New Laws: Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the new legislative maps – SB927 (Harmon/Hernandez). The legislation, which revises the previously approved legislative districts following the release of the census data, passed the General Assembly in August.
COVID-19: Illinois health officials reported 3,344 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and 42 deaths. Illinois 7-day rolling case positivity rate dropped to 2.2%, the lowest since July 17th.Over the past week, Illinois reported an 8.4% drop in COVID hospitalizations statewide. As of Wednesday night, 1,840 individuals are hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19. Of those, 453 are in the ICU.
Midwest Electric Vehicle Charing Collaboration: Governors from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin established a partnership to collaborate on electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across the Midwest region. The Regional Electric Vehicle for the Midwest Memorandum of Understanding is a multi-state compact to develop, operate, and market the Midwest region and strategically develop an EV charging infrastructure network that works for industry and individuals. The network will initially focus on interstate and regionally significant commercial corridors and creating publicly accessible charging opportunities capable of serving electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles where the Midwest can leverage its existing role as a shipping and logistics hub. More information is here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor made the following appointments:· Carolyn Doherty will serve as a Commissioner on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.· Anthony Beach will serve as a Member on the Employment Security Board of Review· Doug Pryor will serve as a Member on the Enterprise Zone Board.· Stacey Young will serve as a Member on the Enterprise Zone Board.· Erica Bland-Durosinmi will serve as a member on the Future of Work Task Force.· Stephen Campbell will serve as a member on the Future of Work Task Force.· Michael Ciaccio will serve as a Member of the Future of Work Task Force.· Julian Federle will serve as a Member of the Future of Work Task Force.· Delmar Gillus Jr. will serve as a Member of the Future of Work Task Force.· Ai-jen Poo will serve as a Member of the Future of Work Task Force.· Juan Salgado will serve as a Member of the Future of Work Task Force.
2022 Election Update:
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Burke announced his campaign in the new 3rd District. Justice Burke, a Republican from Elmhurst, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2020.
Illinois General Assembly:
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to convene in six-day October Veto Session starting October 19th. No word yet if the General Assembly will cancel any of those session days.
The Illinois General Assembly is expected to use the Veto Session in part to approve new congressional district boundaries. As part of the map making process, Illinois House and Senate Democratic caucuses are relaunching a congressional mapmaking portal. The new congressional portal is here.
In addition to approving new congressional districts, the General Assembly may contemplate changes to the Health Care Right of Conscious Act in light of the number of Illinoisian’s who are invoking their rights under the Act to refuse COVID vaccinations and testing. The Act was originally designed to allow health care providers to consciously object to performing or prescribing medical treatment or procedures, primarily birth control and abortions. The broad wording in the Act has been used in recent weeks by those wishing to avoid mandatory COVID vaccinations and testing.
The General Assembly is also expected to contemplate legislation to address the $4.2 billion shortfall in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fun. Legislation must be approved by January or certain “speed bumps” will be trigged, raising the insurance rates on businesses and decreasing unemployment benefits. It is not yet clear how exactly the Legislature plans to address the shortfall. Negotiations amongst stakeholders are ongoing. Both Speaker Welch and President Harmon agree that the 2022 spring legislative session will likely be shortened. According to the leaders, the truncated schedule is the result of the volume of legislation passed during the 2021 session and moving Illinois’ primary election from March to June 28th. The 2022 session calendar is expected to be released at the end of this month.