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A proposed measure in the Illinois Statehouse attempts to suspend taxpayer-funded pension payments for former elected officials charged with a felony

(Springfield-jm) – A proposed measure in the Illinois Statehouse attempts to suspend taxpayer-funded pension payments for former elected officials charged with a felony. House Bill 1277 aims to suspend a retired lawmaker's pension if felony charges relate to their duties as a lawmaker. The effort is in response to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, being charged with 23 counts of corruption, including racketeering, bribery, and extortion. According to previous reporting, Madigan receives $7,100 a month in pension payments from his decades as an Illinois legislator. Madigan was in the Illinois Legislature for 50 years. Most of that time he served as House Speaker. State law allows for a retired legislator's pension to be revoked if they are found guilty of a crime stemming from their work as an elected official.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois House, voting along party lines, passed legislation to make it a Class B misdemeanor to pet a bear or non-human primate. The legislation was drafted to “address the public safety and animal cruelty concerns associated with the public handling and show of these animals being used as props and business commodities.” With Democrats leading the way, the measure was approved on a vote of 73-35. House Republicans, considering the bill as a penalty enhancement, refused to vote for the bill due to the fact House Democrats have refused to even call a Republican bill that gives DCFS workers the same protection from harm on the job as police officers and firefighters.  Democrats consider the DCFS bill a penalty enhancement and refuse to bring it to the floor for a vote. House Republican Leader Tony McCombie, who has been trying to pass the DCFS bill since 2017, spoke about the issue on the House floor during debate on the bill, pointing to the two DCFS workers murdered on the job and how Democrats have voted for penalty enhancements in their own bills…



House Republican Leader Tony McCombie.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Fire Department quickly extinguished a fire at a single-family home on North  Russell Street Tuesday afternoon. A passerby reported a fire on the exterior of the single-story home. Once on scene, fire crews saw moderate smoke coming from the rear of the home. No injuries were reported on the scene and the occupants were not home at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is accidental and has been attributed to damage to the exterior electrical wiring of the home.


(Hoopeston-jm) – The Hoopeston Jaycee’s are excited to announce the headliner for the 79th annual National Sweetcorn Festival is a multi-platinum country artist, who has charted four number 1 singles: “Kiss You in The Morning,” “Think A Little Less,” “One That Got Away” and multi-week chart-topper “Whiskey and Rain.” Michael Ray is coming to Hoopeston, Illinois on Friday, September 1st with Indiana-Base Beyond Carolina!  Tickets for the concert start at just $20 if purchased in advance. Tickets will go on sale this Friday.


(Ogden-jm) – Two men from Ogden are dead after the Champaign County Sheriff said they were involved in a high-speed crash just north of the town on Monday. Sheriff Dustin Heuerman said the crash happened just before 6 p.m. at the intersection of County Roads 2700E and 1700N. Preliminary reports indicate that the two were driving northbound on 2700E when the driver lost control and the car hit a guardrail. Heuerman added that neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt and they were ejected through the open roof. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said the driver of the car was identified as 58-year-old Douglas Stevens. Stevens was alive following the crash and was taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana, but was pronounced dead at 7:11 p.m. The passenger was identified as 20-year-old Keylan Henry; he was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. at the scene of the crash.

(Washington-jm) – The second AIM for Climate Summit began Monday in the Nation’s capital with progress announcements from one of its co-chairs. Rod Bain reports…



(Paxton–jc)  A one day pop up shopping event is set for downtown Paxton on Saturday.  Over a dozen vendors will be set up in A Picket Fence Florist from 10am to 2-30pm on Saturday and it’s a perfect time for gift ideas for mom and grads, says Lead Designer Dawn Glad…



A Picket Fence Florist Lead Designer Dawn Glad

A Spring Fling Pop up Shopping event Saturday May 13th from 10am to 2-30pm.


WPXN News notes…

Paxton Head Start will hold an open house this evening from 5-7 pm at their location 1195 East Pells Street in Paxton.


(Springfield-jm) – A report detailing Illinois' budget forecast is warning of a huge drop in state revenues. The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said April receipts fell $1.8 billion compared to the same month the year prior. The COGFA report said while a substantial decline in revenues was anticipated, the extent of the decline is much steeper than the commission had projected. The news comes as lawmakers are putting together an annual spending plan as the spring legislative session winds down. The main contributor to the falloff was personal income taxes, which fell $1.7 billion below last April’s levels, a drop of $1.5 billion on a net basis. The COGFA report said the substantial declines in April erased nearly all of the growth accrued throughout the fiscal year. With two months remaining in the fiscal year, General Funds receipts in fiscal 2023 are now only $132 million above last year’s pace. In comparison, at the end of February, fiscal 2023 receipts were $2.5 billion higher than fiscal 2022 year-to-date levels, which shows the extent that revenues have fallen over the past two months.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois House of Representatives voted to reappoint the Illinois Inspector General.  House Joint Resolution 35 reappoints the Honorable Michael P. McCuskey as Legislative Inspector General for a term that begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2028. At the time of his appointment last year, numerous House Republicans voted against the appointment, not because of McCuskey’s qualifications, but because of the Legislative Inspector General not being allowed to do their job to the best of their ability.   Republicans voted for the resolution today, saying with the recent corruption trial in federal court in Chicago and the convictions of the “ComEd 4”, the Legislative Inspector General is needed more than ever. The resolution was co-sponsored by State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian who encouraged an AYE vote during floor debate…



State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian.


(Urbana-jm) – An elusive emu evaded Illinois State Police along Interstate 74 in Central Illinois on Tuesday afternoon. Illinois State Police released a statement that they responded to a report of an animal on the roadway on Interstate 74 at milepost 189, just east of Urbana, around 12:15 p.m. When officers arrived, they reported that there was an emu on the interstate. State Police said troopers chased the emu off the roadway. However, they said the emu ran into some heavy timber and the troopers lost sight of the emu.


(Vermilion County-jm) – the Vermilion County Health Department is asking for the public’s assistance with the collection of dead birds to test for West Nile Virus . Each summer, the health department collects dead birds and mosquitoes around Vermilion County to determine the prevalence of WNV in the county. Birds are collected May 1, 2023 through October 15, 2022. VCHD will be accepting a limited number of dead birds (5) for testing. Crows and Blue Jays are preferred but Finches, Sparrows and Robins will also be accepted.


(Undated-jm) – The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its annual national food drive this Saturday, May 13. NALC's food drive, first held in 1993, helps feed thousands of neighbors in eastern Illinois. The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country's largest one-day food drive, provides the community with an easy way to donate food to those in need. Simply leave a donation of non-perishable food items next to your mailbox on Saturday, May 13. Letter carriers will collect these donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and Eastern Illinois Foodbank will distribute the food throughout their 18-county service area.


(Washington-jm) – The Agriculture Secretary used this week's AIM for Climate Summit as an opportunity to update on two climate oriented efforts announced last fall at the United Nations' COP27 event. Rod Bain reports…



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