This webinar features Dr. Emily Landon, Executive Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control with the University of Chicago as she discusses the current science and updates related to the coronavirus.

It also features a review of the AFFI’s resources and ongoing collective bargaining issues related to Covid-19.

Check out all of our training videos HERE

Over the past two years, the AFFI has been involved in a push to change the way Medicaid ambulance billing is re-imbursed in the State of Illinois. After a lot of effort from the IAFC, Department of Health and Family Services, and the AFFI, GEMT (ground emergency medical transport) funding has been implemented.

We want you to know, as a local leader, this new ambulance funding will provide a significant amount of extra revenue for our employers. We have seen billable amounts increase from hundreds of thousands to millions of additional dollars. The amount your entity could be receiving is based on your Medicaid patient payer mix. This could be a significant help to our struggling municipal budgets.

The deadline to apply for approval through Health and Family Services, is October 14th, 2020.

The AFFI has created a page on our website to provide your Fire Department or District with the tools to apply for this new funding on Medicaid transports. You may check to see if your employer has started the process to receive this funding and access other resources through this link: https://www.affi-iaff.org/gemt/

Please reach out to your DVP if you have additional questions or need guidance on how to move forward.

Dear AFFI Members,

The AFFI continues to monitor evolving issues and support our local affiliates with resources regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.  We have noted a significant increase in cases of AFFI members testing positive for the virus and others being quarantined over the past few weeks.

As you may be aware, some municipalities and counties are advising to self-quarantine after travel to so called “hot spots” in the US and abroad. We have become aware of some fire departments contemplating similar plans to quarantine their firefighters who travel. We do know of a couple of instances recently that involved direct transmission within our firehouses, possibly related to previous out of state travel. The AFFI, along with attorney Margaret Angelucci, has created two documents to assist your local with any discussions relating to travel that may arise with your employer.

You can access the COVID-19 Travel Information Document here.

You can access the Bargaining information regarding travel here.

This pandemic and issues related to it will continue for the foreseeable future.  As a reminder if you have any questions or require support please contact your District Vice President for assistance.

In Solidarity,
Chuck Sullivan, President
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois

Here is information on another program available to municipalities.  Please make sure your city is aware of it.

Apply Today: COVID-19 Reimbursement Available under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program

Virtual applicant briefings will guide local governments, nonprofits and houses of worship through reimbursement process

SPRINGFIELD – To assist local governments, nonprofits and religious organizations recoup funds expended during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and local emergency managers throughout the state, is encouraging entities to attend the scheduled virtual briefings to begin the reimbursement application process to receive federal funds.

“There are more than 1,328 known eligible applicants in the State of Illinois, yet only 159 have applied for reimbursement to date. We do not want anyone to be left behind in the recovery process,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “This funding mechanism is an economic lifeline for communities large and small. Costs eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to, overtime costs associated with the COVID-19 response, the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing supplies and equipment, housing assistance, purchase and distribution of food, and more. If you have questions about eligibility, we urge you to contact your county emergency management office today.”

Public Assistance (PA) is available in all 102 counties in Illinois where COVID-19 cases have been reported. Under the guidelines of the PA program, local jurisdictions can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of eligible costs for emergency protective measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to note that the Public Assistance program does not reimburse for lost wages or revenue as a result of the pandemic.

Additionally, the Public Assistance program is not for individuals or business owners affected by the pandemic. The State of Illinois filed for federal Individual Assistance; however, that request is still pending with the federal government.  In the meantime, the U.S. Small Business Administration has made resources available for individuals and businesses.  To learn more, visit the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunitywebsite.

This week (July 6-10), applicant briefings will be conducted virtually for potential applicants. These applicant briefings provide an overview of the program requirements and instructions for completing the required application forms.  Previous webinars can be found on the IEMA website to help guide applicants that are unable to attend one of the scheduled briefings.  For more information, visit the Illinois Emergency Management Agency website.

 

Attachments

Below is a press release from the Governor’s office regarding money for local municipalities for COVID related expenses. Please follow up with your local government employer to apply for these funds.

Illinois e-News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 30, 2020

PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $250 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL RELIEF TO ASSIST COMMUNITIES WITH COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE

State will disburse federal funding to communities seeking reimbursement for emergency costs beginning in July

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the State will expedite a portion of Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars designated for local governments by the federal CARES Act. Through the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (Local CURE) Support Program, the State will take steps to deploy $250 million to local governments in the coming months. The additional state relief funds will help local governments secure reimbursement on eligible costs associated with the emergency response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

We know that Illinois municipalities, counties, and local health departments have stepped up to take on significant costs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – costs no one could have planned or budgeted for,” said Governor Pritzker. “From the beginning of this crisis, my administration has worked steadfastly to provide assistance and support to the communities hit hardest by this virus. While there’s no question that more federal funds are needed to support vital local services like education, the Local CURE Program will provide much-needed relief for Illinois communities until an agreement is reached.”

In the coming weeks, DCEO will administer funds from the Local CURE program to reimburse units of local governments in nearly 100 counties across the state. In rules filed with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, DCEO has developed a per capita and needs-based formula for allocating the Local CURE funding.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted budgets for communities and businesses across our state—forcing many local governments to choose between making community investments and doing what needs to be done to sustain an emergency response,” said Michael Negron, Acting Director of DCEO. “Over the next several weeks, we will establish a rigorous process to ensure this critical funding is distributed equitably and expeditiously, helping those communities hit hardest by the virus sustain their response.”

More than eighty-five percent of the Local CURE Program’s funding will be distributed to municipalities, county governments, and certified local public health departments. Remaining funds will be released by application to other units of local government. The application-based allotment will prioritize local governments serving disproportionately impacted areas, or DIAs, low-income zip codes that have had a significant number of cases of COVID 19 among residents.

In addition to Local CURE funds, DIA communities will also receive additional assistance as part of recently launched community assistance programs, including the $540 million Business Interruption Grants (BIG) and $25 million Rebuild Distressed Communities programs.

Costs eligible for reimbursement are defined by the US Treasuryand are those incurred due to the public health emergency response to the COVID–19 pandemic. These costs include public safety, public health, PPE materials, and more. In the coming weeks, DCEO will release a detailed process for local governments to submit eligible costs for review. Costs must be incurred since March 1, 2020 and may not be accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020.

“The local government response to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated unanticipated and significant expenditures to provide essential public health and safety services to protect Illinois residents,” said Joe McCoy, Executive Director of the Illinois State Association of Counties. “Local officials throughout the state greatly appreciate the work of the General Assembly and Pritzker Administration to provide significant funding through the Local CURES program. These critical funds are badly needed to help offset the costs to local governments associated with the emergency response.”

Only local governments outside Chicago-Cook and the collar counties will be eligible for Local CURES funding; Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, and Lake counties have already received direct allocations Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars under the federal CARES Act.

“We appreciate the Governor and his Administration’s ongoing support during these unprecedented times for deploying programs from the Federal Cares Act to help those affected by the COVID,” said Jason Ashmore, President of the Southern Illinois Mayors Association and Mayor of Sesser. “We will continue to work with the Governor and his administration to address the economic shortcomings our communities and businesses have endured as a result from the COVID-19 virus.”

In a process that will begin as early as July, local governments will be able to make their claims and receive reimbursement on eligible expenses. Municipalities, counties, and local public health department allotments will be determined in rules. All other units of local government are being encouraged to review and submit for an application that will be made available on July 1 on DCEO’s website.

“As president of the Southwestern Illinois council of mayors we appreciate the work that governor Pritzker and the DCEO Are doing, to work with local municipalities throughout the state, to provide funding and reimbursement for cost incurred due to COVID-19,” said Mark Kupsky, President of the Southwestern Council of Mayors and Mayor of Fairview Heights. “As a local Mayor, all of our cities have incurred unplanned expenses Related to fighting this pandemic, so the funds provided by the cure allotment will help us with reimbursement of expenditures that our Cities have incurred.”

Since March, communities across Illinois have been devastated by the impact of COVID-19. A May 2020 report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability estimates that local government revenues are down by $1.3 billion over last year. The Pritzker administration has worked over the past several weeks to marshal hundreds of millions for communities and businesses hit hardest by the crisis.

For more information on the statewide COVID-19 response, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov

Dear Local Officer,

On behalf of the AFFI Executive Board and Staff I hope this communication finds you and your members safe and healthy.

As we continue to work through the global pandemic we are beginning to face new challenges.  Many municipalities are starting to feel budget constraints as this crisis evolves and are now looking to your membership to help mitigate these issues.

The AFFI is here to support our members and Local leadership through various resources including expertise in bargaining via your District Vice President, data exhibits, legislative efforts, and education.

We have created and posted new educational videos to assist you with concession bargaining, municipal financial analysis, exposures to Covid-19, and communications strategies.

We are also launching 2 new webinar sessions to provide further insights on the impacts of the pandemic in a broader spectrum.

Session 1 will feature Ralph Martire from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.  Mr. Martire will discuss budget impacts on a broad scale due to the pandemic.  There are 2 available sessions that you may choose to participate in:

Thursday, May 14th at 10:00am and Thursday, May 21st at 10:00am.

Session 2 will feature Professor Bob Bruno with the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations.  Professor Bruno will be discussing how essential workers are important to a vibrant economy.  There are also 2 available sessions to participate in on this topic:

Tuesday, May 19th at 10:30am and Tuesday, May 26th at 10:30am.

If you would like you to participate in either of these seminars please email the AFFI Office with your name, local, and which session(s) you would like to participate in.  You will receive a confirmation email with the link to join the session or sessions you signed up for.

Please stay tuned as we develop further educational resources for you to engage in over the following weeks.  Thank you for what you do on the frontlines in your community and stay safe!

Fraternally,
Luke Howieson, AFFI VP at Large