State officials say the March unemployment rate dropped in every Illinois metropolitan area for a record seventh consecutive month.
A report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that the Rockford metropolitan area with the state's highest unemployment rate, at 13.3 percent. That's almost 4 percentage points lower than the same time last year.
The Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area March rate was second-highest, at 12.7 percent.
Other metro areas with jobless rates over 10 percent were:
A Missouri House member wants to ask voters to raise the state cigarette tax by 81 cents a pack.
Democrat Chris Kelly, of Columbia, outlined his plan Thursday to a House committee. He's proposing a future statewide vote on whether to raise Missouri's current 17-cent tax - the lowest in the nation - to 98 cents per pack.
Kelly says the increase could generate $425 million in state revenue, discourage people from smoking and bring down state health care costs.
The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding. Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.
St. Louis Police Make Arrest in Beating Death of Vietnamese Immigrant
St. Louis Police have arrested an 18- year- old in connection with the beating death of an elderly Vietnamese man in South City. Police have arrested Elex Murphy of North St. Louis and are holding him without bond. Murphy is charged with 1st degree Murder, 1st Degree Assault and two counts of Armed Criminal Action.
A police investigation revealed the attack was part of a game which involves unprovoked attacks on innocent bystanders. An investigation to identify other suspects is ongoing.
As Governor Jay Nixon (D) weighs his options on a bill to roll back voter-approved dog breeding regulations, supporters and opponents of Proposition B staged dueling rallies a few blocks from each other in Jefferson City.
Several hundred people gathered outside the State Capitol to urge the governor to sign a bill passed by the Missouri House and Senate that would remove the 50-dog per breeder limit and relax provisions for living space and veterinary exams.
The so-called Aerotropolis bill would provide around $480 million in tax credits to companies that develop air cargo facilities at or near Lambert. Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge told the committee that the bill is about more than just doing business with China.