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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois surpassed 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,800 virus-related deaths over the weekend as it approached 6 million tests conducted since the pandemic first reached the state.

SPRINGFIELD – Revenues flowing into state coffers from legalized gambling operations plummeted during the fiscal year that ended June 30 as casinos, racetracks and other video gambling venues were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPRINGFIELD – More than 2 million Illinois voters have requested vote-by-mail ballots and more than 26,000 such ballots have already been returned, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Treasurer Michael Frerichs have successfully partnered with National Cash Register (NCR) — the treasurer’s approved payment processor company — to remove the e-check payment processing fee through the year 2020. This is part of an ongoing effort by White to encourage online transactions with the Secretary of State’s office at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

As we fast approach the advent of the 2020-21 archery deer hunting season, my mind ponders over the vast numbers of hunters that are injured or killed each year in a variety of accidents.

Five members of the Illinois state Health Facilities and Services Review Board will make a definitive decision on whether or not to approve a request from Sarah Bush Lincoln to demolish and replace the SBL Bonutti Clinic in Effingham, according to the board's administrator, Courtney Avery.

SPRINGFIELD – A special investigative committee of the General Assembly will begin meeting at the Capitol next week to decide the fate of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

CHICAGO – Gov. Pritzker on Tuesday announced the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has extended the deadline for Illinois renters to apply for aid by one week to noon on Aug. 28 due to those impacted by the storms last Monday. In addition, landlords will be given an additional two days, through Aug. 30, to complete their portion of the application. The Emergency Rental Assistance program provides $5,000 to eligible tenants who have seen their household income decline as a result of the COVID-19.

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SPRINGFIELD — A legislative panel that oversees the state’s administrative rulemaking process voted along partisan lines to allow Gov. JB Pritzker’s emergency rule to enforce mask-wearing and other public health orders to move forward.

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SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker’s COVID-19 disaster proclamation now runs through Aug. 22, Illinois Department of Corrections facilities resumed acceptance of transfers from county jails, and initial deposits into sports betting accounts must once again be made in person, as opposed to online.

SPRINGFIELD — Republicans on Friday continued to pressure the Illinois Department of Employment Security to resolve issues stemming from record unemployment claims the same day the state reported another 1,532 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

SPRINGFIELD — Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey asked a judge Wednesday for permission to lodge a fifth complaint in his lawsuit against Gov. J.B. Pritzker: Any further disaster proclamations should not affect Clay County.

SPRINGFIELD — Residents in six central and southern Illinois counties, including the state capital’s home, filed lawsuits Thursday against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s restrictions on social interaction prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Wednesday it has been affected by a nationwide fraud scheme involving the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

URBANA, Ill. – From the depths of the Shawnee National Forest to backyards in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois’ biggest trees are branching out. For the first time, the state’s champion trees are now available as an interactive digital map.

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SPRINGFIELD – Days after the governor donated $51.5 million of his personal fortune to a committee supporting a graduated income tax constitutional amendment, a new coalition has begun an effort to defeat the measure.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has announced that they will be hosting a three-hour seminar at the state Chamber offices in Springfield (215 E. Adams Street). Michael Bantz of Inman & Fitzgibbons Ltd. will present the seminar on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

SPRINGFIELD – As Illinois prepares to enter the next phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, his administration is launching a number of initiatives to help individuals and families who have been financially impacted from the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Kwame Raoul has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced in a news release Tuesday, and the governor plans to get retested as well.

SPRINGFIELD — New permanent regulations that govern licensed firearms dealers in Illinois have finally been approved 18 months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law.

The Effingham County Health Department on Friday reported the county’s eighth confirmed case of COVID-19. The individual is a male in his 30s who has had contact with others who have tested positive for coronavirus. He is currently at home following isolation protocol, according to officials.

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