Regional Roundup 11-16-17

November 16, 2017

IHA Weekly Regional Roundup

City of Chicago
The Chicago City Council’s Committee on Finance this week approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s:

  • 2018 Revenue Ordinance, which includes an increase in the 911 surcharge, an increase to the amusement tax on large venues and a two-year increase on the city’s surcharge for all Uber and Lyft trips within city limits; and
  • 2018 Property Tax Levy, which sets the city’s total share of property taxes for 2018 at $1.45 billion, a 6.5 percent increase over the 2017 levy. The 2018 levy is the final year of the four-year property tax increase the City Council approved in 2015 to shore up revenue for the city’s police and fire pension funds, representing a $544.2 million (12.2 percent) increase over the 2015 levy.

Similarly, the Committee on Budget and Government Operations approved the 2018 Management Ordinance, which, among other changes, would amend building inspection fee collections to account for increased payments for weekend inspections and re-inspections.

The full City Council is expected to vote on the $8.58 billion fiscal year 2018 (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018) budget proposal on Nov. 21.

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At last week’s Chicago City Council meeting, aldermen introduced advisory ballot referenda questions for the March 20, 2018 election. Three questions are allowed per ballot from the city each election cycle. Among the proposals are:

  • From Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th Ward), “Should the State of Illinois develop a comprehensive strategy to address the recent rise in opioid-related and heroin-related deaths including committing additional state resources for addiction treatment and requiring health insurers to cover opioid alternatives and limitations on prescription length;” and
  • From Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th Ward), “Should Governor Rauner act to protect the 650,000 Illinois residents who obtained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act by supporting legislation amending the Illinois Insurance Code to preserve important benefits like pediatric services and maternity care, and by investing in outreach campaigns to encourage residents to sign up for health insurance?”

The proposals were referred to the Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics.

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Also at last week’s City Council meeting, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th Ward) introduced a resolution calling for hearings on racial disparities in breast cancer mortality and for the re-instatement of a statewide breast cancer screening surveillance program. The resolution asks that representatives from the Chicago Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) and the Cook County Dept. of Public Health share pertinent data and recommendations to reduce the disparity, as well as advocate for the implementation of the Breast Cancer Excellence in Survival and Treatment Act. The legislation was signed into Illinois law by Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015 but has not yet been enacted, according to the resolution. The proposal was referred to the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection.

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CDPH this week announced a 67 percent drop in the teen birth rate between 1999 and 2015, the most recent year for which data are available. There were 27.5 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years old in 2015, a new historic low in Chicago, compared to the 85.2 births in 1999. According to CDPH, since 2010, Chicago has seen declines in teen births across all racial and ethnic groups. African American teens have seen the greatest decline, from more than 72 births per 1,000 females to 34.9, which represents a more than 51 percent drop overall. Although Chicago’s teen birthrate is higher than the national average, it has dropped 20 percent more than national rates since 2010.

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Ald. O’Connor’s office will host a free CPR training session on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Andersonville Pavilion auditorium at Swedish Covenant Hospital. During this session, residents will learn about the importance of “hands-only” CPR and how to respond in an emergency situation. The class will also demonstrate how to use an automated external defibrillator. This program is funded through a grant from Illinois Heart Rescue and support from the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation.

Cook County
President Toni Preckwinkle this week proposed a plan to close the county’s $200.6 million fiscal year 2018 budget gap. If passed in full, the plan would cover the entirety of the shortfall but would result in 591 layoffs and 745 additional vacancy eliminations. The proposal calls for:
  • $49.6 million in savings due to vacancy reductions;
  • $3.6 million from consolidation, including human resources and information technology functions, and the closure of branch courts;
  • $19.1 million from reducing staff at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and the jail due to population reductions, suspending Chief Judge’s Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, cutting spending on outside juvenile programs, and reducing contract staffing; and
  • $96.3 million from other budgetary impacts, including maintaining salaries in county offices under the president and at the Cook County Health & Hospitals System, instituting furlough days for union and non-union employees at the Clerk of the Circuit Court and eliminating the Drug School Diversion Program at the State’s Attorney’s office.
These budget amendments must go through vetting before being incorporated into the county’s budget. The Cook County Board is scheduled to adopt the final fiscal year 2018 (Dec. 1, 2017 through Nov. 30, 2018) budget on Nov. 21.
Boone County
As it works to update its strategic plan, the Boone County Health Department is seeking public input through a survey. The survey is available in both English and Spanish.
Champaign County
The Champaign County Board is accepting applications for three positions on the Champaign County Nursing Home Board of Directors with terms ending Nov. 30, 2019. Applicants with experience in healthcare, finance and banking, accounting, social services, personnel, and marketing and sales are encouraged to apply. Applications are due Dec. 22.

Madison County
The public is invited to attend the Madison County Board’s Judiciary Committee meeting on Friday, Nov. 17 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the ongoing opioid crisis, as well as the possibility of the county suing pharmaceutical companies. Both the city of Chicago and St. Clair County have filed similar lawsuits.

According to Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn, 2017 is expected to have the second- highest number of drug overdose deaths in the county since the office began tracking the issue in 2009. In the first 10 months of 2017, 69 people died of drug overdoses, compared to a peak of 92 people in 2014.

Will County
The Will County Health Department this week announced a new partnership with the Family Health Services HIV and STD program in order to launch a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinic. The clinic will offer clients a daily pill to prevent the transmission of HIV. According to the health department, the PrEP clinic is designed for those with or without insurance, and no one will be turned away. Starting Nov. 30, the clinic will operate every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Health Center Care Clinic.
City of Aurora
The Aurora Police Department recently announced that it will participate in the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign. In the coming weeks, the department will train all of its police officers in the Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety course. The campaign, launched in 2016, focuses on improving relationships between police and the mental health community and includes a pledge to provide all of an agency’s officers with behavioral health training. The training course teaches officers how to safely de-escalate a mental health crisis, notice the signs of mental health challenges in their peers, start a conversation about the issues, and reach out for support.

City of DeKalb
The DeKalb City Council was recently notified that the city has been awarded a $75,000 U.S. Dept. of Justice grant for a police-mental health collaboration project in 2017-2018. The project aims to improve police responses and available services for those with behavioral health disorders.

As part of the process, the city’s police department is expected to conduct a comprehensive agency assessment of policy and practice, develop an agency crisis intervention training plan, build and maintain a data collection system, and partner with mental health professionals to design a clinical triage center for behavioral health patients with intensive case worker follow- up care. The grant provides complete funding to hire a part-time grant coordinator, which the City Council approved this week.

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This week, Live Healthy DeKalb County—a collaboration of more than 24 local businesses focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle in DeKalb County—presented the city of DeKalb with its Health Partner Award. The award recognizes the city’s efforts to promote bicycling as a healthy alternative mode of transportation in DeKalb.

Elk Grove Village
The Elk Grove Village Board this week voted to raise the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21. The ordinance becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018. Local governments in Illinois that have already increased the minimum age for tobacco sales include Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Highland Park, Lake County, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Oak Park, and Vernon Hills.

Editor’s Note
The IHA Weekly Regional Roundup will not be published next Thursday, Nov. 23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The next Weekly Regional Roundup will be sent on Thursday, Nov. 30. IHA wishes its members and supporters a safe and enjoyable holiday.

The IHA Weekly Regional Roundup is researched, written and edited by Sarah Calder and Elyse Kallen in IHA’s Government Relations and Corporate Communications and Marketing departments.