REVIEW OF CONCEALED-CARRY INSTRUCTORS UNDERWAY
In preparation for implementing Illinois’ new concealed carry law the Illinois State Police has begun to roll out the state’s initial listing of approved concealed-carry instructors and as of Sept. 30, there were 575 accepted instructors. Illinois State Police (ISP) officials say that number is likely to grow as they have received more than 1,000 applications.
Approving instructors and training curricula are among the first steps needed in order to meet the expected demand for permits once the application process begins January 5.
ISP officials will publish a listing of all approved curriculum on September 30. The department will continue to update the listing for approved instructors in the coming days and weeks.
For more information on the concealed-carry permitting process, please visit
STATE LAUNCHES NEW ANTI-CHILD ABUSE CAMPAIGN
Statistics show that one in five children is abused or neglected before turning 18. 70 percent of child abuse goes unreported, and on average children tell seven adults about mistreatment before it is ever reported to authorities. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is launching a new campaign to combat child abuse in Illinois.
To combat child abuse and neglect, DCFS has launched a new statewide campaign aimed at stopping child abuse and neglect. The campaign, called “You are Not Alone” aims to distribute 25,000 child abuse prevention posters to public and private schools statewide.
The posters will promote the state’s Child Abuse Hotline, and inform children and adults to call if they, a friend, or relative may need help. The number to the state’s Child Abuse Hotline is (800) 252-2873. It is available 24 hours a day and calls can remain confidential.
ILLINOIS ECONOMIC INDICATORS FLAT
The most recent federal statistics show that Illinois economy continues to lag behind the rest of the nation. In August Illinois had a jobless rate of 9.2%, a figure that has remained unchanged since June. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly compilation show Illinois with the second highest unemployment rate of any state. Only Nevada at 9.5 percent is worse.
The 9.2 percent unemployment rate represents about 600,000 Illinoisans out of work and is nearly two full percentage points above the national unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. Another comparison of figures shows that while the national unemployment rate dropped from 8.9 percent to 7.3 percent over the past year, Illinois’ unemployment rate has increased over the same time period from 8.9 percent to the current 9.2 percent.
Figures also show Illinois ranks 45th among the 50 states for job creation and other recent federal figures show nearly 15 percent of Illinoisans live in poverty. On the jobs front, if Illinois had simply grown at the national average over this time period, we’d have nearly 283,000 more jobs today.
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), a non-partisan public policy research organization, reports the average unemployment rate of the five surrounding states is 7.2 percent. That’s also a full two percentage points lower than Illinois’ 9.2 percent rate.
On the positive side, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reports approximately 5,900 jobs were created in August.
COLLEGE ILLINOIS ENROLLMENT OPENS
The College Illinois! application process is underway, with an end of October deadline to lock in 2013-2014 rates.
The program is available to anyone wanting to assist students who plan on pursuing higher education. Families can purchase as little as one semester or up to nine-semesters of higher education. Different payment options are available, including monthly and yearly installments.
The program also enables purchasers to enjoy a state tax deduction of up to $10,000 for an individual or $20,000 per married couple. Earnings on the plan are exempt from state and federal income taxes, and purchases will receive federal estate and gift benefits.
For more information on College Illinois!, please visit www.529prepaidtuition.org or call 1-877-877-3724.