Illinois Government Responses to Covid-19 Updated 6/30/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Criteria required for the state to move to Phase Five
- Delays in issuing marijuana growth, infusion, and transportation licenses
- Lincoln Park Zoo officially reopened
- Cancellation of the Will County Fair
- Chicago’s enactment of the “Fair Workweek”
- Representative Bailey’s lawsuit against Governor Pritzker remanded to Clay County Court
- As the state officially moved into Phase Four of reopening on Friday, Governor Pritzker made known that he is “not afraid to protect the people of Illinois by moving a region back to an earlier phase” if the state sees an increase in positive cases and hospitalizations. However, so long as numbers continue to trend downward, Illinois could remain in Phase Four until there is a vaccine or treatment or if new cases cease over an extended period of time.
- Governor Pritzker signed an Executive Order this week delaying grower, infuser, and transporter licenses for the marijuana industry. The state’s Department of Agriculture was to award more than 80 different marijuana-related licenses tomorrow, but setbacks in the application process due to the ongoing pandemic have caused a delay. According to the Executive Order, the Department will notify the public when the licenses are due to be issued. This delay could cause problems for applicants, especially for those seeking grower licenses as they were required to secure property in advance.
- Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo officially reopened to the public on Monday but with many changes in place. Visitors must sign up for two-hour time slots to limit the number of guests in the park at once. In addition, guests will be required to wear facemasks, and certain indoor exhibits will not be open.
- Will County has announced the decision to cancel the 2020 county fair as a result of the pandemic. According to the announcement from the board of directors, the board will be working on alternative plans for various events. According to the announcement, the board will meet in July to focus “on possibly having a demolition derby in the fall, and maybe holding an outside vendor event.”
- Chicago has adopted the “fair workweek.” The law requires employers within the city to give employees advance notice of shift schedules. Also, if schedules change, employers must pay a premium to affected employees. Proponents of the measure believe that employees are having difficulty planning childcare, holding a second job, or paying bills due to unpredictable schedules and uneven paychecks. Despite businesses struggling with unpredictable consumer demand due to COVID-19, the law takes effect July 1. It applies to businesses with 100 or more employees, nonprofits with more than 250 employees, restaurants with at least 30 locations and 250 employees globally, and to franchisees with four or more locations. Employees within the protected class must earn less than $26 an hour or $50,000 a year.
- As noted in several prior updates, Representative Darren Bailey has had a protracted legal battle against the Governor, claiming the Governor exceeded his authority when issuing various executive orders. The Governor removed the action to federal court, but this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sison remanded the case to Clay County. In his order, Magistrate Judge Sison found “the most straightforward reading of Bailey’s claims is that they are brought pursuant to ... Illinois statute and not as constitutional claims.” But, he also found that the Governor’s removal was not frivolous.