Illinois insurance subsidies in place for now
CHICAGO (AP) - Officials say Illinois health insurance customers shouldn't feel any immediate effect of a federal appeals court panel's ruling as a confusing legal battle continues over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Contradictory rulings were issued Tuesday by two federal appeals court panels. One said the federal government couldn't offer financial assistance to people in states like Illinois that use the federally run insurance market. The other court ruled the opposite.
About 168,000 Illinois residents qualified for financial subsidies to help pay for their health insurance. The White House says policyholders will keep getting that help as the administration sorts out the legal implications.
Get Covered Illinois executive director Jennifer Koehler (KOH'-lehr) says the subsidies remain in effect. She says the state is monitoring the court decisions.
Lawyers: Factor court decision into pensions case
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Lawyers representing state retiree groups say they aim to use a recent Supreme Court decision on health care benefits as a way to expedite their case challenging Illinois' pension legislation.
Attorneys told Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz on Tuesday they'd be filing a motion asking him to factor the July 3 ruling into the state's argument defending the pension legislation.
The court's ruling reversed a lower court decision that effectively allowed the state to require retirees to pay for part of their health care.
The groups challenging the pension law say the same issue is central to their case. They say the law violates the state constitution which says public employee benefits cannot be "diminished or impaired."
The state says it has expanded authority during times of crisis.
SANGAMON COUNTY-HUMAN REMAINS
Coroner: Remains found in Rochester shed human
ROCHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A coroner says remains found in a shed in a central Illinois village are likely those of a woman.
Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards says a forensic doctor assisted by an anthropologist concluded Tuesday that the remains found Sunday in Rochester appear to be human.
Edwards says identification of the woman and a determination of the cause of death are pending.
Illinois State Police are assisting in the investigation.
REST STOP KILLING-SUSPECT
Rockford man charged in second killing
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - A man already accused of killing a high school friend now is charged in a second northern Illinois killing.
Prosecutors in Illinois' Lee County on Tuesday filed 12 murder counts against 36-year-old Terence Doddy of Rockford in the July 1 death of 44-year-old Tonya Bargman. Other charges include robbery, concealment of a homicidal death, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle and credit card.
Doddy is accused of asphyxiating Bargman at a rest stop at Paw Paw along Interstate 39 before stealing the Monticello woman's car. Doddy already was charged in Winnebago County in the June 30 killing of 37-year-old Todd Hansmeier.
Doddy was arrested July 4 after a chase near Beloit, Wisconsin.
Doddy has pleaded not guilty in Winnebago County and is to be arraigned Wednesday in Lee County..
Fire closes Illinois state building in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A spokesman for Illinois' secretary of state says he expects that office's Howlett Building damaged in a small fire should reopen Wednesday.
Dave Druker says the building was closed to business Tuesday after a fire happened about 1:15 a.m. that day in a mechanical room.
The building is part of the Illinois State Capitol complex.
Druker says firefighters quickly put out the blaze, but the air conditioning in the building wasn't working and crews needed to work on mechanical issues.
The building serves between 750 and 1,000 employees and members of the public. Among the services, motorists can purchase license plates and vehicle stickers there.
Druker says the building "should be good for the public tomorrow."
Quinn: Landfill's PCB approval may be withdrawn
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn believes approvals a central Illinois county gave to a landfill did not include the potential storage of toxic PCBs the facility's owner now wants to store.
If that's true, Quinn spokesman Dave Blanchette said Tuesday that state law might allow the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its approval of the plan to store toxic waste at the Clinton Landfill in DeWitt County.
The landfill is over the Mahomet aquifer, which provides water for about 750,000 central Illinois people.
The state EPA asked the county Tuesday for details about its 2002 approval.
Calls to landfill owner PDC Area Disposal in Peoria and to DeWitt County officials were not returned.
The company says the aquifer would be protected by a liner.
The landfill plan still needs federal approval.
Court OKS FutureGen financing plan
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A court says state regulators can force Illinois electricity customers to help pay for the $1.6-billion FutureGen project.
The 2-1 decision Tuesday by the Illinois Appellate Court OKs a state plan to charge an estimated $1 to $1.40 a month to help pay for the long-delayed project.
Ken Humphreys is CEO of the FutureGen Alliance. The group of coal companies is working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the project. Humphreys says the court decision will keep the project moving.
Power suppliers including Commonwealth Edison argued that state regulators lack authority to require the payments.
Commonwealth Edison says in a statement that it will comply with the decision.
FutureGen would refit a coal-fired plant in western Illinois with technology that would remove carbon dioxide and store it underground.
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