Regional Roundup 11-30-17

November 30, 2017

IHA Weekly Regional Roundup

City of Chicago
The Chicago City Council last week adopted its $8.58 billion fiscal year 2018 budget. It does not include any new general citywide taxes or fees; however, the budget increases:

  • The monthly 911 telephone tax 28.2 percent, from $3.90 to $5;
  • The fee for pickups by Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing platforms incrementally to 72 cents in 2019; and
  • The city’s amusement tax from 5 to 9 percent for entertainment venues with more than 1,500 seats, while exempting venues with under 1,500 seats from the tax entirely. The new fiscal year begins on Jan. 1, 2018.
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Also at last week’s City Council meeting, several aldermen introduced a resolution calling upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove its ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with men within the last year. In 2015, the FDA partially lifted its existing ban on donations by men who have had sex with men to only prohibit blood donations by men who have had sex with men within the last year. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection.

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In a lawsuit brought by the city of Chicago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week denied the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) request for a partial stay of a nationwide preliminary injunction on its new conditions on public safety grant funding. The lawsuit is aimed at preventing DOJ from making a federal crime prevention grant conditional on immigration enforcement actions. The preliminary injunction was issued by the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois. As a result, the nationwide injunction will stay in place as the appeal proceeds.

The lawsuit stems from DOJ’s announcement that it will not provide the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG)—the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions—to cities and states with “sanctuary city” policies, including Chicago. The city’s lawsuit asks for an injunction on the inclusion of those grant conditions in current and future applications, as well as for a declaration that the city complies with a federal statute barring restrictions on federal-local sharing of immigration status information.

According to the city, it previously has used Byrne JAG funds to purchase SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios, and tasers, among other purposes.

Cook County
The Cook County Board of Commissioners last week adopted its $5.2 billion fiscal year 2018 budget. The budget includes over 300 layoffs and eliminates more than 1,000 vacancies to close the $200 million gap from the county’s repealed penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax. The county’s fiscal year begins on Dec. 1, 2017.
Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, and Union Counties
Along with its partners, the Southern Seven Health Department will offer a complimentary, one-day Youth Mental Health First Aid training session for community members on Dec. 7 at Shawnee Community College Anna Extension Center in Anna. The training aims to provide adults with the tools to help youth struggling with behavioral health conditions.
Kane County
The Kane County Health Department is conducting a survey to gauge county residents’ opinions on raising the tobacco sales age in Kane County from 18 to 21. Local governments in Illinois that have already increased the minimum age for tobacco sales include Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Elk Grove Village, Evanston, Highland Park, Lake County, Lincolnshire, Mundelein, Naperville, Oak Park, and Vernon Hills.
Woodford County
Woodford County is seeking medical and public health professionals and community members to volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a national network of volunteers who assist their communities in promoting and strengthening public health outreach and emergency response. Interested residents must pass a background check and attend training. Once confirmed, MRC volunteers will perform duties that match their background, skills and expertise.
City of Bloomington
Mayor Tari Renner will host three town hall meetings in December in order to provide a high-level update on a range of issues, including the city’s budget, as well as receive feedback from residents. The meetings will be held on:
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at YWCA McLean County;
  • Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts; and
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Miller Park Pavilion.

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.