October 8, 2021 Update

Executive orderExecutive Order 2021-26 ensures individuals with disabilities receive equal pay for work they perform as employees of state vendors. Read the Governor’s press release here.
Healthcare Transformation: The deadline to apply for the second round of Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives funding is November 19, 2021.  Read more here. Applicants can find more information about the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives application on HFS’ website
COVID-19 Update: President Joe Biden visited Illinois on Thursday to promote vaccination mandates in the workplace. During his visit to suburban Elk Grove Village, Biden praised Illinois’ pandemic response and the state’s vaccination effort in particular and went on to say “you’ve been relentless in getting people vaccinated.” Currently, 55.7% of eligible Illinoisans are vaccinated.
The Pritzker administration reached agreements with two more unions — the Illinois Nurses Association and Illinois Federation of Public Employees — over the Governor’s vaccination mandate for state employees who work in congregate settings. Employees must receive their first shot by October 14th. Should an employee elect a two-dose vaccine, they must receive the second shot by November 18th. The agreement includes a process to allow employees to seek an exemption based on medical contraindications or sincerely-held religious beliefs. The new agreements apply to approximately 1,300 state employees. Negotiations with AFSCME, the state’s largest employee union, are ongoing.
On Thursday, Illinois health officials reported 3,371 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 deaths. As of Wednesday night, 1,676 individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois. Of those 409 were in the ICU. Illinois’ 7-day case positivity rate is 2.2%. 
Broadband Update: The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband announced a new interactive Connect Illinois Broadband Map and creation of the Illinois Broadband Lab. Together, these efforts will provide Illinois residents and communities with new data on broadband connectivity in their area, as well as an online speed test, to identify gaps and tailor broadband planning efforts to boost access to high-speed internet service. A new interactive state broadband mapping tool, county-level PDF maps, and other resources are now available to the public via the Illinois Broadband Lab website: http://ibl.illinois.edu.
Governor’s Appointments: The Governor made the following appointments: ·        Jennifer Watson will serve as a Member on the Illinois Finance Authority.·        Marc Bell will serve as a Member on the Illinois Gaming Board.

102nd General Assembly: The House and Senate Redistricting Committees are holding a series of hearings to discuss new congressional and judicial subcircuit boundaries. 
Capitol News Illinois offers an update on two redistricting lawsuits filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and legislative Republican Leaders. Read the latest here.
Illinois Senate Republicans unveiled a package of legislation they say is “designed to empower law enforcement and other members of the community to take on the crime wave that has enveloped the state”. The legislative package includes the following bills:
SB 2918 : Creates the Fund the Police Grant Fund – making available $100,000,000 in funding to the ILETSB to make grants to local governments and universities to hire police officers, purchase equipment designed to prevent gang violence, motor vehicle theft, carjacking, or sale of contraband, and train law enforcement in preventing gang violence, motor vehicle theft, carjacking, or the sale of contraband. This includes mental health, hiring and retention incentives, and overtime.
SB 2916: Requires a defendant who commits Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
SB 2917 : Requires a defendant who brings a weapon or contraband into a penal institution to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
SB 2927 : Requires Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to track gun crimes by convicted felons and to include real time reporting by the county of gun offenses charged and the outcome of the case.
SB 2926: Requires State’s Attorneys to provide written justification when a weapons offense is plea bargained down to a lesser offense or non-weapons offense. Similarly, in imposing a sentence, the judge shall set forth in a written sentencing order his/her reasons for imposing the sentence or accepting the plea agreement.
SB 2924 : Allows a school or school district to employ qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry out the duties of a school resource officer.
SB 2928: First time conviction of the following offenses receives a mandatory 10-year sentence, second offense receives life sentence.·        Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.·        Use of a stolen or illegally acquired firearm in the commission of an offense.·        Unlawful use or possession of weapons by felons.·        Armed Habitual Criminal.
SB 2925: Mandatory minimum penalty for Gun trafficking/Straw purchases. Imposes a 10-year minimum on those who sell or give a firearm to a convicted felon.
SB 2929: Juvenile commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice for use or discharge of a firearm in a school that results in bodily injury or death to any person.
SB 2923 : Restore offenses of aggravated vehicular hijacking and armed robbery committed by juveniles with a firearm to the automatic transfer provisions of adult court.
SB 2922: Prevents “catch and release” of juvenile carjackers by requiring a shelter care hearing to determine if it is safe to release the juvenile or continue holding until the adjudicatory hearing.
SB 2920: Denies bail for previously convicted gun offenders or a felon charged with a gun offense.
SB 2921: Adds violation of bail bond, escape, and aggravated fleeing and attempting to evade to the more serious “Category A” bond provisions.
SB 2919: Allows counties to opt out of Bail Reform Act provisions if county board adopts a resolution to do so.
SB 1649: Amends the Community Mental Health Act. Provides that upon receipt of all the annual moneys collected from the tax levied under the Act, each governmental unit that levies that tax shall immediately deposit 20% of those moneys into a special fund directly controlled by the county sheriff to be used for mental health services within the county jail.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to convene October 19th – 21st and October 26th – 28th for a six-day Veto Session.
The House Mental Health and Addiction, Human Services, Healthcare Availability and Accessibility and Appropriation Human Services Committees will hold a joint subject matter hearing on October 13th at 10:00 AM in the Bilandic Building in Chicago and in Virtual Room 2 to discuss nursing home reform.