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Governor J-B Pritkzer is signing a new law to protect the state's healthcare workforce

(Springfield-jm) – A federal judge in Chicago this week denied a request to block enforcement of both state and local bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, saying it is unlikely that the law will be found unconstitutional. In a 31-page opinion, Judge Lindsay Jenkins in the Northern District of Illinois said the laws are intended to protect public safety by removing particularly dangerous weapons from circulation. She also said that the government’s interest in protecting public safety outweighs any harm the laws might have on a person’s right to keep and bear arms.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritkzer is signing a new law to protect the state’s healthcare workforce as the pandemic emergency officially ends next month. The bill was sponsored by Representative Bob Morgan of Deerfield, who wants to ensure temporary healthcare professions can stay on the job…

 

 

State Representative Bob Morgan of Deerfield. These workers will be able to obtain full licensure as well. Morgan says the law also allows for continued access to flu and COVID-19 testing and vaccination at local pharmacies. It takes effect immediately.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Despite Governor J.B. Pritzker's recent insistence that the state is not losing residents, the latest migration report from the Internal Revenue Service shows a continued exodus from Illinois. According to taxpayer migration data, Illinois lost a net 105,000 residents in 2020. Only New York and California lost more. The statistics are based on tax returns filed in 2020 and 2021, showing who moved from one state to another between 2019 and 2020.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois high school students are building up a lot of college credit. 106th District State Representative Jason Bunting of Emington explains how they are doing that…

 

 

106th District State Representative Jason Bunting of Emington.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State Representative  Mike Marron of Fithian wants to increase the number of qualified community college professors in the state of Illinois and maintain a strong community college system.   That’s why he has sponsored House Joint Resolution 7, which creates the College Insurance Program Task Force.   The task force will be charged with studying the College Insurance Program and present policy and legislative recommendations to the General Assembly to ensure the program remains a viable and healthy benefit.   The Task Force will determine any changes necessary to the current College Insurance Program to meet these goals…

 

 

State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian. Marron’s bi-partisan resolution now heads to the Senate for their consideration.  The measure was adopted in the House by a vote of 109-0.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A video that has surfaced on social media has parents concerned, while also raising questions about the status and future of Champaign Centennial High School Principal Scott Savage. The video, which was shared, appears to be showing Savage getting involved in a physical exchange with a female student. Champaign Police officials confirmed that officers responded to the school for a report of an altercation on April 18.

 

(Washington-jm) – Agriculture Secretary Vilsack says that judging from the responses at this week's meeting of G7 agricultural officials, the world is very interested in the U.S. approach to climate smart ag. Production. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Washington-jm) – One question many small farmers have about the Census of Agriculture is why is the Census even bothering with my tiny operation? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton–jc)  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is the Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois. The bank has served the area since 1914. Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Executive Vice President Nancy Hofer says the bank has a long history locally in Paxton and also in Melvin and Piper City…

 

 

Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Vice President Nancy Hofer. 

 

Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois  Ag Loan Officer Hannah Hambleton says growing up on a farm near Potomac helped guide her path into banking……

 

 

Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Ag Loan Officer Hannah Hambleton.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced Thursday it received nearly 2,700 applications for the upcoming Social Equity Criteria Lottery. The lottery will distribute the next round of 55 conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses across the 17 regions around the state. Following the lottery, each applicant selected will have 45 calendar days to prove certain social equity eligibility criteria to receive a conditional license.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State lawmakers are working on legislation to further address the teacher shortage in Illinois. The problem is serious, especially in hard to staff areas, says supporters. A bill from Senator Meg Loughran-Cappel of Shorewood extends the number of days that substitute teachers filling an emergency vacancy can work in the classroom. Another provides monetary incentives for teachers who mentor their newer colleagues…

 

 

State Senator Meg Loughran-Cappel of Shorewood. A third bill sets up four thousand dollar a year retention bonuses to be given for two consecutive years to teachers working in underserved schools.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Legislation that would tighten anti-bullying protocols in Illinois schools will head to the full state Senate after unanimously passing out of committee this week. House Bill 3425 particularly targets cyberbullying, requiring that schools “make diligent efforts” to notify the parents or guardians of students involved in a bullying incident within 24 hours of the administration being made aware of it. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, suicide is the third leading cause of death among Illinoisans between the ages of 10 and 19. Opponents raised concerns that a 24-hour notification policy creates an unnecessary burden for school administrators.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinoisans and members of the General Assembly continue to wait on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision on the assault weapons ban. 53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there has been some movement in a lower court's ruling…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Bloomington-jm) – Most of McLean County could see increased property taxes under a measure working its way through the Illinois legislature. The bill, Senate Bill 684, would require all property taxpayers to fund the Central Illinois Regional Airport. Currently only Bloomington-Normal taxpayers have covered the bill. Local lawmakers argue the decision should be up to McLean County voters and not the legislature.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State Representative Chris Miller of Oakland rose on the House floor to draw attention to conflicting policies currently being pushed in Springfield. According to Miller, on one hand is legislation dealing with soil health and soil conservation.   At the same time, other bills are being pushed to use some of the most fertile farmland in the world, located here in Illinois, to locate solar panels…

 

 

State Representative Chris Miller of Oakland.

 

(Washington-jm) – Here's why Census of Agriculture officials are urging producers to fill out and return their Census forms. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA announced Thursday the start of the Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities project implementation phase, and a coinciding Partnerships Network. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

WPXN Weekend News Notes…

 

Buckley will hold townwide garage sales today and tomorrow starting at 8 am each day. Maps are available at the Buckley State Bank.

 

The Onarga Fire Department will hold their taco fundraiser on Saturday starting at 10 am until they run out. Cost is $3 per taco.

 

Paxton IGA will hold a cookout benefiting Master Gardeners on Saturday from 10-2.

 

St. Malachy spring fundraiser will take place on Saturday. Tickets are $40 each or $75 per couple.

 

The Parkland College Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will hold “A Spring Potpourri of Sound” concert on Sunday at 3 pm at the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.

 

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