ILLINOIS: Guv holds up legislators' pay
Gov. Pat Quinn suspended state lawmakers' pay Wednesday, following through on his warning of consequences if they failed to come up with a solution to a nearly $100 billion pension crisis, the worst of any state nationwide. The Chicago Democrat vowed not to accept a salary himself until a deal is reached. Lawmakers get $68,000 a year and more for leadership positions, would have to vote to reject his changes if they want to be paid. Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liability because lawmakers for decades either skipped or shorted payments to five retirement systems.
NEVADA: Fire destroys ranch buildings
A vast mountain wildfire that cast a smoky pall over Las Vegas destroyed six structures at a desert ranch and left two people in the firefighting force with minor injuries, officials said Wednesday. One building that burned in the Carpenter 1 fire was a commercial structure at Prospect Springs, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Suzanne Shelp said. She didn't know if any homes were among buildings destroyed on the ranch, several miles from Mount Charleston hamlets where crews were protecting more than 400 homes, a canyon hotel and an alpine lodge and cabins. In northern Nevada, about 1,065 firefighters reported progress battling a fire that grew Wednesday to more than 27,000 acres, or about 43 square miles in the Pine Nut Mountains near Carson City and Gardnerville.
TEXAS: House OKs abortion measure
The Texas House approved new abortion limits Wednesday in a second special session, less than two weeks after Senate Republicans failed to finish work on the bill amid a filibuster and raucous protests. A final vote could come as early as tomorrow in the Senate, where the measure died as the first special session expired. The House voted mostly along party lines on what has become signature GOP legislation. Lawmakers spent more than 10 hours debating it Tuesday, and Republicans rejected every attempt to amend it. Throngs of protesters were missing for Wednesday's mostly procedural vote after days of protests by supporters and opponents.