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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says the statewide average workers' compensation rate has dropped 4.5 percent.
Officials say the figure set by a national rating agency continues a downward trend that has saved Illinois employers $315 million in insurance premium costs since 2011.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance issued the figure Monday. Insurance companies often use the number to figure workers' compensation premiums.
James Stephens is deputy director of the Department of Insurance. He says the drop reflects an overall 13.3 percent decrease in the rate in the last three years.
Quinn's office says the decrease is because of a money-saving workers' compensation reform package the Democratic governor signed into law in 2011.
The rate changes take effect Jan. 1 if the Insurance Department accepts them.
Drivers will soon be able to speed up a bit on some highways. ]
Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that raises the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 miles an hour. The new law takes effect on January 1 and raises the limit from 65 miles an hour. Illinois joins 36 other states that have at least some parts of highways with speed limits of at least 70.
The bill also lowers the limit for excessive speeding by 5 miles per hour. The more severe penalty now kicks in when drivers exceed the speed limit by 26 mph. The measure was opposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation and State Police.
A St. Louis man is in jail after allegedly throwing a woman out of a moving car onto the highway.
Police say David Sheridan was driving on Interstate 64 when he pushed the woman from the car. Officers arrived to investigate and that is when Sheridan walked back to the scene. Police say he started arguing with officers and was taken into custody.
He now faces three felony charges and is held on the $30,000 bond. The victim is in the hospital in serious but stable condition.
Good news for drivers as gas prices took a tumble in St. Louis last week.
Retail prices fell nearly 7 cents per gallon averaging $3.43 a gallon on Sunday. This is according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 983 gas outlets in St. Louis. This compares with the national average which was $3.57 a gallon last week. Prices yesterday were almost 20 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago.