Important, but Less Publicized, Changes in Police Reform Bill

Shock waves sounded throughout the State on January 13th when the General Assembly hurriedly adopted House Bill 3653 minutes before the legislative session ended. The main focus of media coverage since then has been on the “big ticket” items in the bill: requiring body cameras, restricting use of force, and ending cash bail. However, tucked into the 764-page piece of …

Pension Trustee Training Post-Consolidation: The New Requirements

By James G. Wargo Since August of 2009, Article 3 and 4 pension trustees have been required to complete certain training and education requirements under Sections 1-109.3 and 1-113.18 of the Illinois Pension Code (40 ILCS 5/1-109.3; 1-113.18). Following the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of Public Act 101-0610 (effective January 1, 2020), the training requirements for Article 3 and 4 …

Employers Can Require COVID-19 Vaccination

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA. In anticipation of future availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public, the EEOC has issued guidance on whether an employer can make vaccination mandatory for employees, and how mandatory vaccinations would intersect with protections afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and …

Remote and Hybrid Learning Health and Safety Round-Up

As November begins, Illinois schools have all been in session for at least two months in one form or another. Take a bow!  Whether you have been in-person, conducted a hybrid model, or provided a fully remote program, take a moment to appreciate this accomplishment! All of the extremely difficult work that you did this summer to determine the “right” …

Municipal and Local Government Offices May Remain Open on Election Day

 With election day quickly approaching, a new decision has come out of the Illinois Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, declaring that local government offices are not required to shut down on November 3, 2020 for election day. Public Act 101-642 amended the election code by adding Section 2B-10, declaring November 3, 2020 (Election Day 2020) a State holiday. The Act …

Title IX Sexual Harassment Final Rule Goes in to Effect in August

School districts focused on how and when schools might re open in the fall must be prepared to comply with the Final Rule recently released by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), amending Title IX regulations. For the first time since Title IX’s enactment in 1972, the regulations will now define “sexual harassment” and establish detailed procedures …

Phase 3 Guidelines for Municipalities

Today, Illinois enters Phase 3 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s 5-Phase reopening plan. Although the main focus of this phase has been the reopening of certain businesses, local governments will also be affected in their operations and facilities. Phase 3 is not a return to normal, though; the Governor has released detailed guidelines and restrictions that should still be followed. General …

Legislative Changes for Local Governments Due to COVID-19

For more than two months, Governor J.B. Pritzker has been issuing Executive Orders that waive or alter a variety of laws involving local governments. These orders were designed to temporarily deal with ramifications of the COVID-19 emergency. However, when the General Assembly met in Special Session last week, many of their votes essentially ratified the Governor’s orders by making permanent …

Special Session Brings Changes for Public Safety

  The Illinois General Assembly met last week in Special Session to pass legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of its priorities was to provide extended benefits to first responders and other front-line workers who are facing the threat of coronavirus exposure every day at work.  Those changes to Chicago pensions, workers’ compensation, and PEDA benefits are detailed below, …

Special Legislative Session Addresses Remote Learning Issues

During its Special Session last week, the Illinois General Assembly did not decide when or how schools should open in light of the ongoing pandemic. However, the legislature did pass Senate Bill 1569, which made significant changes to the School Code in the event more school closures are needed. The bill also resolved certain teacher employment related issues that were …