State Fair Cancelled; Secretary of State pre-registration

2020 Illinois State Fair cancelled, livestock competitions still on

This year’s Illinois State Fair has been officially cancelled. The announcement came late Friday following weeks of other cancellations by county fair boards across the state and other state fairs around the Midwest. Last year’s Illinois State Fair drew more than 600,000 visitors. I was very sad to hear the news, as the fair is one of the most important events for showcasing Illinois agriculture each year.

The Department of Agriculture’s Junior Livestock Exposition will still occur, but will be held in September so that Illinoisans between the ages of 8 and 21 can show their animals. There are also plans for a virtual 4-H show, complete with ribbons and premiums. Details on those events are expected in the coming weeks.

This is the first time the State Fair has been cancelled since World War II, when the state fairgrounds were used as a training facility for the U.S. military. Next year’s state fair in Springfield is already scheduled for August 12-22, 2021, with the DuQuoin State Fair set for August 27-September 6, 2021.

Secretary of State launches driver license pre-registration program

As Secretary of State offices around Illinois re-open, the Secretary is acting to help reduce wait times and crowd sizes in each facility. The latest action involves the creation of a driver license/state ID card pre-registration application.

Customers may visit the Secretary of State’s website at cyberdriveillinois.com to begin the process. You will be able to enter your information for your application so that you will not have to wait for the clerk at the driver services facility to do so. Applicants will be able to choose their license type, including REAL ID, input designations such as organ donor or veteran, specify whether the application is for a renewal or a correction, and enter other information which will save time at the driver services facility. You will need to print off the receipt with bar code at the end of the transaction, and should still bring your documents to the office, just in case they are needed for verification.

Read more from the Secretary of State here.

Discussion with local public health leaders

Join me at 5 p.m. Thursday evening for a live online discussion with Dee Ann Schippert, RN, BSN, the Public Health Administrator for Iroquois County and Jackie Dever, RN, BSN, the Administrator of the Livingston County Health Department, for a discussion on the coronavirus outbreak and the role of the county Departments of Public Health: who they are and what they do.

Visit my Facebook page for more information.

More news from around the state

The Department of Public Health’s latest update

Governor signs FY 2021 budget

Reminder: Income tax filing and payment deadline is July 15

CDC provides guidance for events occurring during pandemic

State Board of Education still accepting ESSER grant applications for local schools

Illinois Department on Aging: 2020 Senior Hall of Fame Awards – Extension

Be aware of heat hazards on the job

For additional helpful resources, click here.

For continually updated news from state agencies, visit: coronavirus.illinois.gov or my website at repbennett.com and click on COVID-19 Info. Persons with coronavirus questions or concerns should call the statewide toll-free coronavirus hotline at 1-800-889-3931. You can also submit questions via e-mail at dph.sick@illinois.gov.

My district offices remain closed to in-person visits, but are still accessible by phone at (815) 432-0106 (Watseka) and (815) 844-9179 (Pontiac).