Fitch Upgrades Illinois’ Credit Outlook To ‘Positive’

SPRINGFIELD – Fitch Ratings, one of three credit rating agencies that grade Illinois bonds, has upgraded its credit outlook for the state from “negative” to “positive.” Although the state’s overall rating remains at near-junk status at BBB-, the agency said the state’s economic outlook coming out of the pandemic, combined with the recently-enacted budget, are […]

Spring Festivals Are Back And Helping Small Towns Blossom

ORANGE CITY, Ia. — Boys and men, wearing traditional Dutch outfits of black caps, long button-down shirts, black pants and wooden shoes, throw buckets of water onto the street in downtown Orange City, Iowa. Girls and women wear Dutch bonnets and long dresses or skirts while they push brooms on the water.  https://cpa.ds.npr.org/kcur2/audio/2021/05/0520TULIPTOURISMweb.mp3 Listen to […]

Illinois Economy Shrinks 4% In 2020 Despite 4th Quarter Growth

SPRINGFIELD – 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 […]

New Report Shows Illinois Job, Economic Growth In Electric Transportation Sector

SPRINGFIELD – A national clean energy trade organization has released a report showing growth in electric transportation-related jobs in Illinois could position the state to lead the domestic supply chain. Advanced Energy Economy, an industry association which promotes advanced energy technologies and services, released its “Electrifying Illinois” report which shows the state is on pace to reach […]

Housing Advocates Plan Next Steps Amid Pandemic Economic Uncertainty

SPRINGFIELD – 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 […]

Biden Unveils What He Calls A ‘Once-In-A-Generation’ Infrastructure Proposal

PITTSBURGH – The country’s infrastructure is badly in need of repair, both major parties agree. But for years they haven’t been able to agree on a proposal, or how to pay for it. In Pittsburgh on Wednesday, President Biden detailed a $2 trillion package that he said would lead to “transformational progress.” Biden said this is “not a […]

Pritzker Signs Economic Equity Package

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

Commerce Commission Taps First Black Executive Director

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Commerce Commission has named its first male Black executive director. Michael Merchant started his position with the state regulatory agency on Tuesday. He replaces Christy George, who joined Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration as first assistant deputy governor for budget and economy. Merchant is responsible for supervising approximately 200 commission employees and […]

Gov. Pritzker Announces ‘Restore Illinois’ Plan To Re-Open State In Five Phases

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new plan to gradually re-open the state in five phases. Under the Restore Illinois plan, each of the state’s four regions would return to non-essential business and other normal operations based on meeting certain thresholds over time. “Restore Illinois is a public health plan to safely […]

Illinois Flash Index Put On Hold By Coronavirus Outbreak

Every month, the University of Illinois Flash Index analyzes Illinois tax receipts to provide a quick measurement of the Illinois economy. But the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak is making that impossible for now. Professor emeritus in economics Fred Giertz produces the Flash Index for the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public […]

News Around Illinois – March 5, 2020

Involve Women In Policy That Involves Women: Report SPRINGFIELD – Illinois officials say the state should be doing more to level the playing field for women and girls. A council working toward that goal released its first annual report on Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton is leading the Illinois Council on Women and Girls, which […]

News Around Illinois – February 13, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Presidential Candidate Bloomberg Opens Offices In Illinois ROCK ISLAND – Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg plans to  open 14 campaign offices in the state, with 80 staff members, according to Will Dubbs, Bloomberg’s Deputy States Director. Between now and the Illinois primary on March 17, campaign workers will focus on recruiting volunteers for phone […]

News Around Illinois – February 10, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

OSF Healthcare Touts Emergency Care App URBANA – OSF Healthcare is encouraging people to install an app on their phone that will alert them when people nearby are in need of life-saving CPR. The PulsePoint app launched a couple years ago in Peoria and Champaign counties and recently expanded to Vermilion county. The American Heart Association says the […]