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Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

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

State turns over, dismantles overflow COVID-19 hospitals 

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday the state turned over the vacant Vibra Hospital in Springfield in mid-June and the courts are going to decide how much is owed.

The state leased the hospital at the height of the pandemic for overflow capacity, but it was never used.

In Chicago, CBS reported the alternative healthcare facility at the McCormick Place convention center is set to be completely dismantled later this month.

Orland Park lawsuit over executive orders continues

Despite a federal judge refusing to consider a temporary restraining order against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 executive orders sought by the village of Orland Park, the case continues.

Some Orland Park business owners are arguing the governor’s orders violate the constitution’s equal protection rights and denies citizens and businesses due process rights.

Davis again calls for release of COVID-19 funds

Taylorville U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis on Wednesday doubled down on his call for federal funds already released to states to be given to local governments.

A federal report indicates only 15.3 percent of $4.9 billion in funds Illinois received in COVID-19 relief had been dispersed as of the end of June. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said such funds will be spent through the rest of the year.

Davis said the funds should be released immediately.

DeVore wants Illinois Supreme Court to prevent consolidation of cases

An attorney suing Gov. J.B. Pritzker in counties across the state asking judges to rule there are no COVID-19 public health emergencies in such counties is asking the Illinois Supreme Court to toss the governor’s request to consolidate the cases.

Attorney Thomas DeVore filed with the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which is representing the governor, has called DeVore’s cases “frivolous.”

Restore Illinois meeting scrapped

Despite saying the goal was to meet every Tuesday, the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission meeting Tuesday was canceled.

The group was created to collaborate with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration on reviving Illinois’ economy in the wake of COVID-19.

One member of the commission said the governor’s office didn’t provide anyone to address and answer the members’ questions Tuesday.

The governor’s office didn’t immediately respond.

Illinois House spent $143K for alternate location 

The Illinois House cost taxpayers an extra $143,000 for its truncated session in May when members rented a convention center in Springfield and had it catered.

Invoice documents show the audio and video equipment rental and operation was more than $55,000.

Catering costs totaled $48,900. Coffee for the three days in late May cost $3,800.

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