October 15, 2021 Update

New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed SB2065 (Holmes/Hoffman) which waives employer charges for costs associated with the eligibility of non-instructional academic personnel from benefits paid January 3, 2021, through September 4, 2021. SB 2065 takes effect immediately.
Two bills that were previously amendatorily vetoed by the Governor and approved by the General Assembly are now law. The omnibus ethics reform bill, SB539 (Gillespie/Burke), is now law and takes effect January 1, 2022. SB967 (Castro/Greenwood) which addresses racial disparities in healthcare coverage and access for women and babies by allowing the state to expand its maternal and child health programs to serve pregnant and postpartum individuals determined high-risk. SB 967 takes effect immediately.
Nursing Home Payment Reform: Following 18 months of discussions with the nursing home industry and the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services issued a series of recommendations for nursing home payment reform. 
Discussions centered on the transition to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) used by Medicare, as well as to tying nursing home payments to staffing and other measures that increase quality care and safety for residents. The Department recommends funding these enhancements through a combination of streamlining and increasing the nursing home assessment and using one-time funding to address pandemic-related safety improvements.
According to the Department, the recommendations are geared towards creating a system of long-term care in Illinois that is safer, more equitable and more dignified for all nursing home residents. Read the full report and list of recommendations here.
On Thursday, Illinois health officials reported 2,481 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois and an additional 51 deaths. As of Wednesday night, 1,601 individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois. Illinois 7-day rolling case positivity rate dropped to 2.1%. Health officials are reporting that 56% of eligible Illinoisans are fully vaccinated.
2022 Election Update:
Jonathan Logemann announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination to replace Congressperson Cheri Bustos in the 17th Congressional District. Bustos is not seeking reelection. Logemann is a Rockford Alderman and high school teacher.
Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms is running as a Republican in the newly drawn 36th Senate District. Representative Mike Halpin is running as a Democrat in that district.
102nd General Assembly:
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to convene October 19th – 21st and October 26th -28th. The Senate Assignments and House Rules Committees met this week to position legislation for consideration during the six-day October Veto Session. The General Assembly may consider electric vehicle manufacturing incentives, the unemployment insurance trust fund shortfall, clarification to the Health Care Right of Conscious Act, and new Congressional and judicial subcircuit maps during the October session.  The Senate is implementing COVID protocols for the upcoming session. Those wishing to access Senate areas must undergo twice a week COVID testing. Advanced appointments are required to meet with Senators.
Legislative Democrats are expected to release new Congressional maps later today. Reports indicate that the new maps will favor 13 Democrat Districts to 3 Republican Districts. 
The House State Government Administration Committee will hold a hearing on October 19th at 3:00 pm in Room 114 of the Capitol to discuss the sale of the Thompson Center. 
The House Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committee will hold a hearing on October 23rd at 2:00 pm in the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture to discuss soundproof windows near Midway Airport.