ISBE, IDPH release guidelines for school re-opening
One issue I have been asked about very frequently since the start of this outbreak has concerned schools, and when they might be able to safely re-open. Tuesday afternoon the Illinois State Board of Education and the Department of Public Health released their guidelines for re-opening schools in the fall. Under the plan, schools will be able to re-open, strictly following health and sanitary policies. Over the past couple of days I have reached out to each of the school superintendents in our district and heard how they have started working with their teams to determine how to safely open their schools for the fall.
Schools will be prohibited from having more than 50 individuals in any one space and will be required to conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks, or require that anyone coming into the building self-certify that they do not have coronavirus symptoms. The schools must require the use of personal protective equipment, including face coverings. These guidelines also require that schools increase their cleaning and disinfection efforts. The guidelines apply to all public and nonpublic schools serving Pre-K through 12th grade.
The new guidelines touch on a wide range of topics, everything from grading and extracurricular activities to policies governing activities in libraries, auditoriums, playgrounds and multi-purpose rooms. You can review the full set of guidelines here.
Sign up for license plate sticker renewal notices by e-mail
Illinoisans can now sign up to receive e-mail reminders from the Secretary of State when it is time to renew license plate stickers. Anyone receiving the e-mail alert can renew online 24/7. The Secretary of State’s office reported that more than 300,000 Illinoisans took advantage of this service in the first three weeks of June.
Drivers will need to have their vehicle registration card or a past renewal notice which has their registration ID and PIN number in order to register. You can contact the Secretary of State at 1-800-252-8980 if you do not have that information on hand. Once you are signed up, you will receive three notices: the first coming three months before the expiration, another one month out and a third on the expiration date.
Click here to find out more.
IDFPR announces PPP loan forgiveness webinars
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced that recordings of two webinars hosted to help businesses and lenders with the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Applications are available to anyone who missed the sessions but may still require assistance.
Read the full statement from IDFPR here.
How much do we owe?
As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $5,689,262,010 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $6.5 billion. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be more than $137 billion.
More news from around the state
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).