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(Undated--jc)  --Illinois lands in the middle of the pack of all states for happiness.Consumer finance website WalletHub ranked the Land of Lincoln No. 24.The rankings were based on emotional and physical wellbeing, work, community and environmental factors.

 

Chicago’s mayor is warning the state’s high taxes on gambling could hurt the development of the industry.Mayor Lori Lightfoot told Crain’s Chicago Business the taxes on gambling don’t make sense. Illinois lawmakers have banked spending plans on revenue from the addition of six new casinos, including one in Chicago.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding moms and dads that most employers are required to give them time off for parent-teacher conferences. A 1993 law makes sure businesses give workers unpaid leave for school conferences, minus a few exceptions says State Labor Director Michael Kleinik…

 

State Labor Director Michael Kleinik. Workers must request the time off seven days in advance and can be granted up to eight hours during the school year and no more than four hours on any given day. 

 

The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Price Outlook meeting at 7 p.m. Tonight at the Farm Bureau building in Gilman. AgriVisor manager Joe Camp will give the price outlook. Camp is an analyst specializing in the grains and knowledgeable on matters influencing the other various financial markets. One Earth Energy’s Steve Kelly will also speak at the meeting. Kelly will provide an update on the ethanol industry and give his prospective on the world commodity markets. Reservations are not needed for the meeting. For more information, people can contact the Farm Bureau office at 800-424-0756.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders are expected to approve the final payment for the shared use path connecting Rudzinski Park to downtown. The final payment of $209,661 comes out of the motor fuel tax fund. In addition to that, village trustees will be asked to approve spending almost $40,000 for an engineering agreement redevelopment of Rudzinski Park, approve the purchase of a pickup truck from Shields for the Code Enforcement Department and approve over $45,000 in upgrades to the Prospect substation relay in the industrial park. The Rantoul Village Board meeting gets underway at 6 pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop conditions have declined a bit as we hear in the weekly crop report. Corn progress continues to lag behind with 88 percent in the dough stage says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener... 

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The condition of the soybean crop also fell slightly to 41 percent in good to excellent condition and just three percent turning color. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 10 percent very short, 22 percent short, 65 percent adequate and three percent surplus. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A newly selected members of the Illinois House could make a run for Washington. 104th District Representative Mike Marron is considering running for the seat of John Shimkus. Shimkus announced last week he is not seeking re-election. Marron was appointed a year ago to fill the seat of Chad Hays who retired from the Illinois House. The Congressional District covers all or parts of Ford, Champaign and Vermilion Counties. So far, John Hursey has announced his candidacy for the seat as a Democrat.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. has recorded another month of a trade deficit in agricultural products. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Catholics from around the state rallied at the state capitol last week denouncing lawmakers recent expansion of abortion rights and potential votes to further that agenda. A group of 30 led by Father Edward Ohm of the Diocese of Peoria, rallied to voice their opposition to the Reproductive Health Act which made access to abortions, birth control and pregnancy benefits and exams a fundamental right. The act also mandates private insurance companies regulated by the state to cover abortion procedures. 

 

(Chicago--jc)  --Policy experts warned the state’s unfunded pension debt is contributing to Illinois’ population losses, service shortages and high taxes, but said any change would need to be endorsed by the pensioners and their unions.The state has more than $133 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Without changes, the state will have to put $10 billion toward pension payments next year. That’s more than a quarter of the state’s budget. The City Club of Chicago hosted a panel discussion Monday about what needs to be done to address the issue.The consensus from the discussion was that unfunded pension liability is creating a high tax burden and an overall uncertain environment that is sending people to other states.

 

 

(Sibley-jm) -- One Ford County community has approved a 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana. Sibley village trustees made the decision at their September meeting. Municipalities have until September 30th to register their decision with the Illinois Department of Revenue. Even with the approval of the sales tax, the village can still decide to opt out of allowing the sale of recreational marijuana through an ordinance.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- It’s expected to be a quiet Paxton city council meeting tonight. Council members will be asked to approve the purchase of a stump grinder for the public works department and consider approving building maintenance at the Paxton Emergency Management Agency building. The Paxton city council meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop conditions have declined a bit as we hear in the weekly crop report. 53 percent of corn is in the dent stage and just 38 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions also fell to 37 percent in good to excellent condition and the third cutting of alfalfa is now 82 percent complete. It was a little drier this past week, leaving average topsoil moisture at 10 percent very short, 22 percent short, 65 percent adequate and three percent surplus. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The majority of people who spoke at the Rantoul village board study session were against recreational cannabis sales in the village. Of the 11 people that spoke, eight of them were against it. The village has until the end of the month to decide if they want to adopt a tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. By the end of the year, village leaders will have to decide whether to allow cannabis sales or cultivation facilities in the village, allow submittal of proposals for cannabis dispensary licenses and adopt rules and regulations. A decision could come as early as October.


 

CHICAGO (AP) — Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to better regulate the electronic cigarette industry in the wake of several vaping-related deaths. Durbin criticized the FDA on Monday for its lack of oversight of the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping products to minors. He says he sent a letter last week to acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless demanding the enforcement of existing regulations on the sale of vaping products.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ judicial branch will use its first budget increase in six years in part to alleviate costs paid by local governments. This is the first time in almost 30 years the state’s courts were allocated the financial resources by the General Assembly to fully reimburse counties for salaries and probation services. Before the increase, counties were reimbursed at 62 percent of what the law mandates. With the new allocation of $405 million, that rate will be 100 percent. The lack of funding caused some counties to cut or reduce services including programs for substance abuse, mental health issues and to veterans.

 

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