Illinois news in brief for Thursday, April 8, 2021

Judge denies Pritzker motion to dismiss challenge to COVID-19 orders

The case Geneva restaurant FoxFire brought against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s orders closing restaurants to slow the spread of COVID-19 will advance.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow denied Pritzker’s motion to dismiss.

Pritzker’s attorneys have 2 weeks to respond.

A hearing is set for April 28.

15,000 people in Illinois file for unemployment benefits

More than 15,000 Illinoisans filed for additional unemployment benefits last week.

That’s nearly 1,000 more that filed for the expanded traditional benefits than the week before. More than 2,200 independent contractors also applied for benefits, a decrease of around 200 from the week before.

In total, the state has nearly 430,000 people getting benefits, more than 40,000 than the week before.

Former state lawmaker pleads not guilty to tax evasion

Former Illinois state Sen. Annazette Collins has pleaded not guilty to lying on her income taxes.

The Chicago Tribune reported the former Chicago state lawmaker’s attorney called the charges an attempt to squeeze his client to cooperate in a federal corruption probe.

The Tribune also reported Rudy Acosta, a longtime political ally of embattled Chicago Alderman Edward Burke and late former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, intends to plead guilty to misleading the FBI.

Illinois nursing home and VA workers still hesitant about COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 infections in Illinois’ nursing homes and veterans’ homes have decreased, but facility employees still seem hesitant to get vaccinated.

As of March 15, 69,000 health care workers in Illinois had been fully vaccinated via a federal program, according to data compiled by the Center for Public Integrity.

That amounts to just over half of the state’s total staff.

Public health officials out with mobile vaccination clinics

Illinois public health officials will be out in Livingston County today and Friday with around 1,200 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 18 and older.

There are also more than two-dozen other locations throughout the state with thousands of available doses.

Information can be found at or by calling 833-621-1284.

State picks company for $122 million State Armory Building overhaul 

A company has been selected to rebuild a state-owned building in Springfield that’s mostly sat vacant for more than a decade.

The Illinois Capital Development Board announced Tilton, Kelly + Bell will design renovations to the State Armory Building across the street from the state capitol.

The nearly $122 million project is funded through the governor’s Rebuild Illinois plan funded with increased gas taxes and other fees.

This article was originally posted on Illinois news in brief for Thursday, April 8, 2021

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