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Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Thursday, July 30, 2020

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

Additional 32,500 Illinoisans file for unemployment benefits

About 32,500 people filed for initial unemployment claims last week in Illinois.

That’s about 4,000 fewer than the week before but brings the total number to around 1.5 million Illinoisans who’ve filed for unemployment since the beginning of March.

Attorney calls for special session amid legal challenges 

If the Illinois General Assembly were to convene and address a variety of issues that has business owners and citizens on edge during the COVID-19 pandemic, attorney Thomas DeVore says he’ll hold his pending litigation challenging the governor’s orders.

DeVore represents hundreds of clients with dozens of lawsuits filed in jurisdictions across the state challenging the governor’s authority to order restrictions beyond the initial 30 days, which ended back in April.

Another Democrat calls for Madigan to step down 

Another Democratic state lawmaker said House Speaker Michael Madigan should step down from his leadership positions.

Glen Ellyn Democratic state Rep. Terra Costa Howard said even though Madigan hasn’t been charged with a crime, he should be held to a higher standard. Howard’s Republican opponent, former state Rep. Peter Breen, said that’s a flip flop and criticized the legislator for taking political money from Madigan.

Statewide COVID-19 positivity rate flat at 3.8 percent

Illinois’ statewide COVID-19 positivity rate remains at 3.8 percent, but the rate of positive cases per test performed is increasing in other areas of the state.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned the Metro East region is getting close to having restrictions put back on certain economic activity if its positivity rate continues to increase.

Some object to Pritzker’s decision on youth sports

Criticism of the governor’s move to put new restrictions on sports is drawing criticism from central Illinois Republicans.

A joint statement from U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood and state Rep. Tim Butler said the governor’s new restrictions cancel football this fall, as well as basketball, volleyball and other sports.

They said a one-size-fits-all approach to the issue is wrong.

Cyclists honor fallen officers

Cyclists part of the first End of Watch Ride to Remember traveled through parts of Illinois this week in their cross country trek to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

The riders began their trip on June 1 in Washington state and stopped at the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation memorial Park in Springfield on Tuesday to honor troopers and other officers that lost their lives in 2019.

Details about the ride can be found at EOWRide.org.

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