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News Around Illinois – May 19, 2020

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Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich

CHICAGO — Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been officially disbarred. The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Monday that it revoked Blagojevich’s law license. The announcement was not a surprise, as Blagojevich didn’t even attend a March hearing in which the matter was discussed and indicated afterward that he had no intention of practicing law again. Blagojevich was released from a federal prison in Colorado in February after his 14-year sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump. He recently signed on to host a podcast in Chicago called “The Lightning Rod.” – Associated Press

GOP: Graduated Tax ‘Cash Grab’ Will Stifle Pandemic Recovery

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Republicans are demanding a vote in the General Assembly on removing from the fall ballot a proposed graduated income tax structure, saying the state’s pandemic-pillaged economy can’t sustain higher taxes. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady said Monday that the special session this week in Springfield should consider dumping the plan to alter the state Constitution and discard the current flat-rate income tax. Right now, it’s up to voters. Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls his proposal a “fair tax.” Durkin says it’s a “cash grab” that will decimate the economy as it recovers from COVID-19. – Associated Press

Free COVID-19 Testing Offered At Champaign Mall

CHAMPAIGN – A new drive-through COVID-19 testing site opens Tuesday at the Market Place mall in Champaign. Officials say the state-supported site supplements local testing efforts and aims to increase access for those in marginalized communities. The site is located at the Market Place shopping mall on North Neil Street, outside the J.C. Penney’s wing. The facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, and will offer free testing for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as all employees who support critical services — including health care workers, first responders and employees of grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses — regardless of whether they have symptoms. Read the full story here. – Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom

Michelle Obama Joined By Barack For Online Reading Series

NEW YORK — Michelle Obama had a famous fellow reader Monday as she continued her popular online series “Mondays With Michelle Obama.” The former first lady read “The Giraffe Problem,” by Jory John and Lane Smith. And she was joined by Barack Obama on Julia Sarcone-Roach’s “A Bear Ate Your Sandwich.”  Michelle Obama has been reading midday Monday for the past several weeks in support of families with small children at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Books she has featured include Julia Donaldson’s ”The Gruffalo” and Eric Carle’s “The Hungry Caterpillar.” – Associated Press

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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