Disaster Proclamation: Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation for 14 counties in Illinois to expedite the use of state resources, personnel and equipment to help municipalities. The counties include: Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Macon, Madison, Sangamon, Will, Lake, Peoria, Rock Island, Williamson and Stephenson. The Governor also activated members of the Illinois National Guard to support various jurisdictions throughout the state in their work to protect communities. In addition to the soldiers from the Illinois National Guard and troopers from the Illinois State Police, the State Emergency Operations Center is monitoring operations throughout the state and fulfilling requests from local governments.
New Laws: The Governor signed legislation, SB2099 (Harmon/Zalewski), to allow the Governor, with the approval of the Comptroller and Treasurer, to borrow up to $5 billion from the Federal Reserve Bank.
Governor Pritzker also signed HB2682 (Zalewski/Feigenholtz),which is an omnibus liquor law. The bill allows bars and restaurants to sell liquor for pickup and delivery. Cocktails may not be delivered via a third-party delivery app. The legislation also delays late fees and license fees for liquor licenses for businesses and establishes automatic liquor license renewal approval and extension for any license holder whose business or operations have been suspended in any capacity due as a result of COVID-19.
COVID-19: All regions in Illinois have moved to Phase 3 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan.
COVID-19 testing is now available to anyone in Illinois who wants to be tested, regardless of symptoms or exposure.
Executive Orders: Governor Pritzker issued several new Executive Orders.
Executive Order 2020-38 Resumes activities that were paused in previous Executive Orders due to COVID-19. The Order outlines public health requirements for individuals, businesses, retail stores, manufacturers, office buildings, restaurants and bars, gyms, personal service facilities, youth sports, and public amusement. Indoor religious services must not exceed more than 10 people. Individuals must continue to practice social distancing, maintaining at least a six-foot distance, and wear a face covering in public places or when working.
Executive Order 2020-39 Reissues Executive Orders 2020-03 through 2020-37, extending most provisions through June 27, 2020. This includes extending the ban on residential evictions, a moratorium on utility shutoffs and suspension on repossession of vehicles. This also includes the ability to conduct marriages and notarization remotely, as well as the suspension of many in-person licensing and training requirements to ensure that workers can keep their professional credentials active.
Executive Order 2020-40 allows all schools to open for limited in-person educational purposes, such as summer school, following the completion of the regular 2019-20 school year. Executive Order 2020-41 suspends in-person creation of sports betting accounts. A link to the order is here.
Illinois will become the first state to borrow from the Federal Reserve’s $500 billion targeted for local governments in a deal expected to close today. Illinois is borrowing $1.2 billion to offset FY 20 revenue losses due to the pandemic. The loan will be repaid within one year. This initial borrowing is in addition to the $5 billion in borrowing the Governor is allowed to make under recently signed legislation.Land and Water Conservation Grants: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the agency will accept applications for grants through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program from June 1through July 31, 2020. The LWCF provides matching funds to units of local government for acquisition of land for public parks and open space. Funding assistance up to 50 percent of approved project costs can be obtained. Grant awards up to $750,000 are available for acquisition projects.
Local government agencies that have the statutory authority to acquire land for public park purposes are eligible to apply for and receive assistance under the LWCF grant program. Lands acquired using LWCF funds are required to be operated and maintained in perpetuity for public outdoor recreation.
ATTORNEY GENERAL UPDATE:
Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York Attorney General Letitia James are leading a coalition of 18 attorneys general urging Congress to expand federal law to give state attorneys general clear statutory authority to investigate patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing.Raoul and the coalition are asking Congress to expand the law enforcement misconduct section of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Raoul and the coalition argue that attorneys general should have authority to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing, particularly in the event that the U.S. Department of Justice fails to use its authority to act.
101st GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus are calling for an end to looting and urging leaders at every level of government to craft solutions to end police violence and other systemic racial injustices afflicting African-American communities.
Representatives Buckner, Curtis and Tarver called on the legislative leaders to convene a special legislative session immediately to take up policy issues related to the unrest. In the letter they wrote to Senate President Harmon and Speaker Madigan, the three legislators asked that a special session be called to address “community police relations, law enforcement accountability and economic development.” The legislators told the leaders that we are in a “state of emergency” and the Legislature cannot wait until November to act.
Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford called on the General Assembly to create an official “office on inclusion,” with members confirmed by the Senate. Representative Lamont Robinson asked Governor Pritzker to sign the Intergenerational Poverty Act which creates a new commission to track intergenerational poverty. Under the bill, a strategic plan must be submitted by November 2021.
Representative LaShawn Ford called on Governor Pritzker to sign an Executive Order to provide funding to rebuild African American communities in the wake of the pandemic and recent looting. He specifically wants the Executive Order to create a 50-member African American Rapid Relief Task Force and create an Executive level Office of Diversity and Inclusion to oversee the findings of the Task Force.
Representative Slaughter suggested legislators should address law enforcement reforms including access to police conduct files, enhanced tracking of police discipline, protecting whistleblowers, enhancing accountability for body camera violations, modernize use of force laws and allowing detainees prompt access to legal counsel.