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Halloween resources and safety tips to remember

Halloween fun is just around the corner. While children gear up with costumes and parties it is important to practice safe trick-or-treating in order for everyone to have a fun and safe holiday.

Amazon, Cronus and Coyote Logistics announce plans to establish facilities in Illinois

Illinois received positive economic news this week, as Amazon Inc., Cronus Chemicals and Coyote Logistics announced plans to either establish future facilities in Illinois or, in the case of Coyote Logistics, expand its already existing location.

Illinois ranked 31st in business tax climate, 45th in job growth

Cronus, Amazon and Coyote Logistics’ plans to expand in Illinois are a boon for the state, particularly when taking into account the results of two separate studies that placed Illinois in the bottom half of states when it comes to business tax climate and job growth.

Good and bad news on local pensions

A report from the legislature’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) is a mix of good and bad news on municipal pensions in Illinois.

Senator Righter welcomes ‘Youth to Springfield’ participants to the State Capitol

State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) and State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Charleston) welcomed 4-H students from Clark, Edgar and Crawford counties to the State Capitol on October 23.

Medicare open enrollment begins

It’s once again time for Medicare participants to consider changes to their healthcare plans. The annual open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and “Part D” prescription plans is now underway.

Report looks at Medicare options

In conjunction with the Medicare open enrollment period, the Kaiser Family Foundation has issued two reports analyzing key market changes in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug programs.

Judge orders stop to Quinn patronage abuse

A federal judge has sided with a longtime anti-patronage crusader, ruling that hiring practices at the state’s Department of Transportation have been so corrupted by political influence under Governor Pat Quinn and his predecessor that a federal monitor is now needed.

Regional Superintendents: We can help

Local school districts are facing curriculum and testing changes that put teachers and students under added pressure to meet new goals; and Illinois’ regional superintendents want local school districts to know they can help them meet these new challenges at no cost to the local schools.

Weatherization Program Scandal

Another Quinn administration jobs initiative is drawing headlines for wasting taxpayer dollars and failing to provide marketable job training skills.

S&P: Illinois last in Job Creation

A new forecast of state and local government credit conditions ranks Illinois last in the region for job growth.

Hospital Association Issues Ebola Fact Sheet

Although no cases of the deadly Ebola virus have been reported in the state, the Illinois Hospital Association has compiled a fact sheet on the disease and the risks associated with it.

Fire Truck Loan Program Accepting Applications

Loan applications are now being accepted for fire department and fire protection districts wishing to purchase fire and brush trucks. Thanks to bipartisan legislation approved this year (SB 2690) loans will be available for up to $350,000 – an increase of $100,000.

Hydraulic Fracturing Rules on Hold

Proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing, often known as “fracking,” have been put on hold until Nov. 6 by the bipartisan legislative committee that reviews state regulations.

Court reviews pension changes

A Sangamon County Judge set Nov. 20 for a key hearing on pension changes that were approved by lawmakers late last year, but have been put on hold while the court considers the constitutionality of the law.