Illinois Government Responses to Covid-19 Updated 4/24/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- temporary restraining order against Workers’ Compensation Commission
- details on extended stay-at-home order
- lawmaker’s lawsuit against the Governor
- Department of Justice’s allocation of funds in Northern Illinois
- Chicago Mayor’s attempt at spending measures to fight the pandemic
- On Wednesday, Sangamon County Judge John M. Madonia issued a temporary restraining order blocking emergency rules issued by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. This order follows a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and other employer groups earlier this week, which sought to block emergency amendments filed by the Commission that created a presumption that the workplace is the cause of COVID-19 cases.
- Governor Pritzker announced yesterday that he will be issuing a new Executive Order next week extending the current stay-at-home order. While the official language of the Order is not yet public, there will be some changes. For example, the new Order will include brand new safety requirements specifically for manufacturers that continue to operate. These safety measures will require face coverings be provided to employees unable to maintain six feet of social distancing, occupancy limits, staggered shifts, and operation of only essential lines.
- A Southern Illinois lawmaker filed suit on Thursday against Governor Pritzker for his decision to extend the statewide stay-at-home order. Darren Bailey, of Xenia, claims that Governor Pritzker has exceeded his authority, violating the resident’s civil rights by barring residents from resuming a normal life. Bailey believes the actions taken by the Governor call for an immediate review and reconsideration of legislative intent.
- The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that local governmental entities in Northern Illinois received more than $20 million in Department of Justice grants to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program. Jurisdictions have considerable discretion on the allocation of these funds, and potential uses could include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment, distributing resources to hard-hit areas, or covering costs related to the virus, including sanitation, contagion prevention, and measures designed to address the related medical needs of inmates, detainees, and correctional personnel.
Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, plans to try again to persuade the Chicago City Council to pass extraordinary spending measures to respond to the current crisis after opponents temporarily blocked a vote on the proposal earlier this week.