News Headlines – August 9, 2017

Last Updated on August 8th, 2017

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: The woman who pays Illinois’ bills says the state is wasting money by not refinancing some of its debt. Chicago Public School leaders say they could have to lay off almost a thousand teachers and workers. The nation’s ag secretary used his trip to a central Illinois farm to talk up some changes to NAFTA and the next farm bill. Exelon is finishing some emergency repairs to a transformer at its Quad Cities plant.

Comptroller Mendoza Blasts Governor For Not Refinancing Debt

(Springfield, IL) — The woman who pays Illinois’ bills says the governor is costing taxpayers millions of dollars in extra interest. Comptroller Susana Mendoza yesterday said lawmakers approved up to six billion-dollars in borrowing as part of the new state budget, but Governor Rauner has not given the green light. Mendoza said the money could pay down some Illinois’ nearly 15 billion-dollar backlog of bills and then save the state millions in late payment interest. Mendoza said it’s like refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of a better interest rate.

Chicago Schools Threaten 950 Layoffs

(Chicago, IL) — Chicago Public School leaders are threatening to lay off nearly a thousand teachers and other school workers. The city’s school system yesterday announced the possible layoffs at the same time that leaders said they’re going to delay a new CPS budget. Chicago school leaders blame their financial woes on Governor Bruce Rauner, but the governor yesterday said the reality is that Chicago schools have been mismanaged for years.

Perdue Tells Central Illinois Farmers NAFTA Mostly Works

(Rochester, IL) — The nation’s ag secretary says, for the most part, NAFTA is helping farmers. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue used a stop at a farm in Rochester to talk with central Illinois farmers. Perdue said NAFTA has helped get U.S. grain into both Canada and Mexico. He said he’d like to change things like Canada’s milk rules and the issues with Mexico and potatoes, but overall Perdue said the trade deal is a net-positive. As for a new farm bill, Perdue said he wants to see a crop insurance plan that allows farmers to farm the market and not the program.

Rock Island County Wants New Cable Fee Soon

(Rock Island, IL) — Rock Island County leaders are hustling to get a new cable franchise fee on the books. The county’s old fee expired last year, but the Quad Cities’ cable company Mediacom continued to pay the fee. Now Mediacom says it will stop paying in 30 days unless county leaders approve a new fee. Rock Island County Administrator Dave Ross said yesterday that the county board could vote on a new fee as early as next week.

Crews Repairing Exelon Transformer At Quad Cities Plant

(Cordova, IL) — The latest repairs at Exelon’s plant in the Quad Cities aren’t effecting electric output. Crews started work on a transformer at Unit 2 at the Cordova Plant on Sunday. An Exelon spokesman said they had to shut down the unit to repair the main power transformer. There’s no word how long the repairs are expected to take.