FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

Automatic pay increases for retirees creates pension funding challenges

Illinois’ state budget and those of local towns are more restricted by changes to pension investments than other states because of automatic annual raises for retirees in Illinois.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found Illinois state and local governments have to pay the same amount to retirees getting 3 percent compounded annual increases regardless of the broader economic conditions.

Some other states have pension increases linked with inflation.

Illinois officials work with feds on new insurance tax

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is working with the federal government to implement the single largest tax included in the new state budget, an assessment on managed care organizations in Illinois that officials have estimated will bring in hundreds of millions in revenue for the state.

However, insurance broker Dave Castillo questioned if the feds would approve a plan he said seems to be using the same tax dollars twice. 

Durbin calls for more protective netting at stadiums

After several incidents of sports fans getting hurt at sports stadiums, Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging major league teams to require more protection for spectators.

Durbin wants the leagues to extend protective netting at ballparks to ensure errant balls don’t hit fans.

A fan was recently hospitalized after being hit by a foul ball at a game between the Cubs and Astros.