October 16, 2020 Update

COVID-19 Update: Illinois’ statewide positivity rate has climbed to 4.9%, up over a full percentage point since last week’s rate of 3.5%. New cases are at the highest levels since May and hospitalizations are rising as well.  Over 9,000 Illinoisans have now died from the virus.  Illinois averaged over 60,000 tests/day in the past seven days. 
All eleven regions in Illinois are seeing an increase in the positivity rate since last week. Region 1 remains under stricter mitigation measures after experiencing a surge in new cases. This week, the Governor cautioned that Region 5, in far southern Illinois, is at risk of additional mitigations as well. The positivity rate in that Region is hovering near 8%. 
On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,015 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, the highest one-day case count thus far.  Another 53 fatalities were reported. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 331,620 cases, including 9,127 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. Labs reported 67,086 tests on Thursday. As of Wednesday night, 1,932 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 388 patients were in the ICU and 147 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Beginning Wednesday, October 14th the Department of Public Health will remove the University of Illinois’ saliva test results from the calculations for Region 6 for the purposes of determining if additional mitigations are needed for that region. Beginning October 15th, the Illinois Department of Public Health will begin reporting molecular and antigen tests.  The Department had only been reporting molecular tests results.
Governor Pritzker warned that the COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly through small family gatherings. He cautioned that residents must be vigilant with the holidays approaching. The Department of Public Health issued new holiday safety guidance intended to help families plan for a safe holiday season. A copy of the guidance is here.
As of Friday, October 9th, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 26 counties in Illinois are at a warning level for COVID-19 – Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Effingham, Fayette, Henderson, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lee, Mason, Massac, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Shelby, Union, Vermilion, Whiteside, Winnebago, Warren.

Executive Orders: Executive Order 2020-58  rescinds the COVID-19 mitigations in Region 4, the metro east area. 

Gubernatorial Appointments:
 Governor Pritzker made the following appointments:·  

      J. Steven Beckett will continue to serve on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Trustees.·     

   Donald Dew will serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.·       

 Caroline Moellering will serve on the Medical Disciplinary Board.

101st General Assembly:
Adriane Johnson, a member of the Buffalo Grove Park District, was selected by local Democrats to replace Senator Terry Link. Johnson indicated she intends to fill out the remaining two years of Link’s term and will not seek election to the post. 
Several Senate committees met this week to continue discussions on the development of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus agenda. The agenda centers around four pillars designed to eliminate systemic racism.

 The pillars are:

1.      Criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability

.2.      Education and workforce development

.3.      Economic access, equity and opportunity.

4.      Healthcare and human services.

The Senate State Government Committee held a joint virtual hearing with the Senate Special Committee on Supplier Diversity, the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee on October 16th to discuss procurement, BEP and DBE policies. The Senate Financial Institutions held a joint virtual hearing with the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee, and the Senate Executive Committee on October 15th to discuss racial equity in lending and homeownership.  
The Senate Higher Education Committee held a joint virtual hearing with the Senate Education Committee on October 14th to discuss graduation requirements and mental health resources and recovery. 
The Senate Criminal Law Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety held a joint hearing on October 13th to discuss prison reform in the areas of diversion and re-entry programs; prison conditions; prison gerrymandering and mandatory supervised release reform. 
Coming Up:
The Senate Education Committee will hold a joint virtual hearing with the Senate Higher Education Committee on October 21st at noon to discuss college affordability and access through free tuition models and the development of an equitable funding formula.     The Senate Criminal Law Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety have scheduled a series of joint virtual hearings: 

  • October 20th at 1 pm to discuss bail reform and police reform, specifically abolishing monetary bail and alternatives to police response/co-responder models.
  • October 27th at 1pm to discuss police reform in the areas of body cameras, data collection and transparency, issues related to officer-involved shootings; residency requirements; and official misconduct.
  • November 5th at 1pm to discuss the Uniform Peace Officers’ Disciplinary Act, qualified immunity and officer liability.
  • November 10th at 1pm to discuss police reform in the areas of decertification and licensure.

The Senate Public Health Committee and the Senate Human Services Committee have also scheduled a series of joint virtual hearings:
·        October 19th at 9:30 am to discuss access to healthcare.·  

      October 26th at 9:30 am to discuss behavioral health.

   All hearings will be broadcast at www.ilga and witness slips and testimony may be submitted electronically in advance of the hearings.
Key Dates:

November 3rd: General Election

November 17th -19th:   Veto Session

December 1st – 3rd: Veto Session