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 …

First Tranche of Firefighter Pension Fund Assets Transferred to FPIF as Consolidation Litigation Continues

by Carolyn Welch Clifford The consolidation of downstate police and fire pension fund investment assets continues in earnest. Recently, the Firefighter Pension Investment Fund of Illinois (“FPIF”) started the first wave of transfers from firefighters’ pension funds on October 1, 2021, despite pending litigation. Meanwhile, the Illinois Police Officer Pension Investment Fund (“IPOPIF”) continued to hire professional consultants and advisors …

Combatting Child Sexual Abuse: Changes to Erin’s Law Are on Their Way

by Maureen A. Lemon Ten years ago, Illinois was the first state to pass Erin’s Law. See 105 ILCS 5/10-23.13. The law is named after Erin Merryn, a child sexual abuse survivor, activist, and author whose life mission is to combat child sexual abuse. Erin grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where her school taught about “Stranger Danger.” Yet, …

Amendments to the Equal Pay Act (P.A. 102-0036)

by Michael Castaldo III 2021 has been quite the year for the Illinois Equal Pay Act (820 ILCS 112/1 et seq.). Generally speaking, the Act prohibits employers with four or more employees from paying unequal wages to men and women for doing the same or substantially similar work, except if the wage difference is based upon a seniority system, a …

Illinois Department of Public Health Issues Emergency Rules Implementing Vaccination Mandate for EMS Personnel

by John E. Motylinski On September 24, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) issued emergency rules aimed at implementing Governor Pritzker’s vaccination mandate for EMS personnel. Largely, the rules are duplicative of the Governor’s September 3, 2021, order: Fire protection districts and municipalities must require their EMS personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to submit to …

New ISBE Emergency Rules Address Vaccinations and A New Executive Order Addresses School Exclusions Without an Isolation or Quarantine Order

By Maureen A. Lemon On Friday, September 17, 2021, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Governor Pritzker each took emergency action to address several pandemic-related topics facing Illinois school districts. Late in the day, ISBE filed proposed Emergency Rules regarding Mandatory Vaccinations for School Personnel, https://www.isbe.net/Documents/18389_23-6RG-E.pdf. Later in the day, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-24, https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/resources/executive-orders/display.executive-order-number-24.2021.html. requiring …

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for School Personnel Under Governor’s Executive Order

by Maureen A. Lemon On Thursday, August 26, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-20 (COVID-19 Executive Order 87) mandating that all school district personnel are vaccinated against the virus. All school personnel are expected to have the first dose of a two-dose vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine by September 5, 2021 — 10 days after the Executive …