Regional Roundup 12-21-17

City of Chicago
Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Clerk Anna Valencia officially launched the Chicago municipal ID pilot by printing the program’s first “CityKey” cards. Additional cards will be printed between December and February for community partners, who will test the system to ensure security and full-integration of card features. The program is expected to roll out citywide in the second quarter of 2018. During the test phase, the Clerk’s Office will work with community-based organizations and other stakeholders to educate the public on the application process.

The CityKey Municipal ID card will serve as an official government-issued identification card and allow users to load fares and ride the Chicago Transit Authority. It will also function as a library card. The ID will cost $5 for those 17 years and younger and $10 for adults. It will be free for seniors aged 65 and older, as well as for the first 100,000 applicants. Various communities may qualify for fee waivers, including homeless individuals, domestic violence survivors, veterans, low-income individuals, and One Summer Chicago participants. The city has allocated $1 million to support the program’s implementation.

Cook County
At its most recent meeting, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution opposing:

  • The repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA);
  • Replacing the ACA with an alternative that would not improve access to quality, affordable healthcare for residents; and
  • Any measure that would weaken the ACA’s protections against health insurance discrimination or denial based on preexisting conditions, reduce the ACA’s subsidies to individuals for buying health insurance or reduce the incentives for states to expand Medicaid.

The resolution also urges the Illinois Congressional Delegation, the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. Bruce Rauner, and the public to oppose and resist any weakening of the ACA’s protections for working families.

Bureau County
The Bureau County Board approved placing a referendum on the March 20 ballot asking voters if it should impose a one-half percent public safety sales tax to fund a new law enforcement center. The tax would exempt most food purchased in grocery stores, prescription and non-prescription medications, medical devices, medical materials, and titled vehicles. If approved, the tax would be collected for up to 20 years to pay for construction of the building.

Champaign County
The Champaign County Board this week voted to engage the services of three law firms to pursue legal action against opioid manufacturers over the county’s costs related to addressing the opioid epidemic. Lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. In addition to Champaign County, plaintiffs in the lawsuit could also include Cook, DeKalb, Kane, and Piatt counties.

Coles County
The Coles County Board recently approved a resolution declaring that the distribution of prescription painkiller drugs has created a public health and safety crisis for the citizens of Coles County. The resolution authorizes the county to file suit again drug distributors to recover costs associated with the opioid epidemic, including police and paramedic response and medical treatment.

DuPage County
At its most recent meeting, the DuPage County Board of Health approved a resolution supporting laws to prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 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.

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The DuPage County Health Department announced that effective Jan. 1, it will no longer be in-network with commercial insurance plans or accept commercial insurance. It will continue to serve clients with Medicaid, Managed Medicaid or Medicare Part B.

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DuPage County will host two informational meetings in January for local nonprofit organizations interested in applying for a grant through the Human Services Grant Fund. The meetings will be held on Jan. 4 at 10:30 a.m. and Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. in the DuPage County JTK Administration Building in Wheaton. Attendance at one of the two meetings is mandatory in order to apply for the grant. Information regarding eligibility guidelines and selection criteria, along with the grant application, will be made available at the informational meetings.

The Human Services Grant Fund is expected to distribute $1 million this year to assist organizations that serve county residents in need. The grants are available to organizations that help families achieve independence, ensure the protection of children and other vulnerable residents and maximize prevention opportunities to strengthen families’ well-being and stability. In the previous grant year, more than 88,760 people received assistance. The average grant award in 2017 was $16,700.

Macon County
The Macon County Board this month accepted a $540,000 grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to fund salary and benefits for three years for an attorney and paralegal to prosecute opioid offenses committed by drug dealers. Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott has indicated that opioid cases within the county are becoming more common. Macon County recorded 14 opioid overdose deaths in 2016.

McLean County
The McLean County Health Department’s Board of Directors recently appointed Camille Rodriguez as the health department’s new director, effective Jan. 3. She will succeed Cathy Coverston Anderson, who has filled the role of interim director since February, following the retirement of former director, Walt Howe. Rodriguez previously served as the director of the Bureau of Community Health Promotion for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Division of Public Health. She also worked in the state of Illinois’ Dept. of Children and Family Services’ Division of Child Protection and in the Office of the Executive Inspector General in Springfield. IHA congratulates Rodriguez on her new position.

Rock Island County
The Rock Island County Health Department announced a new partnership with the Henry County Health Department to allow Rock Island County women to access comprehensive women’s health services, including birth control, at the Colona office of the Henry County Health Department. The Rock Island County Health Department closed its family planning and women’s care clinic in June due to Title X grant cuts by the state. The Henry County Health Department anticipates offering women’s health services in Rock Island County in the near future.

Will County
At its most recent meeting, the Will County Board’s Legislative Committee passed its 2018 state legislative agenda, which outlines priorities and concerns it urges Illinois’ 100th General Assembly to address in the coming year. Among other priorities, the county urges the legislature to examine property tax assessment and collection and chronic disease and prevention funding this year. The full County Board is expected to accept the agenda this week.

City of Geneva
The Geneva Mental Health Board this month awarded $178,750 in grant funding to 11 social service agencies, which serve approximately 1,790 Geneva residents. Among other services, the selected agencies provide:

  • Emotional wellness programs;
  • Intake services, counseling;
  • Family-to-family education presentations;
  • Direct crisis intervention;
  • Hotline calls;
  • Support groups;
  • Opioid treatment programs;
  • Case management;
  • Food and shelter for the homeless;
  • Employment assistance;
  • Transportation services for those with developmental disabilities; and
  • Caregiver support and respite opportunities.