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SPews: January 28

MTD board will take annexation case to Supreme Court“, News-Gazette, January 26

Members of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board voted unanimously Wednesday to take a long-running annexation dispute to the Illinois Supreme Court.

. . .  

The case dates back to 2005 when the MTD annexed property in southwest Champaign. A group of citizens responded by collecting 995 signatures to place on the ballot a proposal to create a second mass transit district called the Champaign Southwest Mass Transit District. It encompassed all of the newly annexed MTD property plus about 4,000 more acres.


Workers protest for higher wages,” Daily Illini, January 25

A mixed crowd of building and food service workers, union members of Service Employees International Union Local 73, students and volunteers gathered in the bitter cold in front of the ARC at 7:30 a.m. to protest for higher wages and workers’ benefits.

Ricky Baldwin, Field Organizer for the SEIU Local 73 and Urbana resident, said that the SEIU Local 73 has been trying to reach a compromise with University officials since June of last year.

Champaign council backs $2 million list of spending cuts,” News-Gazette, January 26

The city council on Tuesday night unanimously agreed to move forward with a proposed “$2 million list” of cuts – an agenda of spending reductions affecting city services across all departments, including police and fire – with the caveat that they may make some adjustments in coming months.

The city’s worsening financial condition dominated the conversation during the meeting, with some city employees and representatives of their unions lining up to tell the council not to reduce spending in their departments.

Student group demands information on Abbott power plant disposal habits,” Daily Illini, January 26

Students for Environmental Concerns, or SECS, is continuing its investigation of the disposal methods of coal ash by Abbott Power Plant, the University-owned power plant that heats many campus buildings.

The investigation, which began in May 2010, came as a result of SECS’s concern over possible health hazards resulting from coal ash disposal.

Businesses won’t leave Illinois because of tax hike, experts say,” Springfield Journal-Register, January 23

Illinois’ recent income tax increase won’t cause a mass exodus of businesses from the state, experts agree.

“It’s definitely something the state should be concerned about, but I think it (the scope) is exaggerated a little bit,” University of Illinois economics professor Dan McMillen said.

. . .

“There’s no denying that this is a significant tax increase,” [Illinois Department of Revenue spokesman Mike] Klemens said. “But the notion that a multi-state corporation will move out of state because of taxes is untrue.”


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