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State Sen. Dale Fowler week-in-review

Submitted by Madison Harner
Office of State Sen. Dale Fowler
updated: 6/30/2020 9:02 AM

HARRISBURG -- Effective June 26, Illinois moved into Phase 4 of Gov. Prtizker's Restore Illinois reopening plan, where a number of industries will be allowed to expand or resume full operations under approved safety guidance.

Business changes include:
* All manufacturing open with IDPH approved safety guidance
* All employees return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees
* Bars and restaurants will open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
* All barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
* Cinema and theaters open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
* Retail stores will open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance

Additionally, gathering sizes will be increases from 10 people to a maximum of 50 people. Meanwhile, all health care providers, Pre K-12 schools, higher education, all summer programs, and child care will be allowed to open under IDPH approved safety guidance.

Illinois has been in Phase 3 of the reopening plan since May 29. Senate Republicans made repeated calls upon the Governor to revise his reopening plan to adopt a 14-day timeline between phases rather than the arbitrary 28-day timeline originally in place. However, calls from Senate Republican lawmakers went unheard.

Business Interruption Grants
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The Business Interruption Grant Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in DIAs.
Specifically, the program includes support for:
* Businesses in DIAs -- $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
* Bars and Restaurants -- $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000
* Barbershops and Salons -- $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each
* Gyms and Fitness Centers -- $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each
* In operation for at least 3 months prior to March 2020
* Demonstrates by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure.
* DIA's are ZIP codes that exceed a set threshold for COVID cases per capita among residents, and also surpass a threshold for poverty rate among the whole population, among children, or among seniors.

Online license plate sticker renewal notices
The Illinois Secretary of State is encouraging residents to sign up to receive license plate sticker renewal notices by email. Drivers who receive email renewal reminders can renew their sticker online, rather than waiting in line at Driver Services Facilities.

According to the Secretary of State's website, drivers will need their vehicle registration card or past renewal notice containing their Registration ID and PIN numbers to register. If vehicle owners do not have a renewal notice or a current registration card, they should call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980. After obtaining their Registration ID and PIN numbers, they can visit and go to the "License Plate Renewal Email Notices" under Online Services.

Currently, more than 2.8 million motorists have signed up to receive reminder notices by email. Visit to sign up to receive an email renewal reminder.

2020 Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame
The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) is accepting nominations for the 2020 Class of the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.
The 2020 Class of Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who demonstrate service in and commitment to improving conservation efforts and outdoor recreation opportunities in Illinois. The Illinois Conservation Foundation has been honoring inductees into the Outdoor Hall of Fame since 2002.
To nominate an individual for the Outdoor Hall of Fame, click here. The deadline for 2020 nominations is July 8, 2020. For more information, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation at One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702- 1271, via phone at phone 217-785-2003, or online at

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