Pensions top story
Crundwell crime in Dixon makes No. 8 on the AP’s hit list
CHAMPAIGN – For the first time in 4 years, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his corruption saga were not the most important news story in Illinois in 2012.
The imprisoned governor was displaced at the top of an annual, year-end Associated Press survey by a long-festering problem that leapt to the top of the state’s agenda, if not public awareness, after barely being mentioned in prior years: The state’s $96 billion gap in funding its employees’ pensions, and lawmakers’ failure to deal with it.
The state’s financial problems make several appearances in the Top 10 Story survey of AP-Illinois members and staff, but interspersed with stories of success (President Barack Obama’s re-election, No. 4), tragedy (the deadly Harrisburg tornado, No. 7) and disgrace (the $50 million embezzlement case of former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell, No. 8).
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