(Springfield-jm) – While Illinois has recently experienced a prolonged stretch of good financial news, a new state fiscal forecast notes that if spending continues to grow at its recent pace it could lead to future budget deficits. It would mark the reversal of a recent trend during which the state logged considerable surpluses this fiscal year and the two years prior. In the highest-spending scenario outlined in the three-year forecast from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the state could once again face a bill backlog as high as $18 billion. That estimate assumes spending growth at its five-year average of 7.1 percent. If the state keeps spending growth at 1.8 percent – the most austere scenario outlined by the commission – it could maintain an accounts payable balance of $1.4 billion, the same as it was at the end of Fiscal Year 2022.
(Charleston–jc) The strike at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston continues today. The two sides met for multiple hours on Tuesday to try and hammer out a new deal. Although there was some movement on some issues, no agreement was reached. Students at E-I-U remain out of classes again today.
(Champaign County–jc) – A multiple vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 57, south of Curtis road caused traffic delays for several hours on Tuesday, The accident occurred around 3pm. State police say traffic was re routed around the crash site. No word was given on any injuries in the mishap.
(Springfield-jm) – Senate Republicans are offering several proposals to bring down the state’s high tax burden. 53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about some of the proposals…
53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City.
(Springfield-jm) – Some are worried California trucking regulations may be adopted in Illinois. In California, the California Air Resources Board has banned all trucks with engines older than model year 2010. Heavier trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds must have a 2010 or newer engine. California requires trucks to buy SmartWay verified low rolling-resistance tires to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by achieving a fuel consumption savings of at least 3% from the tractor-trailer combination. Regulators in Springfield are considering the same standards and regulations in Illinois.
(Urbana-jm) – A University of Illinois student recently lost $1,000 in a technical support scam, U of I Police officials said. The student said she was unable to access a social media account and searched the Internet for a technical support phone number. When she called the number she found, the person who answered directed her to make online deposits to an unknown account that added up to $1,000. The call was disconnected when the payments were made.
SPRINGFIELD – Some Illinois lawmakers are calling for a review of one of the tests prospective teachers must pass in order to be licensed in Illinois. The test is known as the Teacher Performance Assessment, or “edTPA,” and it is intended to determine whether a prospective teacher has the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective in the classroom. It has been a requirement for teacher licensing in Illinois since 2015.State Sen. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, said he started hearing concerns about the test from people in his district, and he later learned that those concerns were shared by other lawmakers.
(Washington-jm) – The USDA made more cuts to its forecasts for Argentina's corn and soybean crops. Gary Crawford reports…
(Paxton–jc) – Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Simply Pat’s Hats, located in the State Street Mall in Paxton. It’s an exciting time at Simply Pat’s Hats, says owner Pat Milchuck, with the Kentucky Derby coming in early May…
The store is busy with the upcoming Kentucky Derby , but it’s the variety of Hats and more that make up Simply Pat’s Hats, says owner Pat Milchuck…
Simply Pat’s Hats, owner Pat Milchuck
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee questioned representatives from the Illinois Department of Employment Services over fraudulent benefits during the pandemic. According to a state audit from 2021, IDES lost nearly $2 billion in funds due to fraudulent claims. However, as of recently, IDES still is unsure of the entire scope of all the fraud. There are also questions about overpayments. Reporting by CBS showed that Illinois gave away $26 million in regular unemployment benefits and another $27 million in enhanced COVID-19 unemployment benefits. Overpayment recoveries totaled approximately $20 million from January 2021 to April 2022, but there was $55 million waived.
(Springfield-jm) – A new report highlights which states are seeing the most car thefts. Illinois finished fifth on the list with a 35% increase from the previous year, marking the largest year over year increase of any state. The report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau looks into the number of car thefts per registered car owner in each state. Analysis of NICB data by CarVertical, a car consumer website, shows Illinois had nine vehicle thefts per 1,000 registered vehicles, fifth highest rate in the country.
(Paxton–jc) Paxton Buckley Loda School leaders are getting ready for graduation and will look at student fees for the next school year when they meet tonight in regular session. Action on Hall of fame inductees is also on the agenda. The PBL School board meets at 6 tonight at the high school.
(Springfield-jm) – The spring legislative session is about half over. 106th District State Representative Jason Bunting of Emington talks about how its going so far…
106th District State Representative Jason Bunting of Emington.
(Rantoul-jm) – U of I students are starting to tackle climate change by designing and building a solar-powered, zero-energy house in Rantoul for donation as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The U of I team broke ground on the 1,510 square foot home on December 21. The Illinois Solar Decathlon team plans to donate the house to a local family in need through their partnership with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Officials said the team has already met the family and the house will officially be handed over to them after the competition. The team also plans to hold a public exhibition of the home on April 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the 1300 block of Rockland Dr. in Rantoul.
(Washington-jm) – Production totals from some of Argentina’s and Brazil’s crops were among the notable numbers in the Agriculture Department’s April World Ag Supply and Demand Estimate. Rod Bain reports…
(Gifford–jc) Coaches versus Cancer held their annual fundraising event at Gordyville USA near Gifford last night with over 15 hundred in attendance. The event was anchored by University of Illinois Men’s Basketball Coach Brad Underwood. Through a silent and live auction, the group is expected to reach it’s goal of 325 thousand dollars for cancer research and awareness.