IL Briefs 6/1/2011

h1. Sponsor: Illinois workers’ compensation overhaul still alive

The sponsor of a plan to overhaul the Illinois workers’ compensation system said he may try again to pass it.

Rep. John Bradley filed a motion Tuesday that opens the door to a second vote. It failed Sunday in the House.

The Marion Democrat originally said lawmakers would only get one chance to vote on the overhaul. He said if it failed, the next step would be abolishing workers’ comp altogether.

Bradley said that so-called “nuclear option” is still a possibility. The Illinois Senate could vote on it Tuesday, the final day of the legislative session.

The reform bill is supposed to save business more than $500 million in fees related to worker injuries.

h1. Young sea lion dies at Miller Park Zoo

Officials at Miller Park Zoo are trying to figure out what caused the death of a young California sea lion that was brought to Bloomington less than two months ago. The sea lion, known as Cali, was transferred to the central Illinois zoo in April as part of the Species Survival Plan. That program is designed to build up the captive population of animals. The approximately 1-year-old sea lion had been stranded as a pup and was rehabilitated at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., before coming to Bloomington. Cali’s death Monday leaves Miller Park Zoo with one sea lion — 8-year-old Gremlin, who has been at the zoo since 2004.


Illinois Walgreen nurses vote to form union

Nurse practitioners at clinics in Walgreens drug stores in Illinois have voted to form a union. The nurses will be represented by the Illinois Nurses Association.

Tuesday’s vote was conducted at the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago. It was attended by representatives from the nurses association, nurse practitioners from Take Care clinics and attorneys and management from Walgreens. Deerfield-based Walgreens Co. operates 45 Take Care Health Systems clinics in Illinois.

Alice Johnson of the Illinois Nurses Association said the union now will focus on negotiating a contract with Walgreens and the Take Care clinics.

Heather Helle of Walgreens said the company respects the nurses’ decision.

_Compiled from Associated Press reports_