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U.S. on pace to hit debt ceiling May 16

Treasury Secretary Geithner tells Congress that the U.S. will reach its legal debt limit by May 16 and urges lawmakers to act soon.

The Treasury Department’s arsenal of emergency measures may provide extra borrowing room to last only until about July 8, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said today. Get the full story »

Quinn unveils proposed workers’ comp reforms

Monique Garcia and Ray Long | Clout Street| Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday unveiled his proposed overhaul of the state’s workers’ compensation system, suggesting changes his office says will save employers money while preventing potential abuses that have attracted the attention of downstate federal prosecutors.

The governor’s plan to change the way workers are paid after injury or illness on the job includes limiting payments for injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and slashing the amount doctors and hospital receive for treating hurt workers.

Fannie, Freddie execs paid $35M in last 2 years

Top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were paid handsomely in the last two years, while the government agency in charge of regulating the bailed-out mortgage backers was ill-equipped to do anything about it, according to a federal review. Get the full story »

House GOP seeks to skirt Senate on budget cuts

Stuck in a budget quagmire with Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama, House Republicans are suggesting they can run the government without them. Get the full story »

Stock gains bolster public pension coffers

Public pension assets rose 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 as stock market gains helped pensions continue to recover from the financial crisis, a federal agency reported Thursday. Get the full story »

FDA panel rejects food dye/hyperactivity link

Current data have not established that artificial food dyes cause hyperactive behavior in the general population of children, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee said on Thursday. Get the full story »

Illinois House bill to tie contractors to state

Construction companies that want to work for the Illinois government would have to promise not to move out of state under a proposal moving through the Legislature. Get the full story »

Move to delay debit card fee cap gains momentum

A legislative effort to delay and study a new law capping the swipe fees that retailers pay is picking up steam in Congress. Get the full story »

Caterpillar CEO hits at Ill. business climate

The chief executive of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. again criticized the business climate in the heavy equipment maker’s home state of Illinois Wednesday, but downplayed reports that it might leave. Get the full story »

Abbott gets approval for wireless test device

Abbott Laboratories said Tuesday that it received marketing approval for a version of its i-STAT 1 blood testing system that can transmit results wirelessly. Get the full story »

Nebraska comes calling for Caterpillar

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman is one of the people trying to persuade Caterpillar to move the headquarters of its mining and construction equipment business out of Illinois. Get the full story »

Toys R Us to pay $1.3M antitrust penalty

A Toys R Us in Denver. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Privately-held Toys R Us has agreed to pay a $1.3 million penalty for violating a 1998 order that barred it from pushing suppliers to refuse to sell to competitors or from urging limits to those sales, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday.

The FTC said in a complaint that Toys R Us subsidiary Babies R Us had asked suppliers what they were charging discounters and complained to them about discounts that other retailers were giving consumers, the FTC said. Get the full story »

IRS targets millionaires in audits

Audits of millionaires, especially those making more than $10 million, surged 73 percent last year, hitting more than 18 percent of taxpayers in the highest income bracket, according to recently released statistics from the IRS. Get the full story »

Improved Medtronic defibrillator wins U.S. OK

Medtronic Inc. has won U.S. approval for a new generation of implantable defibrillators designed to cut back on inappropriate shocks delivered by the devices, the company said on Monday.

A defibrillator is designed to shock a dangerously irregular heartbeat back to its normal rhythm. Get the full story »

New beer-label bout brewing in Michigan

(Image via Flying Dog)

A Maryland brewery is accusing Michigan’s liquor commission of censorship after the panel rejected labels for a beer that features an expletive in the name.

Flying Dog Brewery has filed a federal lawsuit in Grand Rapids asking that a judge override the commission’s decision to reject labels for “Raging B—-” beer and allow the brew to be advertised and sold in Michigan. Get the full story »