(CHICAGO) Illinois’ unemployment rate has hit its lowest level in more than a decade. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state’s joblessness number was at 4.6% in March. That’s the lowest it’s been since March 2007. However, the number is still higher than the national rate of 4.1%. The state has seen more than 39,000 new jobs added over the past year with most of the growth attributed to the manufacturing and financial sectors while professional and business services have seen a decline in jobs.
(SPRINGFIELD) A measure is awaiting the signature of Governor Bruce Rauner that would end the state’s participation in a controversial multi-state voter registration database. The Chicago Tribune reports the State House approved the legislation late last week, following action by the State Senate. A Rauner spokesperson called the votes “troubling” as critics say the system does not properly protect personal information while those in favor of it say the system is intended to ensure access to voting while preventing opportunities for fraud, also adding that the Illinois Board of Elections should not be barred from accessing data because of political reasons through the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program proposal.
(SPRINGFIELD) The Illinois State Police are urging Firearm Owners Identification cardholders to apply early as many come up for renewal soon. While the agency expects tens of thousands of applications to come in over the next few months with the first wave of 10-year cards due for renewal, the State Police are recommending gun owners send renewal applications in at least one to two months in advance so the agency has enough time to process requests and issue new cards before expiration. More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and August 1 and renewal notices have been sent to those whose cards expire June 1. Illinois lawmakers amended state law in 2008 to allow the cards to be valid for 10 years.