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Gov. Pat Quinn says he's confident the state supreme court will uphold the pension reform law. | Ashlee Rezin/For Sun-Times Media

Illinois pension reform law is unconstitutional, judge rules

Visitors line up outside the Governor's Mansion in January 2003 to greet newly elected Gov. Rod Blagojevich. | Charles Arbogast/AP

Rauner getting a fixer-upper: governor’s mansion

Mansion expansion? Dave Bourland, the Lord of the Manor, is waiting. Curator and director of the 159-year-old governor’s mansion in Springfield, Bourland is eager to meet its next occupant — Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who plans to renovate the historic home with private funds.

Rauner hoping for further court guidance on pension reform

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner said Monday that he was hardly surprised by a judge’s ruling last week that found Democrats’ landmark 2013 pension reform law to be unconstitutional. But he said he hoped future appeals of the decision would supply a blueprint for what type of reform might pass constitutional muster.

Gov. Pat Quinn at his concession speech earlier this month | Ashlee Rezin/For Sun-Times Media

Gov. Quinn could collect healthy pension on way out the door

Beaten by Republican Bruce Rauner in this month’s general election, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn soon will be leaving public office. But he still might collect a public-sector paycheck. Quinn has not said if and when he’ll be cashing in on a public-sector pension but he is allowed to receive a $136,000 annual pension from the taxpayer-supported State Retirement Systems when he exits office in mid-January, according to records and interviews.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks at the AFL-CIO and American Federation of Teachers summit on Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C. | Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

If Labor stayed home, then members reaped what they sowed

The head of a prominent labor union last week calculated that a good percentage of the pro-labor vote stayed home Nov. 4. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, blamed the candidates, saying Democrats failed to go beyond broad messages like raising the minimum wage.

Why is drunk driver who killed my sister driving again?

A repeat drunk driver killed my stepsister in 2003. Last Saturday, he was arrested for impaired driving for the fourth time. How does a repeat offender get the chance to drive again? How does a judicial system allow a man who has killed to have a second, third and even fourth chance?

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

Rauner wants Quinn to freeze hiring

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who has asked lawmakers not to move major legislation until after he takes office, is holding a news conference at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield.

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D­-Maywood, shown at a school event with Gov. Pat Quinn, supports increasing the Illinois minimum wage. | File Photo

Despite Rauner's plea, some lawmakers seek minimum wage hike now

Illinois voters agreed overwhelmingly this month that lawmakers should raise the state's minimum wage by Jan. 1. And Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D­-Maywood, said Wednesday she'd "like to fulfill the terms of the ballot question." But Illinois' minimum wage wouldn't rise to $10 an hour for adult employees until July 1 if an amendment Lightford is pushing this week becomes law.

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