Patch Flash: Report Supports Quinn’s Plan for Teacher Pension Reform
Chicagoland news to talk about: Some North shore suburbs top list of most fashionable towns in America.
A report released last week by the Illinois Policy Institute includes findings that seem to support Gov. Pat Quinn's suggestions that schools should be responsible for funding teacher pensions. As part of a larger effort to ease the state's already overextended budget, Quinn has been targeting state payouts to Illinois schools to cover teacher pensions, proposing initiatives that would cut costs and delay retirement or pass the bill along to schools. A recent study by the Illinois Policy Institute supports the latter measure.
"State education dollars will continue to work at cross-purposes until the state stops paying the employer's share of the normal cost of teachers' pensions," the report concludes. Analysis found that in 2011, the state paid approximately $800 million towards pension benefits earned by teachers during the 2010-11 school year, while school districts paid only $50 million.
A group of students at Loyola University have passed a referendum that would all but eliminate bottled water across the Chicago campus. A majority of students voted last week to phase out the sale of disposable water bottles on campus in 2013, according to a university release. The university has already taken steps in that direction, distributing reusable bottles to incoming students and installing 35 bottle refill stations at the school's campuses in the Loop and Rogers Park. Students and administrators say the goal of the initiative is to help direct attention to water access issues and conservation efforts across the Midwest and beyond.
A bill that would amend the Illinois Constitution to favor the rights of victims during criminal proceedings seemed primed for passage until a sudden wave of opposition from the House Criminal Law committee killed it days before the deadline. HJRCA0029 would have offered the victims of violent crimes more involvement in criminal trials by extending legal standing to victims or their surviving relatives.It would amend the constitution to require the courts to keep victims informed of progress in criminal proceedings, to allow for victim-impact statements during sentencing and to have the victim's well-being factored into bail decisions.
Some Chicago area suburbs were right up there with Beverly Hills in a ranking of the most fashionable towns in America. Lake Forest and Hinsdale were in the ranking, but Winnetka and Glencoe actually beat Beverly Hills, in the study by Bundle, a business and consumer rating website.