Morning Watch - January 28
Jan 28, 2013
Retiree premiums: The fight over whether or not retired public employees should be required to pay health insurance premiums is starting to move through the court system, the State Journal-Register reports. Lawsuits challenging the legality of the premiums are scheduled for a Feb. 20 hearing.
Licensed to drive: Illinois became the fourth - and most populous - state to grant undocumented immigrants permission to obtain a driver's license, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Fraud concerns: Opponents of a new Illinois law that allows undocumented immigrants to legally drive question whether there are enough safeguards in place to avoid identity fraud, the State Journal-Register reports.
Past due: Illinois owes nearly $5 million in payments to a Galesburg juvenile detention center, the State Journal-Register reports. More than $2 million of that debt is from between 2002 and 2005.
No more cuts: Illinois mental-health advocates say more attention and money must be directed towards the state's mental health system, the State Journal-Register reports. The state cut funding for community mental-health programs by more than 30 percent in the last three years.
Not so transparent: For the Good of Illinois, a nonprofit organization, asked the state comptroller's office for a line-by-line accounting of 2011 spending. The records are public under Illinois law but Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is making use of a loophole that allows government agencies to sidestep that law if compiling the information is considered "burdensome," the Chicago Tribune reports.
Inquire within: Forty-two people applied for former Ald. Sandi Jackson's seat on the Chicago City Council, NBC 5 Chicago reports. Interested applicants have until 5 p.m. today to throw their hat in the ring for Jackson's 7th Ward seat.