Adult Use Cannabis: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued another 28 Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses. The applicants were selected over the course of three lotteries for a total of 185 licenses. These latest awardees join the 149 conditional licenses issued by the Department on July 22, bringing the total number of issued licenses to 177. Eight licenses are left to be awarded. A full list of awardees is here.
Opioid Settlement: Next steps in the distribution of opioid settlement funds were announced. Illinois is eligible to receive its full share of approximately $760 million from the national $26 billion opioid settlement agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and one manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. The companies were sued for their role in creating and fueling the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Remediation monies coming from the distributor/Johnson& Johnson settlement, the Mallinckrodt bankruptcy plan, and other potential future settlements or judgments, will be administered through the Executive Order for the Administration of Settlement Proceeds and the establishment of IDHS Office of Opioid Settlement Administration (OOSA). The OOSA will reside in the IDHS Division of Substance Use, Prevention and Recovery and a Statewide Opioid Settlement Administrator (SOSA) will be appointed. The SOSA will ensure (1) opioid remediation funds align with the State Overdose Action Plan (SOAP) and (2) are used equitably to fund recovery and treatment programs in the counties and municipalities with the most urgent need.
In Illinois, 94 out of 102 counties have signed onto the settlement. In addition, 104 out of 113 Illinois municipalities that are eligible to receive a direct distribution from the settlements have joined. In total, more than 290 Illinois government subdivisions have joined the settlements.
Monkey Pox: Governor Pritzker issued a proclamation declaring the monkeypox virus a public health emergency and declaring the state of Illinois a disaster area regarding the disease.
Declaring a state of disaster expands the resources and coordination efforts of state agencies in responding to, treating, and preventing the spread of monkeypox. Proclaiming a state of disaster will allow IDPH to expand vaccine and testing capacities with the help of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and via state and federal recovery and assistance funds. This proclamation will aid in facilitating the logistics and transportation of vaccines across the state to reach the most impacted communities efficiently.
The declaration also authorizes emergency procurements to facilitate the state’s response. The proclamation takes effect immediately and is in place for 30 days.
Medicaid Rates: Effective September 1, Illinois is increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates by 20% for abortion services and expanding Title X funding through the Illinois Department of Public Health for family planning and reproductive health service providers across the state. The Governor also eliminated a requirement for providers to receive a Medicare denial before requesting Medicaid payment, which will eliminate a lengthy and layered denial process. Read more here.
Workforce Programs Awarded Grants: Two Illinois workforce programs were awarded a combined $33 million in federal American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge funds. The investment includes $18.5 million for the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, which will create sustainable pipelines to good-paying jobs, and $14.7 million to Illinois Central College in East Peoria which will create an IT training program in partnership with local companies.
Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan are collaborating to build a road trip route specifically for electric vehicles (EV). The Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour will consist of a network of EV chargers spanning over 1,100 miles of drivable shoreline around Lake Michigan. The multistate partnership needed to build out and maintain the EV chargers, as well as market the new eco-tourism attraction was solidified by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by key officials from each state.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor appointed the following:
· Matthew Hunt will continue to serve as President and a Trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board.
· Maria “Mia” Jazo-Harris will continue to serve as a Trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board.
· Maureen Mena will continue to serve as a Trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board.
· Michelle Ishmael will continue to serve as a Member of the Educational Labor Relations Board.
State Representative Lisa Hernandez was unanimously elected Chair of the Democratic State Central Committee on Saturday after current Chair Congresswoman Robin Kelly withdrew her candidacy. Hernandez, who was endorsed by Governor JB Pritzker and House Speaker Welch, is the first Latina to Chair the Democratic organization. As a member of the House Democratic leadership team, Hernandez oversaw the House Democrats redistricting effort in 2021. The Sun Times has more here.
All early votes have been counted and former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran officially secured the Republican nomination for Supreme Court in the 2nd District. He will face Liz Rochford in November.