Governor Pritzker Extends Disaster Declaration

By Meganne Trela Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois has been operating under a disaster proclamation from Governor J.B. Pritzker. The disaster proclamation has since served as the basis for local government entities to hold their public meetings entirely by remote means under the newly enacted Section 7(e) of the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) (5 ILCS 120/7(e)). On …

Navigating the New Statement of Economic Interests Form

by James G. Wargo The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (the “Act”) requires certain local governmental office holders, candidates, appointed officials, and employees to file a “Statement of Economic Interests.” (5 ILCS 420/4A-101.5.) Following the passage of Public Act 102-0664 (effective January 1, 2022), significant changes have been made to the Statement of Financial Interests form. The following questions and answers …

Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Ordinance Modifying PSEBA

by Karl R. Ottosen and Hayley Loufek In International Association of Firefighters v. City of Peoria, 2022 IL 127040, the Illinois Supreme Court recently held that a Village’s home rule ordinance cannot supersede its prior interpretations of the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (“PSEBA”) (820 ILCS 320/1 et seq.). PSEBA requires public employers to pay the entire premium of its …

The Rise and Fall of OSHA’s Vaccination Mandate

by Joshua B. Rosenzweig On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) concerning COVID-19 vaccination and testing. The ETS, more commonly known as OSHA’s “vaccination mandate,” prescribed vaccination, masking, and COVID-19 testing requirements for certain employers. After significant litigation, the United States Supreme Court stayed enforcement of the rule, telegraphing it …

Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund Begins Transfer Process

by John E. Motylinski When the General Assembly passed Public Act 101-610 in 2019, it commanded all downstate fire and police pension funds to consolidate their investment assets no later than July 1, 2022. So far, the Illinois Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund (“FPIF”) has completed five tranches of asset transfer. In late December 2021, the Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment …

Tougher Times Defending Injury Cases in Cook County

by W. Anthony Andrews When a plaintiff files a lawsuit alleging they have been injured, it is common for defendants to subpoena the relevant medical records. Most health care facilities will not provide a plaintiff’s records unless the judge has entered a Qualified Protective Order (“QPO”) that assures compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). Recently, the …

Health Care Right of Conscience Act Made Inapplicable to COVID-19 by General Assembly

by Michael Castaldo III The Health Care Right of Conscience Act (“HCRCA”) was enacted to enable certain professionals to refuse to receive or participate in healthcare practices that are contrary to their personal or religious beliefs. (745 ILCS 70/1 et seq.) The Act recognizes that people and organizations hold different beliefs about whether particular healthcare services are morally acceptable and …

American Rescue Plan Funds Become Available to Certain Local Governments

by Meganne Trela Recently, aid from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was made available to certain Illinois cities, towns, and villages classified as “Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government” (“NEUs”). The Act, better known as the second COVID-19 stimulus package, became effective in March 2021. One of its marquee components was to provide monetary aid to some local governments across …

Understanding the New PFAS Reduction Act

by Joseph Miller III and Hayley Loufek On August 6, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed into law the PFAS Reduction Act (Public Act 102-0290, formerly Senate Bill 561). The Act puts some restrictions on the use of Class B firefighting foam containing intentionally added “PFAS” (perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances) for training and testing purposes. PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals …