The governor was asked in mid-May if state employees should be concerned about layoffs or a strike. "Hopefully not," he said. "We've got to make some big changes. Changes are hard. And there's going to be a lot of resistance to change."
Benton, who has been with WCIA-TV in Champaign since 2005, had battled brain cancer for about 18 months. He only made the decision to step down from the anchor desk last month, saying the tumor affected his ability to deliver the news. Benton was 52.
The state's high court Tuesday heard oral arguments about whether to allow a $10 billion class-action verdict against a major cigarette maker stand. Former Gov. Jim Thompson and another Phillip Morris
lawyer asked the court to strike that 2003 verdict.