Illinois eviction moratorium set to end this weekend
On Sunday the eviction moratorium in Illinois will come to an end. Governor Pritzker issued the final extension of the moratorium in September with an expiration date of October 3. The moratorium had been in place since March 2020 as a way to avoid evicting tenants who might end up in shelters or other crowded facilities during the pandemic. The lifting of the moratorium allows eviction hearings to resume in Illinois courts.
Assistance is available for Illinois renters who might need help in staving off eviction. The state has distributed about half of the federal money it received for rental assistance under the pandemic relief bills. Aid remains available through the Illinois Department of Human Services. A few weeks ago the Illinois Supreme Court announced a rental assistance program, details of which can be found here.
Unemployment declines to 6.8% in Illinois
The state’s unemployment rate continued its recovery from the worst of the pandemic, falling in August to its current level of 6.8%. One year ago unemployment in Illinois was 11%. This was the fifth consecutive month that unemployment declined in all 102 counties of the state.
The geographical distribution of unemployment around the state showed some significant differences. In the Chicago area unemployment was higher than the statewide average, coming in a 7.5%. The highest rate of unemployment in Illinois was the Rockford area which stood at 8.3%, while the Decatur area was just behind at 8.2%. Some of the lowest unemployment rates in Illinois were along I-74: Champaign-Urbana at 5.6%, Bloomington-Normal at 5.2% and the Quad Cities at 5.1%, the lowest rate for any area of the state.
All IDES job centers now re-opened for in-person services
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has now fully re-opened all 18 of its American Job Centers around the state for in-person services. The centers offer “workforce and limited unemployment services,” and are now open by appointment only from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To schedule an appointment, please call (217) 558-0401 at least 24 hours in advance. Among the services which the IDES offices can assist with are verification of unemployment claims, resume and job search guidance, use of the office’s computers for job searches and other activities. Toll-free IDES services are available at 1-800-244-5631. For more information on the American Job Center, please click here.
Talking government with Watseka students
I had a great visit this week with Amy Bandur’s junior and senior civics students at Watseka High School. We had a good discussion about our state Constitution and why engagement with your state government is so important. I always enjoy talking with groups of students and hearing their questions and concerns about government and the future of our state. Thank you for the opportunity to visit and for the great conversation!
Fall veto session just around the corner
The House and Senate will be back in session later this month for the fall session, also known as the veto session. Usually this short, two-week session is held in October or November to consider action on any vetoes which the Governor might have issued over the summer, but since we were back so many times between June and September all of his vetoes have been addressed. A Congressional redistricting map for the state will likely be on the agenda, and other matters could come up as well. I will keep you posted as we get closer to the session which begins on October 19.
How much do we owe?
As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $3,781,978,519 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $7.2 billion. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be more than $141 billion.
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