Court Rules Police Officer’s Widow Must Wait Until Her Late Husband’s Sixtieth Birthday to Collect a Survivor’s Pension

by Carolyn Welch Clifford In a case of first impression, an Illinois Appellate Court recently determined that the surviving spouse of a former police officer who had separated from service but had remained a deferred pensioner at the time of his death was not entitled to draw surviving spouse benefits until the former police officer’s sixtieth birthday. In Thornley v. …

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Two Higher Education Affirmative Action Cases

by Joseph Miller III and Hayley Loufek In January 2022, the United States Supreme Court decided to hear two cases challenging the use of affirmative action policies in university undergraduate admissions. The cases were brought by the same plaintiff: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (“SFFA”). SFFA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with over 22,000 members, some of whom are applicants who …

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 …