Education services extended for special needs students
Students with special needs will be able to finish their last year of high school regardless of when their birthday falls on the calendar, while those who lost a year or more of in-person schooling due to the pandemic and have since aged out of special education eligibility will be given another year to complete their schooling.
Study ranks Illinois 29th in best states to start a business
A new study by WalletHub has Illinois ranked 29th out of 50 for best states to start a business in.
Pritzker administration announces $742 million in COVID-19 relief now available to Illinois small local governmentsJuly 23, 2021
SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker announced that beginning today more than 1,250 small cities, towns and villages across Illinois that have not already received aid from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) can apply for their share of more than $742 million in federal funds. The money can be used to cover expenses incurred while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first payments are expected to be made in August.
Pritzker talks plans for Unemployment Trust Fund, pandemic response
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker isn’t considering using federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay down a multi-billion-dollar Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit, and he’s watching the state’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers closely.
Democratic leaders seek to dismiss redistricting lawsuits
SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for Illinois’ Democratic legislative leaders last week filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit from Republicans and a Mexican American advocacy group regarding newly drawn legislative maps, calling the challenge “purely speculative” until full U.S. Census data is released.
OSFM reminds Illinoisans to observe safety practices in and around water to prevent drowningJuly 21, 2021
SPRINGFIELD — As the summer heat continues in Illinois, pools are a favorite destination for many to cool off. It’s important to follow all posted rules and pay attention to any children when around bodies of water. The number of pools installed in backyards drastically increased last year due to the pandemic. Installing a pool means adults need to be extra vigilant to protect any children who have access to the water. It is also essential to take the proper steps to keep pools secure and restrict access to prevent injuries and drownings from occurring.
State 'strongly encourages' public, private colleges to require students to get COVID-19 vaccine
SPRINGFIELD – The state’s higher education agencies released updated COVID-19 guidance Monday encouraging all public and private higher education institutions in Illinois to issue mandatory vaccine policies.
Pritzker, Stratton announce reelection bid
SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday he will seek a second term, joined once again by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton as a running mate.
Pritzker has 'no plans' for added mitigations; 'local control' is focus of new school guidelines
SPRINGFIELD – The wide availability of COVID-19 vaccines has changed the state’s approach for mitigating the virus’ spread statewide and in schools.
Public health officials announce 4,449 new cases of coronavirus disease over the past weekJuly 16, 2021
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 4,449 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 62 additional deaths since reporting last Friday, July 9, 2021. 73% of Illinois adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 57% of Illinois adults are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
State to pick overdue marijuana dispensary winners by Aug. 19
SPRINGFIELD – More than a year after new marijuana dispensary licenses were scheduled to be distributed per the state’s 2019 adult-use legalization law, the governor’s office announced the initial lottery and two new ones will happen by the end of August.
Pritzker bans deceptive interrogation of minors
SPRINGFIELD – Terrill Swift spent 15 years in prison, convicted of a rape and murder which DNA evidence later proved he did not commit.
Illinois Department of Revenue issues automatic tax refunds to thousands of unemployment benefit recipientsJuly 15, 2021
Chicago — Governor Pritzker announced today that the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) has issued automatic refunds to close to 350,000 eligible taxpayers who electronically filed their 2020 Illinois Individual Income Tax Returns prior to a newly enacted federal unemployment tax exemption.
Federal 3-judge panel to decide whether state redistricting plan is constitutional
SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for plaintiffs and the state told a panel of federal judges Wednesday the issues involved in two lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting plan are “straightforward” and ought to be resolved in short order.
USDA reminds Illinois producers to file crop acreage reportsJuly 14, 2021
SPRINGFIELD — Agricultural producers in Illinois who have not yet completed their crop acreage reports after planting should make an appointment with their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) office before the applicable deadline.
Identity theft-related unemployment fraud on the rise ahead of September expirationJuly 14, 2021
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is urging Illinoisans to be on high alert for phishing schemes that may be leading to identity theft as international bad actors continue to attempt to exploit unemployment systems across the country.
New legislation to impose larger penalties on employers that violate the Wage Payment and Collection ActJuly 13, 2021
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) today announced that employers in Illinois that don’t adhere to rules outlined in the Wage Payment and Collection Act are now subject to larger penalties. Following Governor Pritzker’s signature of HB 118, an employer found to have violated the Act is liable for not only the unpaid wages and final compensation, but also 5% of the damages of the underpayment per month, for each month during which wages or final compensation remain unpaid. Previously, employers owed 2% of the damages for underpayment.
Media literacy requirement, animal products ban among latest 53 bills signed by Pritzker
SPRINGFIELD – Public high schools in Illinois will soon be required to teach students how to access and evaluate various kinds of news and social media they see online and elsewhere as part of their regular curriculum.
Unprecedented unemployment deficit threatens to 'cripple' businesses, claimants
SPRINGFIELD – Since economic shutdowns began and COVID-19 death counts started to rise in March 2020, national unemployment rates have hovered at historically high numbers, stressing state unemployment systems left dealing with an unprecedented number of claims.
New law requires public schools to teach Asian American history
SPRINGFIELD – All public schools in Illinois will soon be required to teach a unit on Asian American history and culture as part of their social studies curriculum.
Red Hill to hold special meetingJuly 28, 2021
The Board of Education of Red Hill Community Unit School District No. 10 will hold a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 4 p.m. in the Red Hill Jr./Sr. High School.
CDC says some vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors again
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that fully vaccinated Americans in parts of the country with “substantial or high transmission” of COVID-19 should return to wearing masks indoors, citing new data on the highly contagious Delta variant.
Gold Star Mission to bike through county
Gold Star Mission wants to never let a hero be forgotten and will be commemorating the nearly 300 Illinois service members who have died since the 9-11 tragedy, with a bicycle ride through the county on Sept. 22.