Politics and Government

Politics and Government

Public defender to seek state's attorney's seat

DANVILLE — Vermilion County's Chief Public Defender Jacqueline Lacy has announced her candidacy for the state's attorney's office.

Want to fix the state budget? Here's how, says one expert

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois can solve its multibillion-dollar fiscal problem, balance the budget within two years and add billions to education funding in four steps, says Ralph Martire.

It can:

— Reamortize its pension debt from a 30-year payback to 43 years, and level annual pension payments at about $7.3 billion. They're scheduled to be $6.8 billion in the next fiscal year.

GCMS bill so far in tax appeal: $650,000

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district has spent more than $650,000 on legal and other fees in its ongoing dispute over the assessed value of a Gibson City ethanol plant.

But those costs pale by comparison with the amount of tax revenue the district would lose if the ethanol plant — One Earth Energy — ends up winning its property tax appeal.

UI plans for massive budget cut move forward

URBANA — With the state budget still a giant unknown, University of Illinois officials are proceeding with budget plans and possible cuts for 2015-16 — in between fielding requests for data from legislators.

Champaign plans up to $710,000 in incentives

CHAMPAIGN — City staff will ask the city council tonight whether to prepare a development agreement offering up to $710,000 in incentives for the redevelopment of the former Sullivan Chevrolet complex in downtown Champaign.

Cornbelt to start search for new chief

MAHOMET — As they begin the search for a new fire chief, members of the Cornbelt Fire Protection District board of trustees say they're looking to build on their strengths.

"Chief Galey has really taken us to a new level," Trustee Lee Jessup said, noting Cornbelt's strides in the areas of training, equipment and personnel retention.

UI bracing for AAUP hit

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Editor's note: We've replaced the draft report with the final version.

Board approves raise for Wiegand

CHAMPAIGN — A week before five new faces join the Champaign school board, it voted Monday night to give Superintendent Judy Wiegand a raise of at least 3 percent.

The bump mirrors recent raises given to other Unit 4 employees and aligns with national cost-of-living standards, members said.

Updated: Prosecutor won't seek third term

DANVILLE — After two terms as Vermilion County state's attorney, Randy Brinegar has decided he won't seek a third.

Brinegar, 62, recently announced his decision to finish out his current term rather than running next year for a third term.

Sam Zell gives $4 million to Rauner's political fund

CHICAGO (AP) — Billionaire businessman Sam Zell has donated $4 million to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's new political action committee.