers to a less-generous benefit plan — would likely force the University of Illinois to "fill the gap" for its employees, one expert says.

Cut in hours ahead for Champaign library if board OKs cuts

What's your answer to these problems? Let Tom Kacich know here

CHAMPAIGN — No matter what the financially ailing Champaign Public Library does to cut costs, Director Marsha Grove knows somebody isn't going to like it.

Updated: State certifies UI-Springfield faculty union

SPRINGFIELD — A second University of Illinois campus has formed a union for tenure-system faculty, even as organizing efforts continue at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board has certified the faculty union at the UI Springfield, which has 137 members and is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, union leaders said.