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Mayor Epstein: Kankakee needs legislative help for pension crisis

The City of Kankakee is still trying to solve the unfunded pension liability, which Mayor Nina Epstein says is an issue for the state legislature. The mayor says Kankakee is not alone in this issue.

Epstein said lawmakers need to be made aware this is a problem throughout the state. She says the question is: 'how do we modify promises made to those people in the pension system and remain responsible to local taxpayers who pay for the pensions?'

The mayor said local government has no control of what benefits are offered.

Kankakee is more than $36 million behind in the police pension and about $33 million behind in its fire pension fund.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee City, County eye a sales tax rate hike

A sales tax rate increase may be the answer for dwindling funds in Kankakee County. There's now talk of a sales tax rate hike for both the county and the city of Kankakee.

At Tuesday's County Board meeting, finance leaders for both bodies agreed they have sales tax revenue concerns. The revenue is dropping. And any light at the end of the tunnel doesn't look too good.

94.1 WGFA

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Paxton plans to study chicken ordinance

The Paxton City Council wants more information before deciding whether to discuss allowing poultry within city limits.

There was little comment at a recent meeting. No action was taken after a resident told the aldermen he was asked by several residents to seek permission to raise hens. One alderman said he wants to hear from residents who personally want the new ordinance. Other aldermen made no comment.

The city attorney provided the council with a proposed ordinance for consideration.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Budget talks stir comments from Kankakee County Sheriff Bukowski

Kankakee County Sheriff Tim Bukowski is encouraging his local officials to "put it on the table" and let employees know what's going on.

At a meeting Monday with finance committee leaders, Bukowski said it's unfair to the employees to keep them in limbo. The sheriff said employees need to be told one way or the other what the County Board intends to do in dealing with the budget.

The local FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) has taken issue with recent reports about cutting up to 20 or more deputies to deal with the budget crisis. County Board Chairman Mike Bossert has likewise taken issue with the union about its stand, which Bossert says borders on the fine-line of hampering union negotiations.

The County Board finance committee has given Sheriff Bukowski the OK t6 work on agreements to house additional inmates at the downtown jail to shore up the bottom line.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County labor relations complaint

The Iroquois County Board will have to respond to accusations it violated Illinois labor law.

A complaint alleges the County Board violated the law, for refusing to vote and sign-on to a bargaining agreement reached with AFSCME Local 31 back in January.

A union press release says the county has refused to vote on the matter citing language objections. No action has been taken.

94.1 WGFA