Latest News

Unemployment rises slightly in Illinois metro areas
October 2018 Illinois unemployment rates rose slightly in 12 out of 14 Illinois metropolitan areas according to information from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The increases for the month occurred in areas such as Champaign, Rockford and the Quad Cities. Unemployment numbers for the state as a whole improved because of a decline, from 4.8% to 3.9%, in the unemployment rate posted in the area around Chicago.

Happy 200th birthday to Illinois!
Monday December 3 will mark the 200th anniversary of the state of Illinois’ admission to the union back in 1818. It will be the day that caps off a year-long celebration of Illinois’ past and present, and which looks to the future.

House back in Springfield for fall session
On Tuesday the fall “veto session” of the General Assembly got underway. This is the brief, annual meeting of the House and Senate to consider taking action on any bills which the Governor might have vetoed over the summer. Sometimes new issues can arise which need to be dealt with before the regular session convenes in January.

Illinois elects new Governor, General Assembly
On Tuesday Illinoisans chose J.B. Pritzker to become the 43rd Governor of Illinois. They also elected Juliana Stratton as the next Lieutenant Governor and Kwame Raoul to be our new Attorney General. Secretary of State Jesse White, Treasurer Mike Frerichs and Comptroller Susana Mendoza were all re-elected as well. When the new statewide officers are sworn in on January 14, it will be the first time that Democrats have held all six posts since 2007.

ISBE approves recommendations to expand teacher workforce
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved a set of recommendations first laid out in the Teach Illinois report to help expand and diversify Illinois’ teacher workforce. The recommendations in the report were the result of a year-long study which included data analysis, focus groups and reviews of research conducted at the state and national level. More than 150 public comments were also considered by ISBE in making their recommendations.

Illinois’ ACT scores improved this year
Illinois high schoolers showed a dramatic increase in 2018 in their scores on the ACT exam, one of the nation’s two major college-preparedness tests. Illinois students who took the exam in 2018 averaged a 23.9 score on the test, out of a possible 36. That is an improvement of 2.5 points from the previous year, and puts Illinois students well ahead of the national average, which stands at 20.8.

State Police preparing for spike in concealed carry renewals
Illinois’ concealed carry license law went into effect in July 2013, and now the first of the five-year licenses are coming due for renewal. The Illinois State Police are getting ready for an expected spike in renewal applications.