Government and Legislature

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A massive hospital expansion can move forward after Rockford City Council approved it last night.

Aldermen voted 12 to 1 in favor of MercyRockford Health System’s $485-million project. The campus will be located on the city’s far northeast side and focus on health care for women and children. It’s in addition to MercyRockford’s west side campus, which some fear will be abandoned in the expansion.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois's overdue bills are 16 percent higher than previously reported. They could top ten billion dollars by end of the fiscal year.



Chicago Eliminates 'Tampon Tax'

Mar 16, 2016
Flickr user Eric E Castro / "The Tampon Fairy" (CC V 2.0)

The Chicago City Council eliminated a city sales tax on feminine hygiene projects this week.

The vote followed a recommendation by the City Council’s finance committee last week, which was made without opposition.

The items are taxed at 10 and a quarter percent in Chicago.

The vote will remove Chicago’s portion of the tax, which is about 1 and a quarter percent. It will still include state and Cook County sales tax.

As a result of the vote, tampons and sanitary napkins are now characterized as medical necessities so they can be exempted.

Follow Your Money: State Offers Status Of Tax Returns

Mar 14, 2016
state of Illinois

Illinois’ Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger is encouraging taxpayers to register for the Tax Refund Alert System. The system is set up so users may track the status of their 2015 refund and see when the Comptroller’s Office has processed their tax return.

Finalists in the search for a new Rockford Police Chief will be announced early next week, according to the Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

The new chief will fill the position left vacant by Chet Epperson, who retired last November.

With the help of search firm IOS Solutions, the board is winnowing the 26 qualified applicants. The board is scheduled to review applications and select three or four finalists at its meeting next Monday.