Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 | Illinois

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Conference wasn’t public meeting, ISBE says

One of the eight school districts on probation by the Illinois State Board of Education wanted to have a conference about the district’s mask optional policy with the state public, but ISBE says the conference didn’t fit the definition of an open meeting.

Hutsonville School Board president Chad Weaver said ISBE refusing to allow the meeting to be public when the state was asking for evidence was detrimental to the district’s goals of transparency.

Illinois Department of Employment Security moves from debit cards to checks

The state is preparing to pay out unemployment benefits through direct deposit or paper checks, instead of debit cards.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says starting Dec. 27 debit card claimants will begin getting paper checks. There will be no change for those using direct deposit.

During the pandemic, debit cards with benefits were being sent to people who didn’t request benefits, though the scope of the fraud hasn’t been fully revealed.

Davis has yet to announce plans 

Congressman Rodney Davis still won’t say if he’ll run for reelection in the proposed congressional district Illinois Democrats drew him into.

That proposed congressional map with Illinois losing one seat has yet to be enacted by the governor.

Davis, a Republican, told WMAY once the map is enacted, he’ll make his plans public.

State’s GDP falls by 5.1%

Illinois’ Gross Domestic Product fell by 5.1% last year, but personal income increased by 5.8%.

That’s according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The GDP decline wasn’t softened by increased unemployment benefits which drove Illinois’ personal income. That category in 2019 was up 4%. In 2020 with the pandemic, it increased by 40.2%.

OEIG finds University of Illinois wrongly used state resources for political campaign

A University of Illinois at Chicago employee abused taxpayer time and resources to campaign for an elected school board position.

That’s according to the Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General.

The report says in 2019, the OEIG received a complaint that Sandy Aguirre was sending emails and using state resources for her campaign. She was later terminated.

Group discourages giving lottery tickets to children

Don’t give Lottery tickets to children.

That’s the message from the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health that’s allied with groups across the state raising awareness about the risks of giving lottery tickets to minors.

They say research links early exposure to gambling to future problem gambling.

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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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