Whoever wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate will have an uphill battle this fall, according to Matt Streb. The political scientist at Northern Illinois University says incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin has $5 million in the bank and is "very popular" in the state.
Durbin is unopposed in the March 18 primary. The men who would replace him are Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, and West Point graduate Doug Truax.
A children's advocacy group is calling for increased state funding of programs that benefit kids in poverty. A report from Voices for Illinois Children says the expansion of Medicaid was the biggest single source of assistance for this population.
Between 2005 and 2012, children’s enrollment in Medicaid and related programs in Winnebago County increased by 61 percent, compared to 47 percent statewide.
The unemployment rate fell in January, down from 9.2 percent a year ago. That's according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Employers reported 21,600 more jobs than one year ago, but cold weather limited construction growth.
There were 27,600 fewer jobs than one month ago.
In January, lower consumer spending following the holidays was felt in the retail sectors.
Six months ago, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign was in trouble. Attorney General Lisa Madigan was weighing a primary challenge and declared challenger Bill Daley blasted Quinn for failing to solve the state's pension problem.