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News Headlines – November 7, 2017

Last Updated on November 6th, 2017

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois is under its first ever Harvest Season Emergency. Illinois lawmakers return to the statehouse today with eyes on a new sexual harassment law. More Illinois National Guardsmen are heading to Puerto Rico. Taxes are going up in Normal to pay for police and fire pensions.

>>Governor Declares Harvest Season Emergency

(Springfield, IL) — For the first time ever there is a Harvest Season Emergency in Illinois. Governor Rauner declared the emergency yesterday. He says the wet fall has delayed the harvest and farmers need a little extra help getting their crops out of the fields. The harvest declaration opens the door for counties, cities, and townships to grant farmers permits to carry heavier loads of grain along local and state roads. Farmers hope that’ll speed the late harvest to an end.

>>Illinois Lawmakers Return To Springfield

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois lawmakers are heading back to Springfield with their eye on a new sexual harassment law. The legislature is due back at the statehouse later this afternoon, but the heavy lifting at the statehouse will come tomorrow. Lawmakers are trying to respond to claims that they have ignored reports of harassment and inappropriate behavior for far too long.

>>Illinois Sending 150 National Guardsmen To Puerto Rico

(Chicago, IL) — Another detachment of Illinois National Guardsmen is heading off to hurricane duty. Governor Rauner on Saturday ordered 150 members of the 933rd Military Police Company, from the Chicago area, to Puerto Rico to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The MP’s are in addition to the 60 or so Illinois Air National Guardsmen who are already on duty on the island.

>>Normal Looks To Raise Property Taxes For Police, Fire Pensions

(Normal, IL) — It’ll likely soon be more expensive to live in Normal. Town leaders are being asked to once again raise property taxes to pay for police and fire pensions. Normal Finance Manager Andrew Huhn over the weekend said the town’s police and fire pension funds have about half of the money they need to cover promises to current and retired officers and firefighters. The tax increase will bring in nearly a million dollars. This is the 11th straight year that Normal has raised its property tax.

>>Springfield Still Losing State Jobs

(Springfield, IL) — The city of Springfield is a net loser on state jobs. “The State Journal Register” reported yesterday that state officials claim 116 state jobs were moved to Springfield since Governor Rauner took office in 2015. But the paper says the capital city and Sangamon County lost more than 400 jobs during the same almost three year period. Springfield-area lawmakers say it’s just part of a trend that has seen jobs move out of Springfield over the past decade.