Senate Week in Review: Sept. 17-21, 2018

Best cities for jobs in Illinois ranked

Are you looking for a job in Illinois? Are you looking to move elsewhere in the state? WalletHub released a list of more than 120 Illinois cities, ranking them based on their labor-market health.

The company looked at 16 key indicators, including job opportunities, employment growth, starting salary, and unemployment rates, among others.

Click here to see the list best cities for jobs in Illinois.

Federal dollars to beef up Illinois’ fight against opioid abuse

Illinois will receive $43.5 million through a federal grant to be used in the fight against opioid abuse. About $29 million of that will go to increase the availability of addiction treatment and to help reduce overdose-related deaths through prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives.

The remaining $14.5 million will help federally-funded community health centers, schools, and rural drug help centers expand their treatment services.

This year, the General Assembly passed several new laws directed at combating the opioid crisis. These include allowing individuals who have been prescribed opioids the option to use medical marijuana to treat their pain, requiring licensed prescribers of controlled substances to complete three hours of continuing education on safe-opioid-prescribing practices prior to renewing their prescription license, and allowing consumers to begin physical therapy services without a doctor’s referral while still ensuring professional medical oversight safeguards.

Opioids were involved in 80 percent of overdose deaths in 2016, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. About 11,000 people have died in Illinois since 2008 from opioid overdoses.   

Low-income winter energy assistance program available starting Oct. 1

Low-income residents, seniors, and people with disabilities in needing winter heating assistance can begin applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Oct. 1.

When applying for LIHEAP, customers must have all required documentation:

  • Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.
  • A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
  • A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
  • Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
  • Proof that their household received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD); or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1-877-411-WARM (9276).

Jil Tracy

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