Quick hits: Illinois news in brief or Friday, March 13, 2020

Lobby days scrapped amid coronavirus concerns

Don’t plan on heading to Springfield for certain citizen lobby days as the Secretary of State has canceled large gatherings in order to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day scheduled for April 1 has been postponed, organizers plan to regroup sometime in May. Motorcycle lobby ABATE of Illinois has also canceled its lobby day with hopes of rescheduling sometime in May.

Organizers for both groups said people can still contact lawmakers directly in their home district offices.

Event cancelations continue across Illinois

Long-distance foot races across the state are being canceled because of concerns over spreading COVID-19.

After the Sangamon County Department of Public Health announced limitations of no more than 500 people for outdoor events, organizers with the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon in Springfield canceled the event that was scheduled April 4.

The Illinois Marathon in Champaign scheduled in late April has been postponed.

Voters will decide at least 125 local referenda

There are at least 125 local referenda Illinois voters will be considering.

Nearly 40 deal with taxes, such as asking for property tax increases. Seventeen questions deal with giving governments bonding authority. There are 25 questions about allowing cannabis sales in various local communities. Voters in three counties will be asked a non-binding question to split Chicago from Illinois.

The primary election is Tuesday.

State officials confirm 32 cases of coronavirus in Illinois

There are now 32 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported seven more cases Thursday.

Two are in Chicago, a woman in her 40s and a male youth. The others are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s in Kane, Cook and McHenry Counties.

Officials are investigating the travel histories and any contact they’ve had with others.

A quarter of Illinois’ coronavirus cases possibly due to community spread

Of the 32 cases of COVID-19 that Illinois public health officials have studied, nearly a third are associated with travel, while 44 percent are people who had contact with another person who had the coronavirus.

Public health officials said for the rest – more than a quarter of the total – there doesn’t appear to be a clear connection and may be because of community spread.

Grocery union settles case with Illinois worker

A grocery worker in St. Elmo, Illinois, won a case against the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

Tracy May said the union falsely told workers union membership was required to work at the ConAgra Foods facility there.

She also claimed the union left workers in the dark about their rights.

The National Labor Relations Board in St. Louis approved a settlement that requires the union to inform employees of their rights about abstaining from paying dues.

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