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Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law overhauling the state’s EDGE tax credit program. He says it’s now being extended to 2022, in hopes of attracting more businesses and creating more jobs.   

"It allows a company that hires a person, that employee's income tax they pay to the state, the state turns around and gives an income tax credit to the company itself," he said.

State Sen. Melinda Bush sponsored the legislation and says it now includes incentives for companies to expand or move to underserved areas of Illinois.  

"AMZNbox_" by Flickr User Elvis Fool / (CC X 2.0)

Seattle-based online retailer Amazon has announced it is building a second headquarters for 50,000 employees. Cities all over the country -- including Chicago -- are bidding for the chance to get the headquarters.

Rauner says he’s involved in the Chicago bid, but also in the Saint Louis effort.

“Chicago is clearly the more important,” Rauner said, “but we've got to make sure that we’re positioned to benefit Illinois if St. Louis ends up being very competitive.”

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

New numbers show that the poverty rate in Illinois is still worse than the national average.  

The poverty rate is lower, both nationally and in Illinois, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers for 2016. But there’s a caveat.

“Unfortunately, we are still above where we were pre-recession,” said Amy Rynell, head of the research unit of the Heartland Alliance that studies poverty. “While, as a nation, we have caught up with where we were pre-recession, as a state, we have not.”

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University won't begin a formal search for its next president until next year.  The Board of Trustees said the timing is in the best interest of the university.

In a letter released Monday to the NIU community, Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman and Vice Chair Dennis Barsema said feedback from faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders led to the determination to start the search in fall of 2018.

The two said there was a strong push for an open and inclusive process, however long that would take.  

Illinois financial regulators are recommending an increase in the fees that currency exchanges charge for cashing checks. Opponents say it will hurt the state's poorest residents.

Currency exchanges petitioned the state for the higher rate — which could be up to 3%, depending on the amount of the check.

They say the move to direct deposit and pre-paid cards has cut into profits — putting the industry into decline.

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