Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Decision expected in state lawmaker’s lawsuit

Summary judgment is expected Thursday in the case state Rep. Darren Bailey has against Gov. J.B. Pritzker, challenging the governor’s executive authority to issue consecutive emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s just days after a federal judge sent the case back to state court.

Attorney Thomas DeVore said the Clay County judge could rule that some of the governor’s orders after the initial 30 days are void. If that happens, the governor could appeal all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Investigators seek suspects after violent demonstrations

Federal and local law enforcement in Chicago are looking for 18 people in connection with fires from violent demonstrations earlier this month.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Attorney’s office and Chicago Police put out photos and video of the suspects from reconstructed scenes using different resources.

A year after doubling, Illinois’ gas tax to increase annually

While the state is collecting more in motor fuel taxes, gas stations have sold fewer gallons since the tax increased. From July 2019 to May 2020, Illinois drivers paid more than $2.15 billion.

That’s $1.24 billion more than the same time the year before. From July 2019 to February 2020, the most recent data available, there were around 4 million fewer gallons sold to Illinois drivers than the same time period the year prior.

Public health officials report 724 new COVID-19 cases

Of more than 31,000 COVID-19 tests conducted in the latest daily report from state health officials, there were 724 confirmed cases.

The latest hospitalization numbers have just 401 ICU beds statewide, and just 185 of the state’s ventilators occupied by a COVID-19 patient. In late April there were more than 5,000 COVID patients taking up hospital beds throughout the state.

Parents sue Illinois State Board of Education over school guidelines

Parents of school students in Clay County filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Education over new COVID-19 regulations for fall in-person instruction.

Attorney Thomas DeVore said the family has requested a temporary restraining order that if granted would only provide relief to that family, but ultimately he said the goal is to have the courts determine the guidelines are unenforceable.

DeVore said complying with temperature checks and face-covering requirements will make returning to school impractical.

Facebook invests $800 million in new data center in Illinois

Social networking giant Facebook plans to invest $800 million in Illinois.

Lawmakers in the area of the company’s planned DeKalb Data Center say that’ll bring 1,200 temporary construction jobs.

Once the facility is up and running it could employ 100 workers with wages starting at a minimum of $38.50 an hour.

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