Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI) Members


Mark Biel, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected] or 217/522-5805 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – WC, UI Changes Pass to Governor; General Assembly Still in Session; Update on COVID-19 Cases

WC, UI Changes Pass to GovernorAs reported here yesterday, an agreement was reached between the state’s employer community and organized labor on covering some “essential” workers under workers’ compensation and some Unemployment Insurance changes and benefit expansions largely to be funded by the federal government.    

The bill, HB 2455 (Holmes, D-Aurora/Hoffman, D-Belleville), is now on its way to governor Pritzker, who will sign the measure into law.  The measure will maintain a rebuttable presumption for the state’s employers for worker’s compensation pertaining to exposure to COVID-19. A couple examples of a rebuttable presumption would be adhering to health and safety guidelines from the CDC and IDPH, and providing necessary PPE to employees.  

HB 2455 will apply to “essential” workers in the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order, as long as individuals employed by essential businesses and operations are required by their employment to encounter members of the general public or to work in employment locations of more than 15 employees. This provision applies only for COVID-19 cases from March 9 – December 31, 2020.

While most manufacturers and distributors do not encounter the general public in their employment locations, some manufacturers, distributors & warehouses will be covered if “essential” employees work in employment locations with more than 15 employees. For those employees working from home, even if they are deemed essential, their place of residence is not a place of employment.

CICI is grateful that the employer community and organized labor were able to reach this agreement and that more onerous provisions from earlier initiatives were not included in HB 2455.  As you will recall, an emergency rule was squashed by a circuit court and then withdrawn by the administration that would have established an automatic presumption that every workplace caused a COVID-19 infection.  This provision alone would have more than doubled the state’s worker’s compensation costs.  Also not included in this bill are previous efforts to provide for paid sick leave or punitive damages related to lack of PPE for employees.

General Assembly Still in Session: At this time, the legislature is still in session and probably will be well into the evening hours and perhaps even tomorrow.  First and foremost, for the state’s lawmakers is passing a budget and the means to implement a spending plan for the coming fiscal year.  The budget that is currently being debated is largely predicated on short-term borrowing of $4.5 billion from the federal government and then revisit the spending plan during the Fall Veto Session. The proposed budget is largely the same as last year’s budget, which now has a $2.6 billion hole in it thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting tax loss due to economic inactivity.  The coming 2021 fiscal year is also predicting to have anywhere from a $4-7 billion deficit depending upon the outcome of the graduated tax question on November’s ballot.

And in the midst of passing a budget and other emergency legislation, a bill has now surfaced to clean up gaming statutes that has delayed a Chicago casino.            

When the legislature wraps up their business and adjourns for the summer, CICI will issue an End-of Session Report as usual with considerably more detail.  Please stay tuned.

Update on COVID-19 Cases: The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) is now reporting a total of 4,715 deaths, an increase of 110 since yesterday. There are currently 105,444 positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, an increase of 2,758 cases from yesterday. In total, 697,133 people have now been tested in Illinois for the virus, an increase of 25,113 since yesterday.

Today’s statewide positivity rate is at 10.9% and our statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate is at 13%.  Again, IDPH’s webpage tracks positivity and hospitalization rates for the state’s four regions.

You can check where these cases are occurring at the State of Illinois COVID-19 website which also contains more information on this outbreak. Also, IDPH has a case breakdown of the number of positive cases in Chicago and each county relative to the number of fatalities.  The IDPH website also now includes a breakdown of the cases under each zip code in the state. In addition, Western Illinois University has an put together this Map of COVID-19 Cases in Illinois & Surrounding States which gives you picture of where COVID-19 cases are occurring in relation to areas surrounding Illinois. 

Worldometer also has a site with pertinent statistics on a state by state breakdown and comparison. Also, the City of Chicago has a good categorization of the cases within the city. 


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