When Illinoisans hit the polls in November, they will see a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot asking whether the state should put transportation funding in a "lockbox" so that it cannot be used for non-related spending.
If the amendment passes, the Illinois Constitution would be amended to ensure transportation funding is safeguarded from being spent on other purposes, like balancing the state budget.
Citizens to Protect Transportation Funding, a coalition of business, labor and construction groups, is leading the advocacy effort in support of the so-called "Safe Roads Amendment," which made it onto the November 8 ballot after strong bipartisan approval from the state legislature.
The Fair Market Rent (FMR) price for a two-bedroom unit in Illinois is $1,039, up from $977 last year. That means Illinois renters must now earn $19.98 per hour, or at least $41,567 annually, to afford a two-bedroom apartment without paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
Overall, Illinois has the nation's 16th most expensive two-bedroom housing wage. Nationally, the average wage necessary to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental is $20.30.
Despite areas of improvement, however, the report found that homeownership rates are still trending downward, low-income households face persistent challenges finding affordable housing and millions of Americans continue to grapple with high housing costs.
U.S. employers extended their solid hiring into July by adding 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year-old recovery.