Governor Pritzker began outlining changes that he would like to see following the mass shooting at a Highland Park Parade. The Governor noted he supports making changes to “red flag laws” so that “something could have been filed to prevent a FOID card from being issued” in cases like that of the Highland Park shooter who had previous law enforcement involvement. Pritzker is also calling for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines – both in Illinois and nationally.
Executive Order: Executive Order 2022-16 updates COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements in certain industries. Vaccine mandates for higher education employees and students and emergency medical service providers have ended.
Under the updated requirements, long-term care facilities with the most vulnerable residents, including skilled nursing homes, will now test staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine weekly if located in an area of moderate community level transmission and twice weekly in areas of substantial or high community level transmission, as recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Unvaccinated staff at hospitals and other healthcare facilities that are certified by CMS will now be required to test weekly only if located in areas of high community level transmission.
Vaccination mandates will remain in place in K-12 schools, daycares, state-run 24/7 congregate care facilities, and any health care facilities not covered under the federal CMS vaccine mandate (including independent doctors’ offices, dental offices, urgent care facilities, and outpatient facilities).
Read the full press release here.
Renewable Energy Access Plan: The Illinois Commerce Commission released a first draft of the statutorily required Renewable Energy Access Plan (REAP). The 120-day public review and comment period on the plan is now open. The REAP is plan for supporting an equitable, reliable, and affordable transition to decarbonization and meeting Illinois’ policy requirements for a clean electricity system.
The Illinois REAP will serve as a document for clarifying and quantifying policy requirements such as determining the scale of clean energy resources and reforms needed over time to implement CEJA. Other strategic elements of the plan include:
• The plan must prioritize the closure of fossil-fueled electric generating units near environmental justice communities and identify attractive renewable areas for resource development, incorporating the importance of equity in land use;
• Optimization of existing transmission systems to support the delivery of clean electricity to consumers;
• Proactive planning of new transmission with consideration of public policy needs; and
• Enhancements to RTO markets to reduce costs and emissions, create jobs, and ensure State and regional power system reliability to prevent outages as Illinois transitions to clean energy.
Read more about the Renewable Energy Access Plan here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor JB Pritzker appointed pediatrician and healthcare policy expert Dr. Sameer Vohra to serve as the next Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health beginning August 1. Dr. Vohra, the Founding Chair of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s (SIU-SOM) Department of Population Science and Policy, follows Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who stepped down in March. Read more about Dr. Vohra here.
The Governor also appointed the following:
· Megha Lakhchaura will serve as the Electric Vehicle Coordinator at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
· Alyssa Williams-Schafer will serve as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
· Tim Touhy will serve as a Member of the Illinois State Police Merit Board.
· Brandon Ragle will serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology.
· Ann McIntyre will serve as the Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
· Vickii Coffey, Ph.D. will serve as a Member of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
· Ameya Pawar will serve as a Member of the Illinois Finance Authority.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Kris Tharp, a captain and jail administrator for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, was sworn in to represent Illinois’ 56th Senate District Friday. He replaces former Senator Rachelle Aud Crowe, who resigned after she was confirmed as the US Attorney for the Southern District. Tharp will face Republican opponent Erica Harris in the November election.
The House Appropriations-Human Services Committee and the Healthcare Availably Committee will hold a joint subject matter hearing on July 20th at 10:00 AM in the Bilandic Building and Virtual Room 2 to discuss safety net hospitals and managed care payments.
COGFA Revenue Report: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability released it’s June revenue report showing that General Funds base receipts finished with a $730 million increase in June. Corporate Income Tax receipts led the way adding $373 million (or $287 million net). Personal income tax revenues grew $189 million ($156 million net). Although slower than in previous months, sales tax receipts added another $41 million ($23 million net).
The inheritance tax was up $15 million for the month, while interest earnings added $9 million. Miscellaneous state sources added $47 million to the month. Insurance taxes were up $4 million; public utilities taxes were up $2 million and vehicle use taxes were up $2 million. Losses were felt by corporate franchise taxes (down $4 million) and the cigarette tax (down $2 million).
With respect to other state funds, June transfers into GRF rose $64 million combined – led by $27 million increase in Lottery transfers; $12 million rise from casino gaming transfer and $25 million in higher miscellaneous transfers.
Base federal sources grew $127 million in June (this excludes ARPA funds).
In the 66th House District, Republican Arin Thrower conceded to his opponent Connie Cain. She won the election by 66 votes and will face Representative Suzanne Ness in November.
State Senator Melinda Bush defeated former State Representative Lauren Beth Gash in the 10th District Democrat State Central Committeewoman race. Bush was endorsed by Governor JB Pritzker.
After mail in ballots were counted, Greg Johnson will be the Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 72nd District, defeating Thurgood Brooks and Jeffrey Depp. He will face Republican Tom Martens in November.
Former Congressman Dan Lipinski gathered more than 5,400 signatures to secure a place on the ballot in November to run for Congress as an independent in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District. While he gathered the signatures, Lipinski ultimately decided not to run in the 6th District at this time. His candidacy would have faced a likely court challenge as Illinois law prohibits an individual from running on another party’s ticket if they are an active member or voted in a partisan primary in the same election year. Lipinski voted in the June Democratic primary.
Rather than run for office this time, Lipinski wants to talk with moderate Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, and others, and work to build what he calls the emerging “independents movement”. In a recently penned editorial in the Chicago Sun Times, Lipinski wrote Americans are also unhappy that most members of Congress blindly vote with their party’s increasingly extreme agenda rather than representing the varied and localized interests of their constituents. The parties act as if there are only two types of Americans — “red thinkers” and “blue thinkers” — which fails to represent the country’s great diversity.”
Monday was the final day that non-established, independent or new party candidates could file their petitions. The Libertarian party filed a slate of statewide candidates. Scott Schluter is running for governor with John Phillips as his lieutenant governor running mate, Daniel K. Robin for attorney general, Jesse White for secretary of state (same name as current outgoing Secretary of State Democrat Jesse White), Preston Nelson for Treasurer, Deirdre McCloskey for comptroller, and Bill Redpath for U.S. Senate.