Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Updated Posts
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rules for thee…

Monday, Sep 27, 2021

* Cook County press release

Aug. 20, 2021 – The Cook County Department of Public Health today announced that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask indoors, beginning on Monday, Aug. 23. The order (below) requires that all people above age two who can medically tolerate a mask to wear one in multi-unit residential buildings and public places, such as restaurants, movie theaters, retail establishments, fitness clubs, and on public transportation.

“We are in a dangerous period, with the Delta variant surging, during which we must return to previous remediation measures,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer of Cook County Department of Public Health. “We have no choice but to mandate that people wear masks indoors to help contain this spread of the virus.”

* There was a vaccine/testing requirement to attend the recent Cook County Democratic Party fundraiser, but the local and state masking requirements don’t differentiate…


The Cook County Democratic Party event tonight was a lot of fun! Having so many friends in one room was awesome! So great to be with everyone!

Posted by Jim Gleffe for Judge on Thursday, September 23, 2021

More pics are here. Not exactly a sea of compliance.

Also, Gov. Pritzker was there. I’m so old I remember a time in August when he skipped the state county party chairs’ brunch because it was indoors.

…Adding… Maskless indoors with unvaccinated kids…


…Adding… The above pic is from the 2018 campaign. But still. This is a self-own.

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker appears to reach the limits of his executive powers

Monday, Sep 27, 2021

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

After well over a year of successfully fending off every legal challenge to his executive powers during the pandemic, it now appears that Gov. J.B. Pritzker might have reached the limits of his authority.

The brick wall is Illinois’ decades-old Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which originally was designed to protect doctors and other health care workers from any repercussions if they refused to participate in abortions or other medical procedures/treatments they opposed.

“The biggest source of frustration and the biggest challenge right now related to the vaccine [mandate] issue is the Health Care Right of Conscience Act and how to manage that in this environment,” Tom Bertrand, the executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards, told me.

The statute is so broadly written that it’s being seized upon by folks who are attempting to evade the state’s vaccination/testing mandates.

Statute excerpt: “It shall be unlawful for any public official, guardian, agency, institution or entity to deny any form of aid, assistance or benefits or to condition the reception in any way of any form of aid, assistance or benefits, or in any other manner to coerce, disqualify or discriminate against any person, otherwise entitled to such aid, assistance or benefits, because that person refuses to obtain, receive, accept, perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer or participate in any way in any form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.”

“Conscience” is defined as “a sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from belief in and relation to God, or which, though not so derived, arises from a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by God among adherents to religious faiths.” Pretty darned broad. Democrats wouldn’t ever pass that bill today, considering the climate.

The law’s definition of “health care” includes the word “testing.” And Nauvoo-Colusa School District teachers who’ve refused vaccines have convinced the school board to exempt them from the weekly mandatory testing opt-out, citing the HCRCA. The school system already is under Illinois State Board of Education probation for not enforcing the state mask mandate. The school is in Hancock County, which has a mind-numbing positivity rate of 17.6%, and just 33.4% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Nobody at the IASB or the Illinois Association of School Administrators knows yet how widespread the use of this law is, but, said one official, “It’s the most chaotic period I’ve ever seen in Illinois schools.”

“It’s really difficult right now because there’s just no clarity,” said the IASB’s Bertrand.

There is talk of attempting to require HCRCA refusers to somehow prove their beliefs are “sincerely held.” But that could be fraught with problems.

Both teachers’ unions supported the governor’s vax/test mandate. But several of their members are now raising money to hire attorneys. And that means the unions are caught in the middle.

Sarah Antonacci, the Illinois Education Association’s director of communications, said, “At this time, we are unaware of any court that has found that the law provides a basis of objection for education employees who oppose the mandates set forth in the governor’s Executive Order.”

Antonacci also admitted that the issue had created a rift between those who support the mandate “and those who believe the government may have overstepped its bounds in mandating any of these things”

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery said the existing law “did not contemplate a global health pandemic,” but said it “could take a long time” to settle legal questions in the judicial branch.

I asked both politically powerful unions if they would support a legislative fix to clarify that the law does not apply in these cases. Only the IFT’s Montgomery answered, saying the union “would consider supporting” a change.

Beyond a general support for the governor’s COVID response, the Democratic super majority in the General Assembly has shied away from legislation because an intense backlash can so easily be ginned up on Facebook nowadays. Since there was no real need to step in as long as the courts were siding with Pritzker, members would just as soon let that sleeping dog lie.

But there may be no choice now. The governor’s people say they need an amendment to the current law if there’s any hope of enforcement. I think there could be a way to press hard on the “sincerely held” beliefs angle but, barring that, if legislative Democrats want to see this thing through, then they may have to finally stick their political necks out.

* The Illinois FOP released this statement on Sunday…

Statement from Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood regarding contemplated changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act:

“As we have previously stated, we are not opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine, we are opposed to being forced to take it. Furthermore, the ILFOP is vehemently opposed to any proposed changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act that would diminish any individual’s right to their religious liberties and choose what is or is not injected into their body.”

“We also decry the state’s attempt to force targeted groups of citizens, such as law enforcement officers, first responders, correctional officers, teachers and others, to a forced vaccine as a condition of employment. In America, the land of the free, laws shouldn’t be changed just because they don’t fit the current political agenda of our elected politicians who sometimes forget the rights of ‘we the people’ who elected them.”

“Conscience is an individual’s most sacred right, and the Constitutional right of religious freedom prevents the government from imposing the beliefs of one segment of the population onto another.”

*** UPDATE *** Center Square

At Jacksonville public schools, school Superintendent Steve Ptacek published a letter they sent the governor and Illinois State Board of Education saying that the district won’t be excluding staff without more clarity. Ptacek outlined the dilemma: “If we exclude staff that are not complying with Executive Order 2021-20, we assume substantial legal risk, but if we do not exclude employees, we are in defiance of an executive order.”

Defying the governor’s orders could lead to the Illinois State Board of Education putting the district on probation, and possibly impacting state funding to the district.

Ptacek’s letter said it can’t risk taxpayer resources on lengthy lawsuits challenging the governor’s mandate under the HCRCA that could come with tens of thousands in legal liabilities.

“For a $50,000/year employee, the penalties and costs could very realistically cost the taxpayers $500,000 per incident,” he said of potential legal liability if someone wins a case under the HCRCA.

- Posted by Rich Miller   64 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE ***

Monday, Sep 27, 2021

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Question of the day
* COVID-19 roundup
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Davis quietly holds fundraiser with Speaker Pelosi
* Rules for thee...
* Today's quotable
* Remap roundup
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker appears to reach the limits of his executive powers
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Other stuff
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
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

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




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