Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Senate convenes in Springfield

The Illinois Senate is expected to debate legislation laying out changes to the state’s energy portfolio.

Senate President Don Harmon called members back to session for today. A Senate Energy and Public Utilities hearing this morning focused on energy legislation proposals. The full Senate is in at noon.

The House convenes Wednesday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to subsidize nuclear power and provide a 2035 deadline for coal-fired power plants to be shut down in Illinois.

Bipartisan opposition to energy plan surfaces

A group of state lawmakers from both parties and both chambers oppose the idea of shutting down coal-fired power plants over the next 14 years.

The group says coal-fired plants are reliable forms of energy that provide jobs for their communities.

The group with downstate Democrats joining with downstate Republicans also features a slew of industry associations including the Chamber of Commerce.

Six Flags settles BIPA lawsuit for $36 million

Six Flags has settled a lawsuit claiming it violated an Illinois law when it collected the fingerprints of those attending the park with season passes.

Law360 Illinois reports the amusement park has agreed to pay $36 million to end the class-action lawsuit accusing the company of collecting fingerprint data in violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Rockton fire continues to burn

The fire at a plant in the Winnebago County community of Rockton is being left to burn itself out and the process could take several days.

The Monday morning explosion sent huge plumes of black smoke into the air, prompting officials to order an evacuation of residents and businesses to the south of the plant.

The plant manufacturers grease products, lubricants and other fluids.

FBI investigates kidnapping in Peru

The FBI is investigating the kidnapping of a teen girl early Monday in Peru.

Witnesses reported they saw two men force the girl, who is about 14 to 16 years old, into a white vehicle around 5 a.m.

Authorities said the vehicle may be a white Ford Excursion.

The FBI said the girl was screaming at the time.

Business optimism slips amid labor shortage

A survey shows Illinois business owners were less optimistic in May for the near future because of the ongoing labor shortage.

The National Federation of Independent Business index dipped in May after a record high 48% of owners reported unfilled job openings.

Enhanced federal unemployment benefits have been blamed for keeping potential workers on the sidelines. Twenty-five states have ended the program, trying to encourage more people to reenter the workforce.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was asked in May whether Illinois would be ending the benefits early, and he indicated not likely.

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