Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 | Illinois

Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 | Illinois

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Some Republicans challenge enforcement of school mask mandate

After 26 Illinois schools have been put on probation for not complying with a mask mandate, some are challenging the legality of enforcement.

State Sen. Darren Bailey, who’s also running for the Republican nomination for governor, told the Illinois State Board of Education they don’t have the authority to force schools to require masks.

Pritzker ducks debate question

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wouldn’t say definitively if he’d debate a woman who’s announced a challenge for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois.

U.S. Army veteran and Chicago-area nurse Beverly Miles disagrees with Pritzker’s unilateral approach to dealing with the pandemic.

She said wants to debate him. Pritzker said he hasn’t met Miles, but thanked her for her military service and said he looks forward to getting to know her.

Jesse White to leave Secretary of State post

After decades in what Secretary of State Jesse White called “government life” the longtime elected official is on his way out.

He’s not seeking another term. He wouldn’t say who of the four announced candidates for the Democratic nomination he supports, saying he expects more to be announced soon.

The primary is in June 2022.

Doctor: Illinois threatening medical license over mandatory mask opposition

A school board member who is also a doctor says his medical license is being threatened by state regulators over his criticism of the mask mandate in schools.

Dr. Jeremy Henrichs said he’s seen evidence that questions the necessity of masking children.

The Mahomet-Seymour Board of Education member said the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has “commanded” he “toe the line” or suffer personal and professional consequences.

A spokesperson for IDFPR didn’t immediately respond.

Business grants up for grabs

Taxpayer backed grants for small businesses are now up for grabs.

The Pritzker administration announced their Back To Business Assistance Program is now taking applications.

$250 million is being made available for small businesses to offset losses and bring back workers let go during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information is available at the website DCEO.Illinois.gov.

No more warning on Illinois River fish

For the first time since the 1970s, there is no longer a “Do Not Eat” advisory for fish from the Illinois River.

The Illinois Department of Public Health cites declining PCB concentrations in the river.

Fish consumption advisories are based primarily on protecting sensitive populations, including pregnant women, nursing mothers and children younger than 15 years of age.

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