COVID-19 Update: On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,257 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 25 additional deaths. To date, IDPH is reporting a total of 157,950 cases, including 7,251 deaths, in all 102 counties in Illinois. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 43,006 tests. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 9–July 15 is 3.1%. As of Wednesday night, 1,434 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 311 patients were in the ICU and 127 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Governor Pritzker outlined a new COVID-19 mitigation plan focused on combating a resurgence of coronavirus cases. Under the resurgence mitigation guidelines, the state is divided into 11 emergency medical services regions, up from the 4 regions in the initial plan.
The new regions are:
NORTHBoone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago
NORTH-CENTRALBureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford
WEST-CENTRALAdams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott
METRO EASTBond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington
SOUTHERNAlexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson
EAST-CENTRALChampaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Richland, Shelby, Vermillion
SOUTH SUBURBANKankakee, Will
WEST SUBURBANDuPage, Kane
NORTH SUBURBANLake, McHenry
SUBURBAN COOKSuburban Cook
CHICAGOCity of Chicago
The following metrics will be used to determine when the spread of the virus in a region requires additional mitigations:
(1) A sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate and one of the following severity indicators: A sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness or reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds < 20%); OR
(2) three consecutive days averaging ≥ 8% positivity rate.The updated guidance establishes three tiers of industry specific mitigations that can be implemented should a region meet the resurgence metrics. More detailed information on industry specific mitigation is here.
Criminal Justice Information Authority Funding: The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced $7.1 million in funding will be available to organizations providing support services and resources to communities hit hardest by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Interested organizations must submit an application to ICJIA by July 24th.The funding, which is provided through the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, will support communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. Funds can be used for:• Transitional and/or emergency housing and rental assistance for persons involved in the criminal justice system and those who have experienced violence. • Supportive services for community members, including overall advocacy, case management, legal services, mental and emotional support, and clinical behavioral health services for adults and children.
• Rent, utilities, and COVID-related supplies for community-based agency operations.
• Efforts to distribute food to local residents.
• Other needs resulting from the pandemic, as determined by communities.
The application is available here. Proposals are due by 11:59 pm on Friday, July 24th.
Worker’s Compensation: The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission announced a new, cloud-based electronic filing and case management system. The system, called CompFile, will allow for paperless filing and processing of court documents for workers’ compensation cases in Illinois. CompFile will be implemented in three phases. The first phase, which launched on Feb. 10, involved registration of law firms and account setup. The second phase, which begins July 22, will include the drafting, signing and approval of settlement contracts. The third phase, planned for the late fall of 2020, will incorporate applications, motions, decisions and reviews.
Apprenticeship Program: Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a $4.7 million expansion of the Illinois Apprenticeship Program. The extra funds will serve an additional 568 residents in training programs over the next two years. Grants will be awarded to 25 organizations across the state to expand training programs and employer partnerships, with an emphasis on growth in underserved communities. More information is here.
COVID-19 Education Funding: Illinois is directing $108.5 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds to preK-12 public education and institutions of higher education to meet the unique challenges of COVID-19. The funding is targeted to bridge the digital divide, protect the health and safety of students, and overcome barriers created by COVID-19.
$10 million will be allocated to support early childhood programs statewide. Funding will support professional development and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation supports to early childhood professionals to address the social-emotional needs of young children. A new text-messaging project will be implemented to help parents support their children’s learning at home. Preschool for All and Prevention Initiative programs in those areas most impacted by Covid-19 will receive flexible funding to support home learning materials, personal protective equipment, technology and/or additional staffing.
K-12 schools will receive $50 million targeted for closing the digital divide, training for educators and parents, and social-emotional supports for students.
Institutions of higher education will receive $49 million, including $46 million directly to public universities and community colleges. The funding targets institutions’ efforts to overcome barriers facing students that have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Uses could include access to laptops, wireless hotspots, targeting advising, mentoring, tutoring, books, childcare, transportation, all strategies to help with recruiting and retention.
The fund will also provide $3 million in grants to enroll and retain underrepresented, first-generation, and high-need students at public and non-profit, independent four-year institutions of higher education in Illinois.
Cannabis Tax Revenue Update: Illinois earned $52 million in revenue during the first six months of the new adult-use cannabis sales. The state collected $34.7 million in cannabis excise taxes and $18 million in sales taxes. The sales taxes will be shared with units of local government. Approximately $25.9 million will be directed to the state’s General Fund.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker made the following appointments:
· Peter Buckley will serve on the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.· Lionel Craft will serve on the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.· Larry Peterson will serve on the Illinois Community College Board.· Lynette Stokes will serve on the Illinois Community College Board.· Roger Poole will continue to serve on the Illinois Finance Authority.· J. Randal Wexler will continue to serve on the Illinois Finance Authority.·Anthony Garcia will continue to serve on the Illinois Gaming Board.· Diana Leza Sheehan will continue to serve on the Lottery Control Board. · Don Villar will continue to serve on the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.· Leslie Breuer will serve on the Racing Board.· Joseph O’Connor will serve on the State Board of Health.· David Miller will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System.·Linda Cantrell will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
101st GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois House issued new protocols for conducting committee hearings. Note that the protocols are subject to change based on public health guidance and member feedback. Generally, attendance at committee hearings, including legislators, staff and members of the public, will be limited to the lesser of 50 people or 50% capacity. Social distancing will be required and hearing rooms will be reconfigured to accommodate proper social distancing. Face coverings will be required at all times even when testifying. All participants must undergo temperature screenings prior to admittance. Witnesses are encouraged to provide written testimony and participate remotely. Those wishing to participate in-person must follow social distancing and wear a face covering. Legislative hearings will be live streamed at ILGA.GOV and remote viewing areas will be available.
Participants are asked to minimize use of public transportation and travel separately to Springfield. Anyone feeling sick or having been in contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home and quarantine. Members of vulnerable populations should consider not participating in person.Audio-visual upgrades will be made to both Room 114 in the Capitol and Room 600C in the Bilandic Building. Additional upgrades in other committee rooms is possible. The initial upgrades will take place in late September through early October.
The new protocols do not give members the ability to participate remotely at this time. The audio-visual upgrades will allow remote participation by witnesses and members in an unofficial capacity.
Newly Filed Legislation: Several new bills were filed this week. All the bills below will be referred to the House Rules Committee.
Police Reforms:· Rep. Flowers filed HB5808 which provides that, not later than 90 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act, each municipality which has a police department must begin performing a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and develop a plan to improve such deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the particular needs of the communities served by such police department and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color. Requires adoption of a plan and implementation of the plan no later than January 1, 2022. Provides that the minimum requirements of the plan shall include: reorganization of the police department to include community mental health and social service resources within each police department; and reallocation of a portion of a municipality’s police department budget by investing in communities, especially marginalized ones, where much of the policing occurs to provide support to the people and services in those marginalized communities. Limits home rule powers.· Rep. Flowers filed HB5809 which provides that, in a municipality with at least one high school in a county of 175,000 or more inhabitants, the municipality shall include in its search for new hires for its police department candidates who are in or who have completed the police training academy job training program under the School Code from high schools in marginalized communities. Limits home rule powers. Amends the School Code. Makes the establishment of the police training academy job training program mandatory in school districts with a high school in a county of 175,000 or more inhabitants.· Rep. Andrade filed HB5810 which amends the Illinois Police Training Act to require any probationary police officer beginning employment after the effective date of the amendatory Act shall receiving a permanent appointment as a law enforcement officer must have a bachelor’s degree with a major or minor in social work. Provides that a law enforcement agency that offers tuition reimbursements for permanent police officers to go to school must also allow permanent police officers to request retroactively up to two years of tuition reimbursement for college or police academy tuition that was incurred before being hired as a police officer at the law enforcement agency only if the police officer qualified for financial aid while attending college or police academy.· Rep. Robinson filed HB5814 which requires full-time and part-time police officers to be licensed rather than certified. Adds 6 public members and 6 retired police officers, appointed by the Governor, to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board. Provides that the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board has the power to require local governmental units to furnish personnel rosters, employment status reports, and annual training plans to the Board. Provides that the revocation of a license or certification of a police officer is permanent. Provides that the Board shall, by rule, provide for the decertification or revocation of a license of a police officer who commits non-criminal misconduct that results in disciplinary action against the police officer. Provides that the types of misconduct that are grounds for decertification or revocation of a police officer’s license shall be determined by the Board by rule. Establishes hearing procedures on decertification.Sports Wagering:· Rep. Robison filed HB5812 which authorizes a professional women’s sports team that has been in existence at least 10 years or its designee to apply to the Illinois Gaming Board to be issued a master sports wagering license. Provides for the initial license fee, renewal fee, and conduct of providing sports wagering by a professional women’s sports team or its designee.