The first question on the November 4 ballot is whether Illinois voters agree or not if the Illinois Constitution should be rewritten. To help make an informed decision, here are a few web places to find useful information: League of Women Voter’s Illinois, Illinois Issues Blog and a Pro-Con article from Illinois Issues.
News from the Reference Desk
The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) both provide information/recommendations to assist with making informed choices concerning judicial retention on election day, November 4. Here are links to the respective guides: CBA and ISBA. Also the Chicago Tribune has published their Choices for Judges and Vote for Judges.org has useful information to assist with judicial evaluations.
Early voting in Illinois begins on October 13 and runs through October 30. Voters can cast their ballots early without having to state a reason, but an application must be completed. A valid form of identification will be requested by an election official; these include a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph. There are 44 early voting sites in Cook County: http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/early_voting.asp, with the closest site located at Des Plaines City Hall, 1420 Miner St. Voters who participate in Early Voting must vote in person. Voters who cannot make it to their polling place on Election Day and can provide a valid reason or excuse under the law may vote absentee by mail or in person, for specifics: http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/absentee.asp. Laws governing absentee voting have not changed as a result of Early Voting. For more information on early voting: http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/early_voting.asp.
It’s summer driving season, and with rising gas prices, it’s even more important to avoid heavy construction zones on our roads. The Illinois Department of Transportation has a map that details all current road construction in the state to assist in route planning. Go to: http://www.gettingaroundillinois.com/default.aspx?ql=const
UPDATE: The intersection of Emerson St. and Busse Ave. is now open.
Beginning Monday, May 19, 2008, the intersection of Emerson St. and Busse Ave. will be closed due to the ongoing street resurfacing program and will remain closed for 2-3 weeks. The library and village hall including the parking garage will be accessible via Central Road for the duration. Additionally, the Chase Bank parking lot and all parking lots behind the buildings on Emerson St. as well as most of the on-street parking will remain accessible. For further information, please contact Joel Michalik at the Mount Prospect Public Works Department, 847 870 5640.
The Chicago Housing Choice Voucher Program, (which replaces Section 8 ) will be accepting registration forms beginning Thursday, April 17 for those who wish to be on the wait list for vouchers to rent units in the city of Chicago. Any resident of Cook County is eligible to apply, but must relocate to Chicago to use the vouchers. Voucher applications can be submitted until May 15 via the website www.rentbetter.org . Mail-in paper forms (must be postmarked by May 15) are available at all Chicago Public Library branches, Chicago Park District Fieldhouses, city colleges, offices of the Chicago Department of Human Services, and the Illinois Department of Human Services; they can also be printed from the above website. After the May 15 deadline, 40,000 applicants will be randomly chosen in an electronic lottery and assigned a place on the wait list. For further information, go to the above website (applications and info in Spanish, Russian, Polish and Chinese are available) or call the Rent Better Hotline 312 786 3676.
Services are available to homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a web page designed to assist Illinois homeowners, including information on housing counseling services currently available: http://www.hud.gov/local/il/homeownership/foreclosure.cfm.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (ILDA) also has information to assist homeowners facing foreclosure: http://www.ihda.org/. The ILDA has scheduled "Homeowner Outreach Days" in April and May at various locations throughout the state where homeowners will be able to meet one-on-one with representatives of lenders and officials from state and local agencies: http://www.ihda.org/ViewPage.aspx?PageID=250.
The Illinois Statewide Forclosure Prevention Network provides phone counseling: call 888 995 HOPE for more information.
The IRS has released an economic stimulus payment calculator to assist taxpayers in determining the precise amount of their tax rebate: http://www.irs.gov/app/espc/. The distribution of these payments will begin in early May with the exact date dependent on the last two digits of social security numbers. Tax filers who opt to have their 2007 tax refunds direct deposited will be the first to receive their payments direct deposited; otherwise, paper checks will be distributed in mid-May through July. For more information and the payment schedule for taxpayers who file their 2007 taxes by April 15, 2008: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=180247,00.html.