Illinois quick hits: Ag forum today; pharmacies sued; drought in parts of state

Agriculture forum today

Candidates for the U.S. Senate and the Illinois governor’s office are separately taking part in a forum Wednesday near Lexington.

The forum, hosted by the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable, takes place at Schuler Farms and will feature incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Republican challenger Kathy Salvi and incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritkzer and Republican challenger Darren Bailey separately answering questions.

Snapchat settles without admitting guilt

Another social media company has settled out of court after allegations it violated Illinois’ strict biometric laws.

The parent company that owns Snapchat agreed to pay $35 million but denied any wrongdoing. More details can be found at SnapIllinoisBIPASettlement.com.

Rivian subcontractors to pay $315K

Subcontractors for an Illinois-based electric vehicle maker have settled with the state over back overtime wages.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a consent decree with construction subcontractors building a new production line for Rivian Automotive Inc. in Normal, Illinois. The settlement requires over $300,000 in back wages and penalties be paid to resolve allegations that they failed to pay Mexican laborers overtime wages.

Lawsuit challenges pharmacy chains

Nineteen Illinois counties are suing some of the country’s largest pharmacy chains alleging the companies contributed to the opioid overdose crisis.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County, accuses the companies of failing to monitor and restrict improper prescriptions. Last week, a U.S. District Judge ordered CVS, Walgreens and Walmart to pay two Ohio counties a total of $650 million in damages.

Task force targets gun violations

After a year in existence, the Department of Justice’s Chicago Firearms Trafficking Strike Force is taking credit for charges or convictions of several dozen people in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch, leader of the strike force, said the collaboration of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and other federal, state and local law enforcement partners has been effective in tracking down illegal gun traffickers.

Drought leads to burning bans

A drought affecting central Illinois is leading to burning bans in some areas.

The Warsaw Rural Fire Protection District and the Hamilton Fire Department issued a ban Tuesday on open burnings of any kind. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, moderate drought conditions are in far western Illinois and the eastern part of the state, while severe drought conditions are affecting Champaign County.

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