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News Around Illinois – July 22, 2020

The latest news around the state, for July 22, 2020.

Police: 15 People Were Injured In A Shooting Outside A South Side Funeral

Fifteen people were injured, one person was being questioned and multiple suspects were being sought after gunfire erupted outside a funeral home on Chicago’s South Side where at least one squad car was present, police said. First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said mourners outside a funeral home in the 1000 block of West 79th Street were fired upon from a passing black SUV about 6:30 p.m. Carter said several targets of the shooting returned fire. The SUV later crashed and the occupants fled in several directions. One “person of interest” has been taken into custody. Carter said all the victims were adults. The shooting comes as the Department of Homeland Security is planning to deploy federal agents to Chicago to deal with an uptick in violent crime in the city. – Associated Press

Speaker Madigan: The Sparkplug For Republican Ethics Calls

As the minority party at the Illinois State Capitol, Republicans only have a bully pulpit. But when House Speaker Mike Madigan was implicated last week in a utility bribery case, they got more of a megaphone to go with it. Illinois Republicans say Madigan should resign after Commonwealth Edison last week admitted to bribing the speaker through hiring lobbyists and staff he recommended. Madigan has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Members of the Illinois House GOP say that scandal is reason enough for Governor J.B. Pritzker to bring lawmakers back for a special session dealing with ethics legislation. – Bill Wheelhouse – WUIS

Illinois Likely Faces Surge Of Evictions If Moratorium Is Not Extended

Housing advocates fear a massive number of evictions in Illinois after the state’s moratorium expires on July 26. “We have an impending housing crisis in our region,” said Jenny Connelly-Bowen, executive director of the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis. The moratorium by Gov. J.B. Pritzker bars landlords from filing eviction suits in court and the police from enforcing suits. It doesn’t mean that tenants are off the hook for rent, they just won’t be evicted if they cannot pay. “The moratorium doesn’t not affect your obligation to pay rent,” said Paul Matalonis, a staff attorney with Land of Lincoln Legal Aid. “You still owe the money, you just can’t file the eviction and eviction orders cannot be enforced while the moratorium is going.” For many Illinoisans, it’s the only protection they have from being forced out of their homes in the middle of a global pandemic. – Eric Schmid – KWMU

LaHood Calls For PPP Retooling, Cost Considerations In Next COVID-19 Relief Bill

Congress returned to Washington this week to hash out a new COVID-19 stimulus bill. Among the issues they’re considering are how to proceed with jobless benefits, liability protections for businesses, and financial support to local governments. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, a Peoria Republican, said the Paycheck Protection Program will likely get a boost, as the first round of funding runs dry for some businesses. But he said the program may look different this time. “The biggest thing will be making sure that we are not letting in companies or businesses that don’t need the money,” he said. LaHood said the money should be prioritized for disproportionately impacted industries, like hotels, banquet halls, and restaurants that lack outdoor seating. He said he’d like to develop a formula to assess a businesses losses and financial need. Another priority for the next round of stimulus is money for businesses to cover the cost of personal protective equipment and additional cleaning protocols during the pandemic, he said. – Dana Vollmer – WCBU

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