Government

Government
4:27 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

TN Governor's Power Boosted of THEC

The TN House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint (or fire) the head of the TN Higher Education Commission. The chamber voted today to cede more control over THEC and other commissions to the executive branch.

Illinois General Assembly
4:22 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Pension Boost Amendment in Illinois

A top Illinois Democrat says pension boosts for public employees should require more support in the General Assembly before becoming law. House Speaker Michael Madigan is proposing a constitutional amendment to require a three-fifths vote of the House and Senate for any legislation that increases retirement benefits. A simple majority is required now. The state owes its pension systems $80 billion. The Legislature would have to approve the idea by May 6 to put the question before voters in the November election.

Government
3:28 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Road Plan Approved

Kentucky House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on a massive road construction plan. Senate Democratic Floor Leader R.J. Palmer says lawmakers reached the agreement around 2AM today which is the final day of this year's legislative session. Legislators were scheduled to vote on the plan this afternoon. The plan includes $3.5 billion worth of construction projects over the next two years and more than $10 million worth over the next 6 years.

Military
10:19 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Fort Campbell Soldier Receives Distinguished Service Cross

wikipedia.org

A Fort Campbell soldier credited with saving the lives of two fellow soldiers while wounded during an attack in Afghanistan will be presented with the nation's second highest military honor. Sergeant Felipe Pereira of the 101st Airborne Division will receive the Distinguished Service Cross today at the post. According to the citation, Pereira suffered shrapnel wounds to his spleen, lung and liver when his unit was attacked in November 2010 in Kandahar province. He refused medical treatment and helped evacuate two other wounded soldiers. 

 

2012 Tennessee General Assembly
10:13 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Tennessee Info Protection Bill Withdrawn

wikipedia.org

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's effort to close off public access to company information used to decide economic development grants has been withdrawn for the year. Republican Senator Bo Watson says the decision followed a failure to reach a compromise. The Haslam administration argues the measure allows the state to ask for more details about businesses seeking cash grants while assuring companies’ proprietary information would not become public. Open government advocates argue that information is already exempt from public records laws.

2012 Tennessee General Assembly
10:10 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Tennessee Education Commissioner Bill Delayed

wikimedia

The Tennessee House has delayed a vote on a bill giving the state's education commissioner the power to waive state laws to grant public schools more flexibility. Republican Representative Art Swann says his bill is designed to emulate the leeway granted to charter schools, but he agreed to put the measure on hold after members of both parties raised concerns over a provision giving an unelected official the ability to ignore statutes enacted by the Legislature.

2012 General Assembly
10:07 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Beshear Not Expecting Any Vetoes

wikipedia.org

Kentucky lawmakers have one more legislative day in their calendar this year, but they likely won’t spend it overriding vetoed bills. Governor Steve Beshear spent most of yesterday signing bills into law. And outside of the almost mandatory line item vetoes every governor has in budget bills, Beshear says he doesn’t expect to use his veto pen. That means dozens of bills passed this session will go onto the books. This includes bills allowing new districts of innovation for local school districts, the elimination of confederate pensions and new restrictions on pseudoephedrine purchases.

Government
3:59 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Metropolis Opposes Coal Facility on Ohio River

wikipedia.org

Metropolis, Illinois officials are drafting a resolution to oppose the construction of a McCracken county rail-to-barge coal terminal. The proposed facility will be across the river from Metropolis' developed riverfront. Madisonville-based Southern Coal Handling purchased around 230 acres in western McCracken County in August to construct the facility. Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel says while the city is pro-coal and pro-industry, the proposed location directly across the river would be detrimental to the city’s economy.

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2012 General Assembly
2:48 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Beshear Signs Unemployment Insurance Bill

wikipedia.org

Governor Steve Beshear has signed a plan to save employers from federal unemployment insurance tax hikes into law.

At his first ceremonial bill signing of the year, Beshear praised lawmakers and the business and labor communities for reaching a compromise.

House Bill 495 would allow Kentucky to borrow money from a state organization to repay interest on a more than nine hundred million dollar unemployment loan.

And while the bill will still raise taxes for employers in two years, it’s at a lesser rate. Beshear says that’s a fair answer to the problem.

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Government
7:17 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Paducah and Local Union Approve Contract

The Paducah City Commission has approved a three year contract with American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees local 1586. The union represents employees in the city’s engineering, public works and parks departments. If ratified by vote in by City Commissioners, the new contract would take effect July first. Both city and union officials site a cooperative spirit in coming to an agreement quickly.

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