December 3, 2021 Update

New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed the new congressional maps into law – HB1291 (Hernandez/Harmon).  Read the Governor’s press release here. Other new laws include:
HB594 (Hoffman/Lightford) an omnibus sunset extension and technical clean-up bill.HB1976 (DeLuca/Fine) which changes the effective date of PA 102-0578 and also amends the Travel Insurance Article of the Illinois Insurance Code to allow coverage to be filed under either an accident or health line of insurance or an inland marine line of insurance.HB3666 (Williams/Hastings) which is a trailer bill to the energy package (PA 102-0662) that makes technical changes and clarifies prevailing wage provisions.SB336 (Hunter/Lilly) which makes changes to the Community Health Worker Certification and Reimbursement Act to clarify the certification process. Extends sunset dates for some programs and reports created in PA 102-0004 and the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act. Increases the in-patient psychiatric reimbursement rate for general acute care hospitals with more than 9,500 inpatient psychiatric Medicaid days per year.
SB1139 (Turner/Hoffman) an omnibus TIF extension for certain municipalities.
Broadband Funding: A new planning and capacity building program is available to help Illinois communities leverage broadband infrastructure funding for community-driven broadband expansion. The Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program is designed to help local governments throughout Illinois receive support as they prepare to leverage new dollars that will be made available by the state as well as through the passage of the federal infrastructure program.Units of local government can apply to receive expert support offered as part of an intensive 14-week community engagement program designed to turn available public broadband funding into sustainable broadband access. More information is here.
Executive Order:Executive Order 2021-31 suspends certain requirements for restoration of an inactive or expired license of five years or less for professional counselors, social workers, and clinical psychologists.
COVID-19 Update: New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations hit a 10-month high in Illinois this week. COVID-19 patients now represent 8% of hospitalized patients in Illinois. As of Wednesday night, 2,537 individuals were hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19 which is a 27.4% jump from just last week. Of those hospitalized, 505 individuals are in the ICU.
On Thursday, health officials reported 11,524 new cases of the virus – the largest one-day case count since December 2020.  Health officials also reported 40 additional deaths. The 7-day case positivity rate climbed to 4.7%.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor made the following appointments:·      Michael Clark will serve as a Member of the Illinois State Police Merit Board.·      Michelle Gibson will serve as a Member of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.·      Damon Arnold will continue to serve as a Member of the State Board of Health.
House Majority Leader Greg Harris announced he is not seeking reelection. Leader Harris, who will have served 16 years in the Illinois House upon completion of his term, is the House Democratic caucus’ chief budget negotiator and Medicaid point person. 
Congressman Rodney Davis announced he will seek reelection in the newly drawn 15th Congressional District. Davis was contemplating seeking the Republican Governor’s nomination to challenge Governor J.B. Pritzker.  Republican State Senator Don DeWitt will run for reelection in the 33rd Senate District.
Seth Lewis plans to run for State Senate in 24th District. Lewis, a Republican, is currently serving his first term in the Illinois House.
Representative Cyril Nichols is running for reelection. Nichols was appointed in April to replace Representative Andre’ Thapedi.
Republican Representative Brad Halbrook will seek reelection in the newly drawn 107th House District
Local Democrats appointed Chicago Firefighter Mike Kelly to the 15th House District replacing recently retired Representative John D’Amico.
Republican State Representative Mike Murphy resigned his seat on Tuesday, November 30th. Murphy represented the 99th district since 2019. Murphy and his Republican colleague Representative Avery Bourne were drawn into the same district under the newly approved legislative maps. 
Redistricting Update: The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP and NAACP Chicago Southside are seeking to intervene in the legislative redistricting case claiming the reduction of Black-majority legislative districts in the new maps is unconstitutional. Democrats responded by asking for a motion to dismiss. The amicus brief motion is here. The motion to dismiss the NAACP’s amicus brief is here.
A federal three-judge panel ruled this week on the motion saying they would accept the groups’ proposed amicus brief for limited purposes. They court will consider the insights offered by the civil rights groups into the history of racially polarized voting in Illinois. However, the judges will not allow the organizations to assert any new claims or challenge any districts beyond those already under consideration.
Coming up:
Note that the deadline to file a request for bill drafting is January 7th in the Senate and January 14th in the House.
The Senate Transportation will hold a hearing on December 7, 2021 at 10:00 am in Virtual Room 1 to discuss the organizational structure of the Illinois Tollway.
The House Mental Health and Addiction Committee will hold a hearing on December 8th at 10:00 am in the Bilandic Building to discuss funding residential mental health services for children.  The Senate Behavioral and Mental Health will hold a hearing on December 8, 2021 at 10:00 am in Virtual Room 1 to discuss funding residential mental health services for children.