We are happy to report to you that SB 471 was signed into law today. As you will recall, in addition to the COVID-19 presumptive language that was signed a few months ago, we also introduced emergency legislation that would allow those members that are on Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA) to have a 60 day extension if their rehab or minor surgeries were interrupted due to the pandemic. Below is the exact language that the General Assembly passed and Governor Pritzker signed into law today. As always, please contact your AFFI District Legislative Representative if you have questions.

PEDA Extension Language

In Solidarity,
AFFI Legislative Committee
Richard, Jeff, Steve and Chuck

International Association of Fire Fighters

For 66 years, the IAFF has been committed to supporting MDA.  The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected fire fighters’ efforts to Fill the Boot on streets and at store fronts in local communities across the country. With many traditional Fill the Boot drives on hiatus, MDA families are still counting on us this year! The IAFF & MDA’s Virtual Fill the Boot campaign has been designed to help us continue our support and help raise these critically needed funds.

 

The campaign will launches TODAY, August 4th across the country but you can start whenever you are ready and have your plan in place. It is set up to be easy and turn-key for every Local and member to participate across all social media platforms to appeal to family, friends, and your community.

 

As your 8th District Vice President, I am excited to support this effort and I am urging you and your local to participate as well. I am making a $200 donation and would ask that all affiliate leaders at least match 10% of that donation. With nearly over 2000 local affiliate officers, for $20 apiece we can make a sizable donation from the 8th District.

 

2020 has certainly provided us with much adversity. Let’s show that we can overcome this one hurdle using the spirit of those who fight to live with MDA every day.

 

How to get Started:

 

  • Click on your State link page below. Once you are on your state page click on roster to find your Local. Local pages have already been created but if you can not find your page please reach out to Jennie King (jking@mdausa.org), Elizabeth Nelson (enelson@mdausa.org) or Kelsey Tomko (ktomko@mdausa.org)

 

 

 

I am proud of the 8th District and our efforts over the years to support MDA. In 2019, you raised over $2.4M.

State2019 Total
Illinois$903,098
Indiana$330,583
Kentucky$138,750
Michigan$435,883
Ohio$716,496
TOTAL$2,467,084

The boot may look different this year, but the goal is still the same. We know if we all join together, we can make this virtual campaign a success. Please use this as an opportunity to have some fun, create State or Local competitions amongst yourselves, engage your community and ultimately exhibit what the 8th District members are made of!!!

 

Thank you for all you support of MDA,

 

Mark Sanders

IAFF 8TH District Vice President

Representing Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, & Ohio

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many affiliates to postpone or cancel traditional Fill the Boot events that help raise funds for critically needed services for families in need.

With these iconic Fill the Boot fundraising drives on hiatus, the AFFI and MDA are launching a new virtual Fill the Boot campaign to help affiliates continue to support MDA and the more than 250,000 people living with neuromuscular diseases across the country. The virtual Fill the Boot is also a great opportunity to highlight your local’s commitment to supporting MDA and community goodwill.

filltheboot.donordrive.com/index.cfm

 

This campaign makes it simple for every local and member to participate across all social media platforms. The IAFF virtual Fill the Boot toolkit has everything affiliates need to get started, including social media graphics, a sample press release, fundraising ideas and video PSAs.

firefighters.mda.org/…/virtual-fill-the-bootCLICK HER

 

The AFFI Legislative Committee met recently and has made the 2020 General Election Endorsements.  You can also keep up to date on all issues on our AFFI Election 2020 webpage.

 

International Association of Fire Fighters

Affiliate Leaders:

I am pleased to report that the next round of Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants will allow departments to use these funds to rehire or retain fire fighters, as well as waive the local cost share.  

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor made the announcement at a House Homeland Security hearing, noting that acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf “exercised his discretionary authority to relax certain requirements within the SAFER grant program.”

Earlier this spring, because of the economic hardships local jurisdictions and fire departments were already facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I spoke with Secretary Wolf specifically about DHS’s authority to make changes to the SAFER grant program and urged him to allow flexibility in applying for SAFER funds. We have since lobbied diligently to ensure these waivers were permitted.

I want to thank my Assistant for Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Dave Lang, Assistant for Grants Administration Elizabeth Del Re, Director of Governmental Affairs Shannon Meissner and all IAFF staff who worked so hard to make this happen. They deserve the credit for once again showing this union’s power and influence in a way that will benefit our members during what will be a very tough economic period.

In his announcement, Director Gaynor said, “By waiving salary caps, cost shares and prohibitions on supplanting previously budgeted funds, we have reduced financial burdens on applicants and expanded the number of fire departments able to apply. With many municipalities facing a reduction in tax revenue, the waivers for the FY 2020 SAFER grant program will allow fire departments to retain or rehire fire fighters facing layoffs. DHS and FEMA will provide these fire departments with 100 percent of the funding needed to hire fire fighters over the next three years. FEMA anticipates opening the FY 20 application later this calendar year.”

We have confirmed with FEMA that this statement is accurate and that retention and rehiring will indeed be permitted for the next round of SAFER grants, which will be open for application later this year.

We urge you to work with your departments to apply for these grants. Our Grants Department is also available to assist affiliates with applications.

We will send out further notifications and guidance once the application period is announced.

Fraternally,

Harold A. Schaitberger
IAFF General President

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

The AFFI PAC has had three masks designed. With a voluntary contribution of $20 we will send you your choice of an AFFI mask. With a voluntary contribution of $75 you will receive an assortment of four specially designed AFFI Masks. With a voluntary contribution of $150 you will receive an assortment of 10 specially designed masks.

 

Please email office@affi-iaff.org to place an order.

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 President,

First let me thank you for your ongoing support of our Executive Board and staff as we work through these unprecedented times. I also want to personally thank you for the support and faith in me as your President that was shown during our 43rd Biennial Convention last week. I promise to continue to work hard and advocate for every one of our 15,000 members across the state.

While we are speaking about the convention, I think it is important to note that many of our Executive Board members and staff, led by Secretary/Treasurer Tom Roate, put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort to produce a one of its kind virtual convention. I know that we are all very appreciative of their tremendous behind the scenes work and persistence to provide us with a forum to conduct business during this moment in time.

We know that this pandemic has wreaked havoc on each of you personally and professionally. Please know that the AFFI is here for you in any way that we can assist. Our COVID-19 committee continues to keep up with directives, provide guidance and do research on the latest information. On a side note, be sure your members are aware of the AFFI face coverings we are offering as a $20 contribution to AFFI PAC. We have placed another order and they should be arriving at the office in the next week or so.

We know that our local government employers have lost revenue over the last four months and the fiscal outlook could be bleak as we move through the year(s). We have provided educational links on our website.  In addition, to ensure your employer is applying for every grant or stimulus dollar available, you can visit the IAFF Preparing for a COVID-19 Economy page to find best practices.   We have also bolstered our data department within the AFFI to provide you and your District Vice President with multiple data sets and research in order to better assist you if/when you are called to the bargaining table.

I know your District Vice Presidents are in constant contact with you. They are your first line of communication to the AFFI and each one of them takes great pride in their district and their members. I have witnessed first-hand how hard they work on a daily basis. Please use them and never hesitate to contact them.

I also want to extend the offer to attend one of your union meetings, either in person or virtually, along with your District VP and Leg Rep as our schedules allow. Please know that this AFFI is here for you and we will continue to do everything in our power to represent your best interests.

Lastly, you will soon be receiving correspondence from me concerning AFFI committee appointments so please be on the lookout for it, and share it with your membership.

In Solidarity,
Chuck