(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Revenue announced it collected nearly $240 million through a tax amnesty program, but similar programs in the future could yield diminishing returns, according to a public finance economist. The state's amnesty program allowed taxpayers to pay off any outstanding state tax liability and have penalties and interest forgiven. The program ended in mid-November 2019. Officials with the Illinois Department of Revenue said they expect to verify tens of millions of dollars more toward unpaid liabilities. As of Jan. 31, the department had verified $237,090,718 in qualified amnesty payments from 63,006 taxpayers.



(Springfield-jm) -- Did you make a lot in tips last night? You get to keep them under a new state law. The law makes it very clear that workers own their tips says Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller…



Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller. Keller says the law requires tips to be paid to workers within 13 days after the end of the pay period. It does not prohibit businesses from having a system where tips are pooled among employees.



(Ludlow-jm) -- The Ludlow school district could receive a grant to upgrade their heating system. The school board approved applying for a $10,000 matching grant. The grant would go towards getting a new mud pan for the schools boiler. That is expected to cost between $15,000 and $20,000.



(Paxton-jm) -- Changes to the ordinance regulating the number of gaming machines in the city of Paxton will be discussed at tonight’s city council meeting. In addition, trustees will be asked to approve the purchase of a one ton truck with a dump bed and plow, approve the replacement of the salt bin and approve a pair of donations. A public safety committee meeting discussing the city’s emergency management agency will be held at 6:30 pm with the council meeting beginning at 7.


(Undated-jm) -- PACE center for independent living will hold a pair of low vision support group meetings today. The support groups will meet at 1:30 pm at Eagles View in Rantoul and at 3:30 at the Villas of Holly Brook in Rantoul.


(Springfield-jm) -- The debate over the use of red light cameras in Illinois continues. Some lawmakers have addressed concerns over contracts with red light camera operators following an investigation and indictment of former state Senator Martin Sandoval. The investigation found former Senator Sandoval had some influence in the awarding of contracts between companies and municipalities. Other lawmakers say the cameras target minorities and low income people. Governor J-B Pritzker says he is open to any ideas on what to do with the programs…


Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.



(Springfield-jm) -- A new bill has been proposed that would ban pumping your own gas at Illinois gas stations. The legislation was proposed by Illinois House Democrat Camille Lilly. The Gas Station Attendant Act would require fuel be pumped by a gas station attendant starting Jan. 1, 2021.



(GIbson City--jc)  --Trade publication Becker's Healthcare has released its 2020 list of leaders making a positive impact on their organizations. This year’s featured hospital CEOs  recognized by the top health care organizations. For the seventh year in a row, Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services  CEO Rob Schmitt has been named among these top 60 rural hospital and health system CEOs to know, one of only two CEOs selected from Illinois. Schmitt, who has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare leadership, is a fellow of both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.


(Springfield-jm) -- The woman picked to replace a state lawmaker who resigned after being charged with bribery could face discipline and possible removal amid questions about the integrity of the selection process. There are growing bipartisan calls to remove the Illinois state representative selected to fill the vacancy left by Luis Arroyo, who resigned after he was arrested for bribery. Arroyo, D-Chicago, pleaded not guilty to bribery last week. He was arrested in October 2019 and resigned the following month. Some have questioned Arroyo's role in picking his replacement, Eva Dina Delgado. Members of both parties have filed petitions to challenge her qualifications.


(Springfield-jm) -- 12 Illinois sites are being added to the National Register of Historic Places. The sites are located around the state and include a replica of the leaning tower of Pisa in Niles, a stone wine cellar in Hancock County and a few historic districts. Amy Hathaway with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the Rollo Congregational United Church of Christ near Earlville is also now in the register…


Illinois Department of Natural Resources Amy Hathaway. Also added: the Paris High School and gymnasium, the Alton Gas and Electric Powerhouse and the Forum in Chicago.



(Sibley-jm) -- Sibley village trustees could approve changes to their nuisance ordinance as early as next month. The village will take the changes to the village attorney for review. If the village attorney approves the changes, it will go before the board at their March 2nd meeting.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders are expected to approve a pair of purchases at tonight's village board meeting. Village trustees will be asked to approve the purchase of a new F-450 truck for the electric department from Shields for $56,000 and the purchase of pumps for the wastewater treatment plant for nearly $50,000. Village trustees will also be asked to forgive the over $226,000 balance on the library loan for the purchase of the building in 2004. The Rantoul village board meeting gets underway at 6 pm.



(Urbana-jm) -- A survey of more than 2,000 UIUC students last year provided data on experiences of sexual misconduct and the university’s response. Researchers caution the results are not reflective of the experience of all students since there were only 2,076 responses to 12,500 surveys sent out. Respondents were about 60% female having completed at least a portion of the Sexual Misconduct and Perceived Campus Response Survey. Findings from the 2019 survey include: Women, members of the LGBTQ community, Greek-affiliated students and students living with a disability are more likely to report incidents of sexual misconduct. Students who reported sexual misconduct also experienced greater distress and disengagement with their academic work. Students felt safer from sexual misconduct while on campus than off campus. Students reported confidence in Illinois’ perceived response to sexual misconduct.



(Washington-jm) -- Whether it is summer or winter, crops need the right temperatures at the right times. Stephanie Ho has the details…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Bob Thomas, a one-time NFL placekicker whose second career led him to the state's highest court, is retiring. The Republican announced Monday that he will leave the Supreme Court at the end of February after 20 years. While he was chief justice from 2005 to 2008, he established the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, an outgrowth of a committee studying judicial civility. Thomas kicked the winning field goal in the 1973 Sugar Bowl to give Notre Dame the national championship and is the Chicago Bears' fourth-leading scorer of all time. State appellate court Justice Michael J. Burke will replace him. 



(Springfield-jm) -- When Illinois legalized recreational cannabis this year, lawmakers included a path to having previous criminal records expunged and the governor announced plans to pardon people previously convicted of possession of 30 grams or less. Brandon Williams, senior attorney for criminal records for Cabrini Green Legal Aid, said the process can be complicated. Under the existing law, anyone arrested but not convicted for a small amount of cannabis will have their records automatically expunged by the Illinois State Police. They’ll only know that happened, though, if they live at the same address as when they were arrested. Williams said it was best to contact the county where the offense occurred and to update mailing address records.


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