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These 2 Illinois cities will pay you thousands of dollars to live there

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These 2 Illinois cities will pay you thousands of dollars to live there


Usually, paying the rent comes out of pocket – but Illinois is helping out with rent and utilities, plus other benefits for moving into two of its western Illinois cities.

Pittsfield and Jacksonville are offering a remote-work incentive close to $10,000 for people to move to their smaller-scaled cities, while keeping jobs to work remotely anywhere in the United States. 

Remote positions can vary from call center operators to customer service representatives, which means even if out of state residents are hired for a job out of state like a data analyst in New York, individuals can still reap the benefits of living in small town America. 

Who is offering the pay to live packages?

Make My Move, an online marketplace for moving with benefits based in Indiana, has been working to connect Illinois cities offering relocation bonuses to remote workers looking to lower their cost of living. 

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Jacksonville

The incentive package to move to Jacksonville is roughly $9,300. The requirements for the move is earning at least $50,000 a year or more and living 70 miles currently outside of the Jacksonville Region, before applying. Approved applicants must move to Scott or Morgan County within half a year and spend a year in Jacksonville to receive the benefits.  

Scott and Morgan County’s combined population in 2023 sits at 37,000 according to Census.gov, with the town of Jacksonville in Morgan County, around a 38-minute drive from Springfield.

Pittsfield

Pittsfield is offering $5,000 for relocation with three free months of bundled communication and entertainment, utilities and a one year membership to Access Illinois Outdoors recreational events. 

Pittsfield requires full-time remote workers with a salary of $65,000 or more currently living at least 100 miles outside of the city of Pittsfield. Falling in Pike County, Pittsfield had a population of 4,120 with a median household income of $47,950 in 2022, and is over an hour drive away, around 70 miles, from Springfield.

More: New data shows nearly every Illinois county saw a decrease in population from 2020-2023

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Why are smaller towns offering moving incentives?

Illinois lost 83,839 residents who moved to other states in 2023, making the state one of the highest rates of population loss in the U.S. for the 10th consecutive year in a row. Out of 102 Illinois counties counted in the 2023 Census report, seven saw growth: Brown County, Bureau County, Grundy County, Jo Daviess County, Kendall County, McHenry County and Will County. 

The Governor’s Rural Affairs Council 2022 Report attributes the decrease in rural populations to the reduced demand for farmers because of the mechanization of labor, decrease in birthrates and exodus migration caused by lack of job opportunities.

Smaller towns needing more residents to keep the population stable are capitalizing on the new age of remote work post-pandemic, when working from home was normalized, to relocate boundless digital workers to rural towns with lower costs of living. 

Local governments can offer relocation packages to attract newer residents, like Jacksonville who’s offering $5,000 in cash for relocation, $300 in chamber checks from the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and First National Bank of Arenzville and a myriad of utility benefits plus park passes and gift cards. 

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Claire Grant writes about business, growth and development and other news topics for the State Journal-Register. She can be reached at CLGrant@gannett.com; and on X (Formerly known as Twitter): @Claire_Granted



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Illinois

MUDDY RIVER GEMS: The Illinois Veterans Home – Muddy River News

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MUDDY RIVER GEMS: The Illinois Veterans Home – Muddy River News


Mark McDonald and Randy Phillips take you to Quincy’s Illinois Veterans Home, which is undergoing nearly $300 million in new construction. Terry Prince, director of the Illinois Veterans Administration, gives you a tour of this sacred part of Quincy’s history. Dot Foods brings you Muddy River Gems.



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Illinois Senate passes $53 billion state budget, advances bill to House

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Illinois Senate passes $53 billion state budget, advances bill to House


ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team

Monday, May 27, 2024 3:39AM

Illinois Senate passes $53B state budget, advances to House

Lawmakers in the Illinois Senate passed a $53 billion state budget Sunday night and advanced it to the House as the spring legislative session ends.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) — The Illinois Senate has passed a $53 billion state budget.

Lawmakers spent hours discussing the plan, wrapping up late Sunday night.

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The bill now heads to the Illinois House, which could take up the matter after the Memorial Day holiday.

ABC7 Chicago is now streaming 24/7. Click here to watch

One of the main challenges for Democrats was Governor Pritzker’s request for $800 million in new tax revenue.

The money would come from extra revenues on items like an increased sports wagering tax and a cap on corporate tax deductions.

Earlier this month, the governor’s office warned the leaders of agencies across the state to prepare for cut-backs if lawmakers don’t pass the budget.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Illinois man extorted and cyberstalked gay men using dating app

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Illinois man extorted and cyberstalked gay men using dating app


An Illinois man admitted in federal court to sexually exploiting gay men online in a multi-state scheme.

Omoruyi Uwadiae, 28, entered guilty pleas Wednesday to 22 criminal charges, including cyberstalking, in U.S. District Court in Ohio. He will be sentenced at a later date.

As part of a plea agreement, the Chicago man admitted to eight counts of cyberstalking, seven counts of interstate communications with the intent to extort and seven counts of unlawfully using a means of identification.

Each cyberstalking count carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, as do the unlawful use of identification charges. The extortion charges carry a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment each.

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According to court records, Uwadiae communicated with at least eight victims online in 2019. In each instance, Uwadiae would connect with the young men on social media or a dating application like Grindr that targeted gay men and begin communicating with the victim.

Court records said the victims would communicate consensually with Uwadiae and send him sexually explicit photos or videos.

After receiving the images or videos, Uwadiae would then threaten the victims, some of whom had not disclosed their sexual orientations to their families or publicly. Uwadiae would tell them that he would send the photos or videos to friends, family members or employers and followed through at least once on those threats, according to court records, sending pictures to a victim’s mother and siblings.

In other instances, court records say, Uwadiae demanded money while threatening to release images or videos of his victims.

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If the victim refused to pay, Uwadiae demanded they meet up with him for a sexual encounter or force them to make incriminating statements, such as admitting to being racist, for further virtual ammunition to keep them under control.

More: Coroner identifies woman found dead in Illinois River

Court records say Uwadiae targeted at least one Ohio State University student, whom he met through Grindr. Uwadiae demanded $200 or sex. When the student didn’t comply, Uwadiae made fake social media accounts using the victim’s name and actual photos of the victim, outing him as bisexual to his family.

Uwadiae created fake social media accounts for other victims as well, according to court records. In some instances, Uwadiae posted photographs of the victims on “Male General,” a blog targeting young gay men, court records say.

Victims are spread across multiple states, including Ohio, Colorado and Washington, court records say.

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bbruner@gannett.com



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