Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Illinois video gambling returns

State and local tax revenue from video gambling machines is down more than $105 million from March to May of this year compared to the same time last year.

The bulk of that lost revenue is from the state’s coffers since Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered the machines shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March.

Those machines and in-person casino gambling will resume Wednesday.

Bailey’s lawsuit returns to state court

State Rep. Darren Bailey’s challenge to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s extended emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic has been sent back to state court from federal court.

Pritzker attempted to move the case from Clay County to the federal courts but the Southern U.S. District court Monday said the case deals with state powers, not federal civil rights.

It’s unclear when the case will be resolved in state court.

Illinois gas tax to increase July 1

The state’s gas tax will be increased Wednesday by nearly one penny per gallon.

The law enacted last summer to double the state’s gas tax included a yearly increase linked to inflation.

That means starting July 1 the gas tax will go up seven-tenths of a penny, to nearly 39 cents a gallon in state taxes.

Officials report 14 additional COVID-19 deaths

Of nearly 27,000 COVID-19 tests conducted in the latest 24-hour report from Illinois public health officials, there were 738 positive tests, for a total of 142,461 positives. Of that, 94 percent have recovered.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 2.7 percent. There were also 14 additional COVID-19 deaths reported Monday for a total of 6,902 in Illinois since the pandemic began.

Junior livestock, horse shows to go forward without state fair

Although there won’t be a state fair in either Springfield or Du Quoin this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the junior livestock and horse shows will go on. The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced the Junior Livestock Expo will take place in Springfield over two weekends in September. A Junior Horse Show will happen in DuQuoin in late August and early September.

State issues guidelines for reopening swimming pools

Heading to the community pool? Don’t forget your mask.

New guidelines released Friday for swimming facilities say those licensed with the state can open at a maximum of 50 percent capacity, and guest temperatures will be taken.

And, when not swimming, pool operators, employees and customers should wear face coverings, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines.

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