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Illinois Jobs Up in October - Unemployment Rate Declines. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced this week that the unemployment rate dipped by 0.1 percentage points to 4.9 percent in October and nonfarm payrolls increased by +3,400 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. September job growth was revised up to show a smaller decline (-7,900 jobs) than initially reported (-10,800 jobs).
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law today a tax credit worth up to $750 for property owners in 18 Illinois counties where flood damages were sustained in July.

The bill, signed at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago this morning, creates a natural disaster credit that eligible, affected property owners may apply to their 2017 Illinois income taxes.

Included counties are Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Alexander, Clinton, Jackson, Marshall, Union, Woodford, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside — all of which were declared state disaster areas by the governor last summer.
Arial view of the Capitol complex in 1966. Photo from the
Mercury Studio Collection, Illinois Digital Archives – A
service of IL State Library & Office of the Secretary of State
When ground was broken on the sixth Illinois state capitol building in 1868, it was atop a small hill on the edge of downtown Springfield. The building was designed to be the hub of state government, and to house virtually all of its offices. But as the state grew and expanded, space became tight, and it wasn’t long before work began on new buildings adjacent to the capitol. This was the beginning of what we now know as the State Capitol Complex.

The state capitol building was designed right after the Civil War. Illinois’ population according to the 1860 census was 1,711,951. By the turn of the 20th century, the population had nearly tripled to 4,821,550. It had taken 20 years to build the new capitol building, but

"I was proud to lead this coordinated, multifaceted effort between Nucor, Gov. Rauner, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity to garner support for and ultimately the selection of Bourbonnais Nucor for this expansion." ~ Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst

Nucor Steel's Bourbonnais site has been selected as the location for a $180 million expansion.

In a release sent out by the Charlotte, N.C.-based company today, the expansion will take approximately two years to complete.

The expansion will require an additional 75 workers once complete. Currently, the company employs 475.

The expansion is for increased production of its Merchant Bar Quality production. The new mill will have the capacity to produce a half-million tons of steel annually.

The Bourbonnais site was in competition with a company site in Marion, Ohio. Read more.
State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, R-Kankakee, has introduced a bill in the state Legislature that would restrict the use of eminent domain.

Eminent domain is the legal name for the process that occurs when the government seizes your land. In turn, you get paid "just compensation." But when it comes to something you own, there are two ways of valuing it.

The first is an objective valuation based upon the legal assessment of your property.

There also is an emotional attachment to what you own. Maybe it was a home you built on your own. Maybe it was the home where you were born. Maybe an older or ill person lives there, and it would not be easy for them to move. Maybe you don't want to sell at any price. Read more.

In the summer of 2016, drug overdose deaths in Baltimore were exploding and health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen told federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials the city needed real-time data to better manage its public health response.

Four months later, the DEA’s Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) team had developed a smart phone application that could be used by first responders to record the time and location of overdoses and transmit the information to a regional mapping database.

Today, that tool, known as ODMAP, is used by more than 250 law enforcement, first responder and public health agencies in 27 states. Read more.
Illinois State Rep. Tony McCombie is hoping to deter harm towards DCFS workers in her state.

“They're out there trying to keep families and children safe, so I feel it's our responsibility to protect them at the same time,” McCombie said.

She’s co-sponsoring a bill that would increase the penalties for someone who assaults a DCFS worker.

“It will increase their sentence from a Class 3 (felony) to a Class 1 (felony),” McCombie said.

The bill is a response to an incident that happened in October. During a welfare check in Carroll County, a DCFS worker was left in critical condition. Read more.