COVID 19 Update: On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,360 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 25 additional deaths. So far, Illinois has reported 240,003 cases, including 8,115 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The seven-day statewide positivity for cases from August 27 – September 2 is 4.4%. As of Wednesday night, 1,620 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 360 patients were in the ICU and 144 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 40,795 tests.
Region 4 Mitigations: Executive Order 2020-54 enacts additional mitigations for Region 4, the Metro East area. Despite 2 weeks of initial mitigation measures, Region 4 COVID-19 positivity rates climbed to over 10%. In response, Governor Pritzker ordered additional mitigations for bars, restaurants, meetings, social events, gaming/casinos and workplaces effective September 2nd.
Bars and restaurants are prohibited from providing indoor services. Outdoor service is permitted and establishments must close by 11pm. Bar and restaurant patrons must be seated at tables and reservations are required for each party. Multiple parties are not allowed to share a table space. Congregating is prohibited.
Meetings and events are limited to the lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall capacity. Party buses are prohibited. Gaming and casinos must close by 11pm and are limited to 25% capacity and must follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable.
Guidance for Election Authorities: The Illinois Department of Public Health released guidance for local election authorities designed to protect the health and safety of voters on election day. IDPH requires all local election authorities to develop written COVID-19 preparation plans for all polling sites within their jurisdiction. Plans must contain specific COVID-19 safety and training instructions along with the names of individuals responsible for the implementation of the plan. Election authorities are strongly encouraged to relocate polls previously housed in long-term care facilities and senior living residences in order to protect both voters and vulnerable residents.
All polling places must have signage to encourage voters to wear masks and maintain six feet of social distancing. If a voter does not have a mask, election authorizes are required to offer one outside the polling place. Plexi glass is recommended between polling booths and movement will be one-directional.
Additional recommended preventative actions in the guidance include using Plexiglas barriers between election officials and voters, large print instructions to facilitate communication, routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, and polling place personnel to remind voters to maintain physical distance. While election officials are prohibited from preventing a voter without a face covering from casting a ballot, the guidance requires they take every reasonable action to separate noncompliant voters, ensuring they are socially distanced from those voters who are compliant. A full copy of the “COVID-19 Guidance for Election Polling Places” guidance is here.
Opioid Funding: – The Illinois Department of Human Services received $36.7 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis. The funding will expand prevention, treatment, recovery and overdose response initiatives across the state.Funds will be used to continue the following initiatives:· Expanded access to Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR) services for persons with opioid use disorders, including those in the criminal justice system.· Hospital screenings and linkage to community treatment programs for their patients; supportive housing and digital resources for persons in recovery from opioid use disorder.· Access to medication-assisted recovery for patients at federally qualified health centers.· Recovery support services for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorders. mentoring and coaching for medical professionals prescribing medications for opioid use disorder; and a toll-free Helpline for opioids and other substances.· Expansion this year for treatment of persons with stimulant use disorder, in response to rising rates of methamphetamine and cocaine use.
Adult Use Cannabis: On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced its top scoring applicants for dispensaries. More information is here.Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker appointed the following individuals:· Jessyca Liles-Dudley will serve on the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.· Anastasia Palivos will continue to serve on the Illinois Pollution Control Board. · Jennifer Van Wie will serve on the Illinois Pollution Control Board.· Terrence (Terry) Healy will serve on the Illinois State Board of Investment.
101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus released the caucus’ legislative agenda designed to combat systemic racism. The caucus will spend the next two and half months fleshing out details for a legislative package that will be built through the following four pillars of policy:
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 Legislative Black Caucus will be hosting public hearings on each of the four pillars leading up to veto session, allowing for public and stakeholder input. The first hearing took place on Tuesday at a joint hearing of the Senate Criminal Law and Public Safety Committees. The subject matter hearing focused on police accountability. Senator Sims and Representative Slaughter are leading the caucus’s efforts on criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability
The caucus plans to position legislation for consideration and passage during the fall veto session which runs November 17 – 19th and December 1st – 3rd.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin filed a petition to invoke House Rule 91, requesting the creation of a Special Investigation Committee related to the Com Ed deferred prosecution agreement and to determine if there are grounds to discipline Speaker Madigan. Speaker Madigan recused himself from the process and appointed House Majority Leader Greg Harris to handle all aspects of the investigation. The Committee will be chaired by Representative Welch. Other House Democratic members are Representatives Hernandez and Manley. The House Republicans appointed Representatives Demmer, Mazzochi and Wehrli to the Committee.
The Committee is charged with determining if reasonable grounds exist to authorize charges against Speaker Madigan that may result in disciplinary action by the House. The Committee is required to vote on each charge in the petition by a record vote. The motion to authorize a charge requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the Committee members. No hearings are scheduled at this time.