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2014 March Issue

Madison County Jail needs fixing now, more costly in the future

      Voters will be asked on March 18th whether Madison County has the authority to issue an estimated $18 million in bonds to renovate the county jail.  The Madison County Board has proposed this project to do major repair and renovation to the jail facility.  It believes the work is necessary on this aging…

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Positive growth? Some crowing over new Illinois report

    A new study of business growth sounds a rare positive voice against a chorus of negativity about the Illinois economy.    A report by Economic Modeling Specialists International says Illinois ranked third among the states in new business establishments created from 2009 through 2012.    Only Texas and New York state have seen more new businesses…

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Progressive or flat? Overview of coming income tax debate

EDITOR’s NOTE: Following is an Illinois Business Journal overview of two bills that propose to change Illinois’ income tax law from a flat tax to a graduated tax. On the following two pages are this month’s Point/Counterpoint, which give opposing views on the proposals.        “Graduated” and “progressive” have positive-sounding connotations, but when they’re used…

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As ‘green jobs’ get attention, state gets recognition

    From composting to transportation, “green collar jobs” are increasingly recognized as a vital part of the economy, but the sustainability of the movement is harder to predict, a bit like monitoring a plant in its growth stage.    The proof will come with time, supporters like Nate Keener say.    “Right now, a majority of employers…

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Winter aside, house sales looking up in Illinois

    The door is finally cracking open to improvements in the housing market, and local realty agents are offering cautious but hopeful projections for 2014, despite the wintry setback of the last several weeks.    Realtors in St. Clair, Monroe and Clinton counties sold more homes in 2013 than they did in the previous five years,…

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Technology, insurance will catalyze change in world of work

      For the past four years I’ve been telling everyone who would stand still — and some who wouldn’t — that a change was coming in the American workplace. I think what you will see is a gradual shift away from our traditional office, employer-employee setting to a more free-wheeling, freelancing, entrepreneurism in which…

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