Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Afternoon roundup
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Afternoon roundup

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker was joined today by Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton, Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza, elected officials, and first responders to sign the Act-of-Duty Bill into law. HB 3162 retroactively provides Chicago police officers and firefighters disability benefits for the time they were unable to serve due to contracting COVID-19 between March 9, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

“Since the darkest days of the pandemic, our first responders — police officers, firefighters, and EMS workers alike — have been on the ground, putting their own health and safety at risk to protect others,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “When our first responders are disabled on the job, they deserve comprehensive benefits. HB 3162, a bipartisan Act-of-Duty Bill, ensures they get the benefits they are entitled to.”

“Our first responders serve and protect, heal and care, comfort and support, Illinois residents in their time of greatest need,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. “During the pandemic they continued to answer the call, many at great cost to themselves and their families. This law will provide them with full disability benefits they deserve for the selfless sacrifice they have made on behalf of the people of Illinois.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic gripped our nation in the early months of 2020, first responders jumped into action assisting the sick, dispersing testing kits, transporting infected patients to the hospital, and more. When officers contracted the virus themselves, even after taking precautions and wearing PPE, they often needed to be hospitalized and many were left without the salary and healthcare coverage they needed. For the past three years, COVID-19 was the leading cause of law enforcement deaths - far surpassing firearm and traffic-related deaths.

“Chicago police and firefighters should not have to die to qualify for full COVID disability benefits. And that was the unfortunate message the city’s pension disability board was sending with its rulings against my brother and Officer Diana Cordova-Nestad – and the other first responders disabled by COVID in the days before vaccines were available who are waiting to go before the board,” Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza said. “That’s unforgivable. I can’t thank everyone enough - my sponsors, Representative Hoffman and Senator Cunningham, legislators, and Governor Pritzker, for fixing this injustice for my brother and all our first responders.”

“Our first responders put their lives on the line to ensure we could rely on emergency services in the darkest days of the pandemic,” Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville). “The least we can do is make sure they receive the benefits they are rightly owed. I am appreciative of the strong advocacy on this topic from Comptroller Mendoza, first responders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”

“Today, we have taken a significant step towards recognizing the sacrifices of Chicago police and firefighters who have suffered from the long-term effects of COVID-19,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago). “This action puts Chicago police and fire in parity with the rest of the state by giving them access to the full disability benefits they deserve.”

The Illinois Works Jobs Program Act has already been revised to ensure that families of the COVID-19’s fallen first responders receive their benefits. The Act-of-Duty Bill furthers this initiative, giving those who were disabled due to the virus the benefits that they deserve.

Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 100 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and more than one million of those were left with long-term COVID-related disabilities.

“I am proud to stand with Comptroller Mendoza in support of our police officers and firefighters across the state. This legislation provides Chicago police officers and firefighters with the same COVID-19 disability benefits as our officers and firefighters in downstate Illinois,” said Deputy Republican Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb). “These brave officers and firefighters who fell ill and were injured in the line of duty deserve our utmost support and with today’s action, they will finally receive the financial support they’ve earned. We cannot thank them enough for their service to the people of Illinois.”

“In the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first responders put their lives on the line to ensure the health and safety of our communities. Now when they need us, we need to be there for them,” said Assistant Majority Leader Natalie Manley. “By including the rebuttable presumption for first responders who have become disabled as a result of COVID-19, we are correcting a great injustice and ensuring that our first responders have the resources they need to live fulfilling lives.”

“While most of us were at home during COVID trying to protect ourselves, our police and firemen were in the midst of the virus, serving on the frontlines to serve and protect our communities,” said Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “It’s incredibly important we support them through this legislation, because they are the everyday heroes of our communities, and they shouldn’t have to stress about compensation in an event of a COVID exposure leading to a disability.”

“As a strong advocate for our law enforcement officials, I’m proud to continue supporting them by ensuring they receive the benefits they deserve,” said State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “We have to continue prioritizing the men and women who protect our communities.”

* This bill has passed both chambers…

To increase the baseline financial penalty for civil rights violations, State Senator Robert Peters championed a measure to create the Civil Rights Remedies Restoration Act.

“Business enterprises receiving federal funds should not be immune to the consequences of discriminating against people,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Protecting businesses from punishment when they knowingly commit discriminatory acts goes against Illinois values.”

House Bill 2248 was created in response to the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C. that ruled emotional distress damages are not recoverable in a private action under the anti-discrimination provisions of either the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The bill would allow state claims for violations of federal civil rights laws to be heard in any court with jurisdiction. It further provides that Illinois courts may award no less than $4,000 in damages or other relief for violations.

“Illinois has maintained the status of being a welcoming state for everyone,” Peters said. “The Civil Rights Remedies Restoration Act will serve as a source of relief for those seeking assistance for emotional distress due to discrimination. Considering previous court rulings that have prevented Illinois courts from intervening, this measure eliminates the red tape and allows victims to pursue financial justice.”

* Press release…

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports legislation passed today by the Senate that will prohibit the use of e-cigarettes everywhere that smoking is prohibited under the state’s smoke-free law. ACS CAN supports everyone’s right to breathe clean smoke-free air.

“E-cigarettes pose a potential risk to people who do not use them through secondhand exposure to toxicants in the aerosol. Prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in workplaces, including restaurants, bars and gaming facilities, can protect the public’s health by preventing nonusers from being exposed to nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals in the aerosol emitted by these products. No one should have to choose between their health and their job.

“ACS CAN commends the General Assembly for passing this important legislation and looks forward to seeing Gov. Pritzker sign it into law.”

* Pitch…

Writing to you about an international finance industry-backed bill (HB73) that would do away with portions of consumer protection laws that were recently put in place.

Last year, former Senator Collins, the legal funding industry, and advocacy groups negotiated a bill that gave a regulatory framework with consumer protections to ensure loans cannot be larger than $100k — the Consumer Legal Funding Act (CLFA) was signed into law.

But HB73 wants to do away with portions of that law:

    • The bill would add a carveout to the Consumer Legal Funding Act (CLFA) for legal funding greater than $500k
    • Under HB 73, the sky’s the limit on the principal amount, finance charges, and fees which could be harmful to consumers
    • There is only one known proponent–the International Legal Finance Association. According to a WSJ article, foreign-funded shell companies underwrite many patent-infringement lawsuits against U.S. firms in industries critical to national security.

I wanted to offer you an interview with a rep from Woodstock Institute, an organization that works to advance economic justice and racial equity within financial systems.

* Press release…

The CHANGE Illinois team has successfully pushed legislation through the Illinois General Assembly! Our bill, HB 1496, is designed to fairly and effectively implement the ban on prison gerrymandering to ensure fairer representation for all Illinoisans.

We asked our supporters to take action and send an email to their representatives to call HB 1496 for a Senate floor vote. With your help, we were able to successfully shepherd it through both the Illinois House and Senate and get it one step closer to being signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

* Equality Illinois…

A statement from Myles Brady Davis, Communications Director of Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Illinoisans:

“We are extremely excited by Clare Killman’s historic inauguration to the Carbondale City Council. Killman is the first Trans person to serve on a city council in Illinois and she is one of only five Trans people now elected to office in Illinois. Killman’s inauguration is impactful for Carbondale, which has become a significant community of safety and refuge in Southern Illinois for folks seeking access to reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming healthcare that is otherwise limited, prohibited, or criminalized in their home states.

“Killman will be a powerful voice for change and will inspire more Trans people to run for office in their communities. We know Trans people remain severely underrepresented in all levels of government. At this time when more than 700 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state capitols across the country in 2023, when the opponents of equality are working hard to take healthcare away from Trans people, when anti-Trans forces have tried to silence an elected Trans state legislator in Montana, we need many more Trans voices in rooms of power. Now more than ever.”

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup…


1 Comment
  1. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, May 10, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    Kudos to Comptroller Mendoza

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* After being charged with grooming and possessing images depicting child sexual abuse, Nicholas Kachiroubas to be ousted from ICCB (Updated)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* You reap what you sow
* Coverage roundup: US Supreme Court upholds domestic violence gun law (Updated x2)
* US Attorney's office files blistering motion supporting Haymarket Center's discrimination lawsuit against Itasca (Updated)
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* It’s just a bill
* Stop Illinois From Making Credit Cards Hard To Use
* Question of the day
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller