COVID-19 Update: As of November 4th, all eleven of Illinois’ public health regions are under additional mitigations intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Pritzker is facing push back against his enhanced mitigations at the local level in several communities throughout Illinois. In Springfield, just two weeks before legislators are scheduled to convene in Veto Session, the City Council voted this week to allow bars and restaurants to continue indoor service under mitigations ordered by the city and local health officials. In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, the City will fine patrons who refuse to wear a face covering in retail establishments.
The Governor and Public Health Director Dr. Ezike continue to plead with the public to follow the guidelines, wear a mask and social distance. Infection rates, hospitalizations and death rates are climbing statewide. Yesterday the Governor warned that further regional and statewide mitigations are likely if the virus spread continues on its current trajectory. Case positivity has tripled in just the past five weeks. The statewide positivity rate climbed from 6.9% to 9.1% in just one week.
On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported a new record of 9,935 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 97 additional deaths. Thus far, IDPH is reporting a total of 447,491 cases, including 10,030 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. On Thursday, labs reported 86,015 test results. As of Wednesday night, 3,891 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 772 patients were in the ICU and 343 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases is 9.1%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity is 10.5%.
Executive Orders:Executive Order 2020-67 Imposes enhanced public health mitigations on Region 6 East-Central Illinois, effective November 2, 2020.
Executive Order 2020-68 Suspends provisions in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act regarding renewal applications and renewal fees for registry identification cards. All valid registry identification cards that expire between October 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021 will be granted a one-year renewal or extension.
Executive Order 2020-69 Imposes enhanced public health mitigations on Region 2, north central Illinois, effective November 4, 2020.
101st General Assembly:
Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection to his leadership post for the next General Assembly which is sworn into office in January. Brady will remain in his position until the end of his term in January.
The Senate Republican Caucus met within 24 hours of Brady’s announcement to elect Senator Dan McConchie to serve as Senate Republican Leader for the 102nd General Assembly. Senator Sue Rezin was chosen to serve as Deputy Republican Leader. McConchie said “Our caucus will embrace a fundamentally new direction for Illinois. We need balanced budgets, smaller and smarter government, lower taxes, economic reforms, and a world-class education system that prepares our next generation to stay and succeed here, not flee to another state.”
House Republican Leader Durkin is facing a challenge from Representative Tony McCombie for the caucus leadership post. Durkin reports that he has secured the requisite votes for reelection as leader. Representative Stephanie Kifowit announced weeks ago that she will be challenging Speaker Madigan for his leadership position.
The chair of the House Special Investigating Committee cancelled the hearing scheduled for this week. The Chair noted that the meeting was canceled, in part because of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and in part because the committee is still waiting to receive documents from ComEd. Former ComEd executive Fidel Marquez declined to participate in the legislative investigation.
Representative Jones filed legislation, HB5858, which requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, after January 1, 2022, to adopt rules to issue 100 Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses on or before December 31, 2022 to African American-owned businesses, Hispanic-owned businesses, and Social Equity Applicants in specified communities.
The Senate Criminal Law Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety discussed the Uniform Peace Officers’ Disciplinary Act, qualified immunity and officer liability.
The Senate Education and Higher Education Committees discussed workforce development and strengthening meaningful work experience opportunities for Illinois’ jobless youth.
The Senate Public Health and Human Services Committees discussed diversity in healthcare workforce and culturally competent health care.
The Senate Executive, Agriculture and Commerce and Economic Development Committees discussed equity in food access, agriculture, cannabis and technology.
General Election Update:
The Graduated income tax proposal failed in Illinois. The Chair of the “Fair Tax” amendment committee conceded on Wednesday. In his statement, “Vote Yes For Fairness” Chairman Quentin Fulks said “Now lawmakers must address a multi-billion-dollar budget gap without the ability to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. Fair Tax opponents must answer for whatever comes next.”
Governor Pritzker said he will be working with the leaders of the Democratically controlled General Assembly to identify a path forward. That path, he warned, will contain budget cuts and “they will be deep and painful”. Pritzker said all options are on the table, including raising the current flat income tax. His message to those who opposed the amendment were harsh and blunt. Pritzker promised his memory is “long “and he will not forget “some of the wealthiest and most powerful interests in Illinois did everything in their power to put the burden of this on workers and their families, instead of shouldering some of the burden themselves.”
The list of prominent Democrats calling for House Speaker Michael Madigan to step down as the Democratic Party Chair is growing. United States Senator Dick Durbin blamed House Speaker Michael Madigan and the looming federal corruption investigation for Democratic loses in Illinois on election day. Appearing on “Chicago Tonight” Durbin said the Democratic Party “paid a heavy price” because even candidates with little to no connection to Madigan were being “tarred” by his name. Governor Pritzker and US Senator Tammy Duckworth also agreed the party needs new leadership. Madigan responded in part by saying “Illinois is the anchor in the ‘blue wall’ that has been reconstructed in the Midwest, and I look forward to continuing our fight for working families as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.”
Voters in the 3rd Supreme Court District did not approve the retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. In this unique situation, according Article 6, Sections 3 and 12, of the Illinois Constitution, the Justices themselves will select the replacement who will serve until the election in 2022.
In the Illinois Senate, Representative Karina Villa (D, West Chicago) defeated her opponent Jeanette Ward (R, West Chicago) to replace conservative State Senator Jim Oberweis (R, Sugar Grove) who chose to run for Congress. And in an unexpectedly close race, Senator Martwick (D, Chicago) holds a slim lead over Anthony Beckman (R, Harwood Heights).
As it stands now, House Democrats may have a net loss of two seats but that could change depending on the final election results.
Representative Nathan Reitz (D, Steeleville) lost to challenger David Friess (R, Red Bud).
Representative Monica Bristow (D, Alton) lost to Amy Elik (R, Alton).
Representative Mary Edly-Allen (D, Libertyville) lost to Chris Bos (R, Lake Zurich).
Representative Dianne Pappas (D, Bloomingdale) lost to challenger Seth Lewis (R).
Representative Allen Skillicorn (R, East Dundee) lost to Suzanne Ness (D, Crystal Lake).
Representative Grant Wherli (R, Naperville) lost to Janet Yang Rohr (D).
Many races remain were too close to call. Below are updates from election night:
· In the 6th Congressional District, Congressman Sean Casten (D, Downers Grove) defeated former State Representative Jeanne Ives (R, Wheaton).
· In the 17th Congressional District, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D, Moline) narrowly defeated a surprisingly strong challenge from Esther Joy King (R, East Moline).
· In the 68th Representative District, Republican incumbent Representative John Cabello’s lead over challenger Dave Vella shrank from 812 votes on Tuesday night to 358 votes on Wednesday after election results were updated. This race remains too close to call.
The Fall Veto Session remains scheduled for November 17th – 19th and December 1st – 3rd. We are continuing to monitor how and if veto session will proceed as scheduled.
Members of the 102nd General Assembly will be sworn into office on Wednesday, January 13th at noon. Upcoming Committee hearings include:
· The Senate Criminal Law Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety will hold a joint virtual hearing on November 10th at 1pm to discuss police reform in the areas of decertification and licensure.
· The Senate Public Health and Human Services Committees will hold a joint virtual hearing on November 9th at 9:30 am to discuss policy recommendations on health disparities, access to health care, behavioral health and diversity in health care and culturally competent health care.
· The Senate Transportation, Executive, Commerce and Economic Development, and State Government Committees will hold a joint virtual hearing on November 10th at 9am.
Veto Session: November 17th -19th:
Veto Session: December 1st – 3rd:
January 13, 2021 – Inauguration of the 102nd