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Good Afternoon. I hope everyone is staying healthy and sane at home. The Governor extended his stay at home order, with some modifications. This week, some people are happy for the time with their families and the return of some normalcy with the NFL draft (sorry Packers fans). Others are suing the Governor or attempting a Natasha and Boris style plan to burn down the Thompson Center (https://twitter.com/chicagostreetn1/status/1253451596077252609?s=12).
The House and Senate were not in session this week. The House has canceled the session days originally scheduled for next week. According to the Illinois General Assembly website, the next session day scheduled for the Senate is listed as May 5. The House does not have a next scheduled session day posted on the website as of this morning.
The following deadlines have been extended:
Committee Deadline: May 7th
3rd Reading Deadline Chamber of Origin: May 15th
Committee Deadline Alternate Chamber Bills: May 22
3rd Reading Deadline Alternate Chamber: May 29
It remains unclear when the General Assembly will return to Springfield. I very much doubt those deadlines above are the final extension. Remember, though, that voting requirements increase on June 1st.
Governor Announces Intention to Extend Stay at Home Order
Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker announced his intent to extend the statewide stay-at-home order through the end of May. Additional industries have been deemed as essential (including garden centers/nurseries), there will be a face mask requirement in public spaces when social distancing can't be maintained, certain state parks and golf courses will be allowed to reopen under certain conditions, as well as additional requirements on essential businesses.
The mask requirement drew most of the media attention. The order will also require a mask requirement when in public and social distancing is not possible. A simple face covering is all that is required.
Temporary Restraining Order Issued on COVID-19 Workers Comp Rule
As discussed last week, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission issued an emergency rule that declared any essential worker that contracts the COVID-19 virus will be presumed to have caught it at work and thus entitled to workers compensation from his/her employer.
The business community strongly pushed back on this as it would be nearly impossible to prove a negative and costs would skyrocket an estimated $10 billion. This would be nearly quadruple the normal workers compensation costs in a typical year.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce filed an animus brief in support of the temporary restraining order in Sangamon County court. That order was granted and further hearings scheduled for May 4th.