News briefs 2/10/2012

h2. University professors propose changes to State Universities Retirement System

Two University professors have proposed a new retirement system for employees of public colleges and universities. This system would be partly funded by increased amounts from workers and universities. The plan is designed reduce the state government’s payments into the State Universities Retirement System by billions of dollars over time.

The proposal was created by Robert Rich, director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and Jeffrey Brown, an IGPA professor.

“Pensions represent an important component of the overall compensation package for university employees and is key for us recruiting top-notch individuals,” Rich said.

h2. Durbin announces funds for Ill. fire departments

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has announced more than $414,000 in federal funds for four fire departments in Illinois. Durbin said Wednesday the funds come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He said the money will help ensure firefighters are equipped with the best tools possible for responding to fires and other emergencies. The money will go toward the purchase of vehicles as well as operating costs and safety activities. The funding is provided through a Department of Homeland Security grant program that aims to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to fire and related hazards. The funds will go to fire departments in Humboldt, East Peoria, Urbana and Riverdale.

Compiled from Daily Illini and Associated Press staff reports