Quick Hits: Illinois News In Brief For July 6, 2021
Biden plans to visit Illinois
President Joe Biden will be making his first stop in Illinois since taking office.
According to the White House, Biden will be in suburban Crystal Lake on Wednesday to talk about the American Families Plan, which includes $1.8 trillion in investments and tax credits for families and children over 10 years old.
The White House has yet to announce a time for the president’s Illinois visit on Wednesday.
16 killed over the weekend in Chicago
Sixteen people were killed among the 90 that were shot over the holiday weekend in Chicago.
But there were also shootings in other parts of the state, including in Springfield at a mall and at a party.
Community activists across the state are looking to stem the violence with summertime programs to keep youths off the streets.
Unemployment debt nears $8 billion
None of the more than $8 billion the state of Illinois got from federal taxpayers is going to the state’s unemployment debt some have projected to be nearly that much.
Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s Rob Karr said the interest could be up to $60 million if the debt isn’t paid off.
If federal funds aren’t used to pay the debt, Karr said there’ll likely be tax increases on employers, benefit reductions or both.
Nearly 500 COVID-19 breakthrough cases result in hospitalization
There have been nearly 500 COVID-19 breakthrough cases involving people who ended up in the hospital, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Of that, more than 130 have died from complications with the virus since the beginning of the year.
Breakthrough cases are people who contract the virus after getting vaccinated.
More alternative fuel stations popping up in Illinois
As Illinoisans continue their summer travel, they can expect to see more signs indicating options for alternative-fuel stations.
Signs indicate stations to recharge electric vehicles, compressed natural gas, and liquified petroleum gas refueling stations.
And while Illinois’s new signs are paid for by the state, expect to see them beyond Illinois’ borders, too, in accordance with a national network of alternative fuel corridors.
Secretary of State warns of phishing scam
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office is warning residents of a phishing scam that involves a text warning of an expired driver’s license.
The scam is called “SMS phishing” and it is not only appearing with fake messages from the Secretary of State, but also from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
So far, the state has worked with Google and Microsoft to identify over 100 bogus websites connected to the scam.
Community navigator program to get $9 million
Taxpayers are paying $9 million in Illinois for a program to help small businesses seek taxpayer funds to help in recovering the state’s economy.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the program Friday through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The funds will go to 13 “community navigator organizations” to help businesses tap into billions in federal funds for COVID-19 relief.
State reports 105 cases of Delta variant in Illinois
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported for the entire week last week there were 2,120 new cases of COVID-19 with 105 Delta variants statewide.
Friday’s report said nearly 72 percent of Illinois residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose with more than 56 percent of Illinois adults being fully vaccinated.
Illinois gets low marks for history, civics standards
Illinois got failing grades in a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on U.S. history and civics standards in the state.
The study recommends a complete revision of the K-12 standards, which are described as completely inadequate.
Illinois is one of ten states in the report to receive an “F” grade for both history and civics standards.
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