Economy

Study Shows Working Mothers Hard Hit by Pandemic-Related Child Care Burdens

8 hours ago
People
L. Brian Stauffer, news.illinois.edu

New research shows pandemic-related child care burdens have magnified economic inequalities for women in the workforce in Illinois.

That research was included in The Child Care Crisis in Illinois: A Survey of Working Mothers During the COVID-19 Pandemic, conducted by the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute nonprofit research organization.

Chicago Auto Show to Return in July as State Prepares for Return of Large Events

23 hours ago
People
Illinois.gov

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday the Chicago Auto Show will return in July, signaling the return of some larger-scale events amid declining COVID-19 positivity rates.

The announcement comes one day after Pritzker announced the state could be moving forward to the “bridge” phase of reopening as early as next week, which allows for large-capacity venues such as convention halls and outdoor events to resume operations with capacity guidelines and safety measures in place.

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NTTW

This is National Travel and Tourism Week and several tourism bureaus throughout southern Illinois are joining forces to salute the power of travel.

Pritzker Says State ‘In Decent Shape’ to Further Reopen, as Vaccination Pace Slows

May 3, 2021
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Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday the state could enter the “bridge” phase to greater reopening as soon as next week, while the state’s vaccination rate continues to drop.

Speaking at a news conference at Providence Hospital in Chicago, Pritzker said Illinois is nearing the necessary metrics to reach the next phase of reopening as case numbers stabilize.

Illinois Economy Shrinks 4% in 2020, Despite 4th Quarter Growth

May 3, 2021
Graph
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The Illinois economy shrank by 4 percent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many of its sectors, although there were signs of a recovery taking place late in the year.

Those preliminary numbers, released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that the leisure, hospitality and food service sector was the hardest hit by the pandemic, reporting a nearly 30 percent drop in economic output for the year.

Emergency Housing Assistance Bill Will Head to Governor

Apr 30, 2021

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to pass House Bill 2877, which aims to extend emergency protections to renters and homeowners financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It needs only a signature from Gov. JB Pritzker to become law after passing the House last week.

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File

The effort to build an inland port at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at Cairo with Illinois union workers moved forward on Tuesday.

Bill Change Would Allow Voters to Lift Rent Control Bans Locally

Apr 22, 2021
People
Blueroomstream.com

A new amendment to House Bill 116, which advanced out of committee earlier this spring, would allow municipalities to vote on rent control measures through referendum.

HB116 as originally introduced would have lifted the state’s blanket ban on local rent control measures, which has been in place since 1997. The new amendment instead would give that power to voters and municipal governments to consider rent control measures on a community-by-community basis.

Affordable Housing Tax Credit Bill Advances Out of Committee

Apr 20, 2021

A bill that would offer state tax credits to owners and developers of affordable housing units passed out of committee last week at the Illinois Capitol.

Senate Bill 2445, also known as the Build Illinois Homes Tax Credit Act, is an omnibus bill that aims to address the shortage of affordable housing stock in Illinois by offering incentives to landlords who maintain qualified affordable housing properties and for the purchase of building materials to be used for the construction of new affordable housing units.

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Aeriz

A cannabis cultivation company that operates a production facility in Union County is working with an area community college to create new jobs.

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File

The World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta will once again host the Grand American World Trapshooting Championships this summer.

The Amateur Trapshooting Association made the announcement on its website Thursday.

State Unemployment Falls to 7.1% in March

Apr 15, 2021

The statewide unemployment rate in Illinois fell three-tenths of a percentage point in March, to 7.1 percent, as the daily count of new COVID-19 cases and the case positivity rate appeared to be leveling.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that preliminary numbers show employers added 32,200 nonfarm jobs during the month, with the biggest gains showing up in the leisure and hospitality sector, which took the biggest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing Advocates Seek Support for Homelessness Prevention Bills

Apr 14, 2021
Zoom.us

Housing advocates including former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti joined state Rep. La Shawn Ford and state Sen. Karina Villa Tuesday to call for support for a measure aimed at supporting low-income renters.

House Bill 2775 and Senate Bill 2492 are a pair of identical bills which aim to create additional legal defenses for renters and protections against discrimination based on source of income, as well as preventing undue administrative burdens when applying for housing assistance.

Tourism and Hospitality Leaders Call for State Support, Guidance Amid COVID-19 Recovery

Apr 9, 2021
Blueroomstream.com

Leaders from the state’s tourism and hospitality industry asked legislators for additional support and reopening guidance during a Thursday committee hearing as the state plans next steps for its COVID-19 economic recovery.

Michael Jacobson, President and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, told the House Tourism Committee Thursday that hotels have “been among the hardest hit” segment of the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the industry may not see a full recovery until 2024 at the earliest.

Judge Declines to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Indoor Dining Ban

Apr 9, 2021
Capitol News Illinois

A Kane County restaurant’s legal challenge to Gov. JB Pritzker’s ban on indoor dining can continue, a Sangamon County judge ruled this week.

Attorneys for Pritzker tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow on Wednesday declined to do so. While Grischow decided not to dismiss the case, she did not reach a decision on the merits of their argument.

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City of Carlyle

People in southern Illinois have had another bracket to fill out recently in addition to the one associated with the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

State Supreme Court Order Expands Legal Protections for Tenants

Apr 7, 2021
Capitol News Illinois file photo

The Illinois Supreme Court issued an order this week creating stronger safeguards for tenants seeking rent relief under the governor’s eviction moratorium.

The court’s revised order makes clear that landlords challenging a tenant’s eviction moratorium protections have to state the legal and factual basis for such a challenge, said Chief Judge Eugene G. Doherty, of the 17th Judicial Circuit, which spans Boone and Winnebago counties.

A free resource for military veterans and their families aims to help them adjust to civilian life.

Veterans Business Outreach Center of Illinois is hosting a webinar Wednesday through SIU-Carbondale called Boots to Business Reboot. It provides information on business ownership, finances and more.

Housing Advocates Plan Next Steps Amid Pandemic Economic Uncertainty

Apr 6, 2021

As economic uncertainty continues to linger one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, housing advocates across the state are planning next steps to protect tenants and landlords and create additional affordable housing opportunities.

Over the past several weeks, the General Assembly has considered various bills on the subject, including emergency rental assistance, lifting the state ban on rent control, and subsidizing future affordable housing construction in the state.

Medicaid Work Requirements May Be Gone For Good

Apr 5, 2021

It appears major changes may be coming to Medicaid, which insures around 70 million Americans and provides health coverage for low-income adults, people with disabilities and some children.

The Trump administration supported work or volunteer hours as a requirement for health coverage. The move was spearheaded by Seema Verma, then-director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

New Data Tracker Shows Decline in Small Business as Lawsuits Proceed

Mar 31, 2021
Graph
tracktherecovery.org

Hospitality jobs in Illinois have declined nearly 52 percent since the pandemic began, according to new data, as lawsuits continue against the governor’s orders to close nonessential businesses.

While leisure and hospitality jobs were hit the hardest, the number of small businesses open in Illinois overall has fallen by about 36.5 percent, as of March 20, compared to last January, based on data compiled by Opportunity Insights, a nonprofit group at Harvard University.

Illinois Auto Dealers Sue Jesse White’s Office, Electric Vehicle Companies

Mar 29, 2021
Screenshot of lucidmotors.com

The Illinois Automobile Dealers Association has filed a lawsuit against Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office, alleging that White is allowing unlicensed, unregulated dealers to operate in Illinois, in violation of state law.

At issue in the case is whether automobile manufacturers should be allowed to own and operate their own dealerships rather than contracting with independent dealership franchises, which has been the case in Illinois and most other states for decades.

New jobless Claims Fall Sharply as Unemployment Rate Drops

Mar 25, 2021
Graph
Illinois Department of Employment Security

First-time unemployment claims fell sharply last week as both the state and national economies have begun gradually reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that 15,595 Illinois workers filed initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week that ended March 20. And while that number would normally be considered high, it was down 78 percent from the week before. It was down 88 percent from the same week a year ago, at the start of the pandemic, when more than 126,000 people filed first-time claims.

Lawmaker Advances Bill to Repeal State Ban on Rent Control

Mar 25, 2021
People
ILGA.gov

The House Committee on Housing on advanced a bill Wednesday that would allow local municipalities to implement measures regarding rent control.

House Bill 116, introduced by Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, would repeal the state’s Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997 and enable local municipalities to impose caps on rent prices.

Pritzker Signs Economic Equity Package

Mar 24, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Peter Hancock

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a package of four bills Tuesday that made up the “economic access, equity and opportunity” pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

Speaking at a bill-signing ceremony at the Union Baptist Church in Springfield, Pritzker said the legislative package would go a long way toward addressing the harms caused by “systemic racism” that has prevented people of color from gaining full access to jobs, housing, state contracting and credit.

COVID-19 Housing Bill Aims to Provide Additional Support to Renters, Homeowners

Mar 18, 2021

State Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, reintroduced a bill on Wednesday that would offer emergency support to tenants, landlords and homeowners struggling to make payments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 2877, known as the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Act, would create a process for allocating funding for rental support that was made available in federal stimulus packages since December. It would also expand the sealing of eviction records in the state through July of 2022.

People
Illinois Treasurer

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, as his office crosses the $1 billion threshold for invsetments in the state.

Ezike says State ‘Getting Close’ to Next Phase of Reopening

Mar 16, 2021
Blueroomstream.com

Illinois Department of Public health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said on Monday the state is “getting close” to the next phase of reopening amid increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates and decreasing positivity rates.

Speaking in a Senate Health Committee meeting, Ezike said the state has been working on a phased reopening plan that could be announced by Governor JB Pritzker later this week.

Lawmakers Want Role in Spending Federal Stimulus Money

Mar 12, 2021
Blueroomstream.com

Lawmakers from both parties told officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on Thursday that the General Assembly should have some say in how the state spends the $7.5 billion in federal funds that Illinois expects to receive from the newly-enacted American Rescue Plan.

Those comments came during a virtual hearing of the House Revenue and Finance Committee that took place just hours after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill into law.

State Housing Authority Outlines COVID-19 Assistance Plans

Mar 10, 2021
IHDA.org

The Illinois Housing Development Authority presented their plans for how to use incoming federal COVID-19 assistance during an Illinois House of Representatives Housing Committee hearing Wednesday.

Kristin Faust, IHDA Executive Director, provided an update on two state initiatives that leverage funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to help tenants and homeowners who experienced a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those are the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program.

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