Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Pritzker plans another coronavirus update today

Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans another COVID-19 update this afternoon.

The governor was joined Monday by state and local health officials to declare a disaster in Illinois, and to announce the 11th presumed positive case.

Health officials urge people to check on elderly relatives, as the virus seems to be affecting people in their 60s and 70s the hardest.

Sheriffs sue state over Trust Act

A group of four Illinois sheriffs sued the state in federal court to strike down a law they say is unconstitutional.

The suit follows the sheriffs raising alarm over an Illinois Department of Corrections policy that uses the state’s Trust Act to release non-citizen felons when their prison time is up, rather than holding them on immigration detainer orders.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office signaled it will defend the law.

Report finds Illinois has highest overall effective tax rate

Illinois has the highest overall effective state and local tax rate, according to WalletHub.

The consumer finance website looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia and including all taxes, Illinois ranked No. 51.

The analysis showed Illinoisans on average pay nearly 15 percent, or around $9,000 in state and local taxes.

Illinois projected to lose Republican-held seat in Congress

Illinois is one of four states projected to lose people from the previous U.S. Census.

The Brookings Institute said Illinois joins three other states that will likely see negative population growth. The Center for Illinois Politics said it will likely lead to Illinois losing a Republican-held seat in Congress.

Stock market plunge could hit Illinois pension systems

The massive plunge in the stock market could affect Illinois’ underfunded pension systems.

Public finance watchdogs at Wirepoints said pension plans that are fully funded can ride out such storms with few problems through risk management.

But for Illinois’ pension systems, which are invested in assets Wirepoints called risky, such fluctuations could hit hard and could create real credit rating pressures. Illinois’ unfunded pension liability is more than $136 billion.

Illinois sports wagering could generate $11 billion in wagers

When Illinois launches online sports betting, an industry publication says it could generate up to $11 billion in wagers a year, with $650 million in gross revenue for sportsbooks operators.

The group PlayIllinois.com tracks regulated online and retail gaming.

While the group said online sports betting via a mobile app is still months away, Illinois’ high licensing fees and in-person registration for online sports betting will stunt the industry’s growth.

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