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News Around Illinois – June 18, 2020

The latest news around the state, for June 18, 2020.

Pritzker Announces Rent Support And Business Relief Fund

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinoisans struggling to pay mortgages and rent and small businesses, all impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, will have access to $900 million in grants, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday. According to state officials, $150 million of the funds, to be administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, will be available for emergency rental assistance, with the same amount for mortgage assistance, beginning in August. Pritzker also announced a residential eviction ban will be extended to July 31. He first banned evictions when he issued a stay-at-home order on March 21. – Associated Press

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Police Complaint Files Should Be Saved

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an effort by a Chicago police union to force the destruction of thousands of police complaint records that are more than five years old. The decision was a victory to police accountability advocates who say the records can help identify problematic officers and patterns of abuse. The opinion came in response to a legal challenge from the police union that represents about 12,000 rank-and-file Chicago cops. The union was seeking to enforce a part of its contract with the city that requires old police complaint files be destroyed. – Patrick Smith – WBEZ

A Growing Number Of Illinois Employers Will Observe Juneteenth As A Paid Day Off

Akele Parnell has been celebrating Juneteenth for many years, but this Friday will be the first time he officially has the day off from work. Parnell’s organization, a small team of mission-oriented attorneys, is part of a growing number of workplaces to mark Juneteenth as a paid holiday for the first time this year. In the Chicago area, the trend includes locally-headquartered giants, such as biotechnology AbbVie and insurance company Allstate, as well as small retailers and nonprofits. – Odette Yousef – WBEZ

Back To School Guidance Expected This Month

A list of health and safety guidelines for getting students back in classrooms is scheduled to be released before the end of the month. It will provide rules and recommendations for more than 850 school districts resuming classes this fall. A series of webinars with educational leaders is being planned once the list is made public. – Sean Crawford – WUIS

IL Attorney General Alleges Plasma Company Discrimination

The Illinois Attorney General has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a plasma collection company that has a location in Normal. Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in the complaint the policies of SCL Plasma, Inc. and parent company CSL Behring LLC prevented people from providing plasma because of their disabilities. CSL Plasma has 14 locations around the state, including Normal, Champaign, Peoria, Decatur, and Springfield in central Illinois. According to Raoul’s complaint, workers at a facility turned away a woman who had a service dog and told her she did not meet donation criteria. During the investigation, the Attorney General’s office found a copy of an internal CSL policy encouraging staff to discriminate against people with service animals, according to the AG’s office. – Charlie Schlenker – WNIJ

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