December 6, 2022

Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, April 6, 2021

State elections board executive director on paid leave after reporting extortion attempt

The Illinois State Board of Elections executive director is on administrative leave after reportedly being the target of an attempted extortion scheme.

Board members were unanimous in the decision to put Steve Sandvoss on leave out of an abundance of caution after he reported the scheme to the police.

An investigation is ongoing, but the board said there’s no evidence any election data or information has been compromised.

Illinois House hears ethics proposals, including ‘revolving door’ prohibition for lawmakers

Illinois state lawmakers are reviewing various measures some say would clean up ethics in state government.

A House committee heard proposals to require more financial disclosures of elected officials, to prohibit lawmakers from immediately becoming lobbyists after leaving office, and how to define what a lobbyist is.

No such measures have yet advanced.

Illinois only state in region requiring a state-issued permit to buy firearms

Illinois is now an island in the region requiring residents to have a state-issued permit to purchase and own a firearm.

Iowa’s governor Friday signed a measure dropping the requirement in that state. All Illinois neighboring states no longer require a state-issued firearms permit.

Thousands of Illinois residents continue to wait for their Firearm Owner Identification card applications to be processed.

Pritzker signs Chicago firefighter pension bill into law

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure he says provides a path of stability for Chicago firefighter pensions.

Pritzker said that to meet the increased obligations, he’s working to sell the James R. Thompson Center and return it to the city’s property tax rolls for a possible impact of $45 million annually for the city.

Republican state Rep. Tom Demmer criticized the announcement, saying it makes property tax hikes inevitable.

Mobile vaccination teams head to rural Illinois

Illinois public health officials will be out in six rural counties this week with mobile vaccination teams.

The Pritzker administration said they’ll be able to administer more than 8,000 with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

They’ll be in Kankakee County with 2,100 and Vermillion County with 1,000 Tuesday. Websites for appointments are KankakeeHealth.org or VCHD.org.

COVID-19 metrics continue to increase

There were 2,100 new positive COVID-19 cases reported in the latest daily report.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday warned hospitalizations are going up and also raised concern over COVID-19 variants. Since tracking such cases beginning in early February, state officials report about 500 cases of variants.

This article was originally posted on Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Sydney Boles