Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (4/25)

April 25, 2022

Public Health

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 19,551 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 58 deaths since last reporting April 15, 2022.
  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration reported “life expectancy in Chicago dropped almost two years from 2019 to 2020, the first year of the pandemic.” This finding represents one of the “sharpest single-year decreases in life expectancy on record, and the steepest declines were for Black and Latinx Chicagoans. COVID-19 deaths were a significant driver of this trend. However, the virus was only the second leading cause of death in 2020 – behind heart disease, which also increased along with other chronic diseases like diabetes.” The city also saw higher than expected increases in deaths from accidents (overdoses, car crashes) and homicides. Life expectancy declines were seen in all races and nearly all community areas.


Pritzker signs slew of bills into law

On Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a slew of the 402 bills which passed both chambers this session. Notable new laws include the following:

  • Bill Number: HB 4433
    Description: Amends the Managed Care Reform and Patient Rights Act and clarifies sections for the purpose of aligning with federal regulation.
    Effective: Immediately
  • Bill Number: HB 4604
    Description: Amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) to allow post-inspection notices and communications to recipients of citations to be sent via email
    Effective: January 1, 2023. Changes to the Equal Pay Act of 2003 are effective immediately.
  • Bill Number: HB 4316
    Description: Outlines the protocol for when a school district employee has been engaged in sexual misconduct with a student who is under 18
    Effective: July 1, 2023
  • Bill Number: HB 4365
    Description: Allows a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to determine if the special education program of a school district is unable to meet the needs of a child with a disability
    Effective: Immediately

Around the State


City Council ethics chair set to unveil package of reforms

On Wednesday, Ethics and Government Oversight Committee Chair Michele Smith (43) is set to unveil a new ordinance to “significantly strengthen” Chicago’s ethics code.

The ordinance, which is backed by the Chicago Board of Ethics, seeks to implement the following reforms:

  • Increases maximum fines for violations from $5,000 to $20,000
  • Adds “City Council contractor” to the list of positions required to a) undergo sexual harassment training and b) produce statements of financial interest
  • Prohibits former aldermen from lobbying on the City Council floor or committee room
  • Expands the number of companies doing business with the city that would be limited to contributing $1,500 to any one candidate per year to include subcontractors earning more than $10,000 within 12 months, as well as those doing business with city-adjacent agencies like Chicago Public schools, the Chicago Housing Authority, and the Chicago Public Building Commission

A more comprehensive summary of the ordinance is available here.

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