Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | Illinois

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Another hearing set on legislative maps

Another set of hearings is scheduled today starting at 4 p.m. to review proposed maps Democratic legislators revealed Friday evening.

State Senators and Representatives will hold a joint hearing this afternoon in Springfield and online to take more input on the draft maps released by Democrats.

On Tuesday, lawmakers heard demands for the data used to draft the lines to be released. Democrats said they’ll release all data when the final draft is released.

Democrats release proposed Supreme Court district maps

Illinois Democrats, just days after releasing new legislative maps, are now proposing new Supreme Court districts.

The current state Supreme Court maps were drawn in 1963 and have not been updated since. Democrats say redrawing the districts was necessary to make populations in them equal.

Critics say the new map follows a Democratic supreme court justice losing retention last year.

Illinois recovery lags nation

Illinois is a year past its lowest point in terms of job losses and it’s recovering slower than all but a handful of states.

A new analysis of federal jobs data by the Illinois Policy Institute shows Illinois has added 408,400 jobs (+7.7%) since April 2020, or 7.7% of the jobs lost since then.

The only states adding a lower percentage of jobs were Nebraska (+7.5%), Louisiana (+7.5%), Iowa (+7.4%), Oklahoma (+5.9%), Wyoming (+4.7%) and New Mexico (+4.2%), the report said.

COVID-19 numbers dip

A slight downtick in COVID-19 cases in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 808 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus, including 17 additional deaths.

Sixty-five percent of adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine according to data from the CDC.

House passes cannabis bill aimed at diversity

The Illinois House has passed legislation aimed at giving minority business owners a better chance to break into the cannabis industry.

If the Senate and Governor approve the plan, the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation would relax requirements for veteran owners to achieve a perfect score on their license application.

IDOC searches for fugitive

A 76-year-old man paroled from an Illinois prison after serving time for the 1972 murder of a teenage boy is now considered a fugitive by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Paroled earlier this month, Ray Larsen was supposed to take up residence on Chicago’s South Side.

The department lists Larsen as an “absconder,” meaning parole officials don’t know where he is.

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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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