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Around the state 4-15-18

Bill advances that requires state jobs be in Sangamon County

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Illinois House panel has approved a bill that would require most new and vacant state jobs be located in Sangamon County.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that the measure cleared a House committee Friday and is now headed to the full House. The bill would make the capital city of Springfield and the county the default location for state agency and governor’s office employees. A reason would have to be given explaining why a job needs to be located somewhere else.

Republican state Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez of Leland Grove is the bill’s lead sponsor. She says the measure’s purpose is “to recognize that Springfield is the capital of Illinois.”

A 2016 study from the state’s Department of Central Management Services found that nearly 400 state jobs could be moved to Springfield.

Rockford police
to start using drones
to aid investigations

ROCKFORD (AP) — Police in the northern Illinois city of Rockford will begin using drones to help with traffic investigations.

The Rockford Register Star reports that a non-profit public safety group has donated eight drones to the Rockford police department. Police officials say the drones will be used to map crime scenes and to provide aerial assistance during critical incidents.

The drones will take photos and video after serious crashes to help traffic detectives’ investigations. Police say the aerial technology will speed up the investigations process by several hours. They add that the technology will not be used for surveillance purposes.

The drone pilots are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials are also working with the Rockford airport to coordinate airspace usage.

Bill would separate
SIU’s Carbondale,
Edwardsville campuses

CARBONDALE (AP) — A bill has been introduced in the Illinois Legislature that would separate Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports Democratic state Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea filed legislation Thursday that would abolish the SIU Board of Trustees and appoint new boards for each campus. The move comes after SIU trustees last week voted down a proposal to shift $5.1 million in state funding from the Carbondale campus to the Edwardsville campus to reflect enrollment changes.

Hoffman says the separate boards could focus on each campus’ “needs and the strengths.” SIU system President Randy Dunn’s spokesman says system staff will be analyzing the legislation.

The bill has opposition from other lawmakers, including Republican state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo who says both schools are better positioned when they “remain part of a combined system.”

Nominations open for Illinoisan of the Day state fair honor

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The nomination period is open for the Illinoisan of the Day honor at this year’s Illinois State Fair.

The Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation says it’s looking to honor residents who have the characteristics of integrity, dependability, sense of community and strong ethics.

Nominees must be at least 25 years old, be affiliated with Illinois state or county fairs or agricultural groups and have a strong history of volunteerism and community service. They also must have been involved in service activities, educational projects or youth programs.

The deadline for nominations is June 25. Forms are available on the museum foundation website.

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