A recent list from WalletHub ranks the best cities in Illinois – many of them local – for their labor-market health.
Also during the week, Illinois is set to receive nearly $44 million from the federal government to help fund treatment centers and increase the availability of addiction treatment in the fight against opioid abuse.
In other action, those seeking financial assistance for winter heating should start gathering the proper documentation now so they are ready to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on October 1.
Best cities for jobs in Illinois ranked
More than 120 cities were ranked by WalletHub based on job opportunities, starting salary, employment growth, among other factors, and several of our area communities like St. Charles and Geneva have top rankings. 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 help Illinois fight 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.
LIHEAP applications available October 1
Low-income residents, seniors, and people with disabilities who need winter heating assistance can begin applying for LIHEAP on October 1. When applying for LIHEAP, customers must have all required documentation, including:
- 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 www.liheapIllinois.com or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1-877-411-WARM (9276).