The General Assembly has continued to meet over the last 4 days to prepare and pass emergency legislation as well as a budget while operating in very austere conditions.
I am extremely proud to report to you that HB 2455 Senate Amendment 2 has passed both chambers and is expected to be signed by Governor Pritzker. With the passage of this amendment our AFFI members, as well as all other first responders and essential workers in Illinois, will have COVID-19 specifically listed as a rebuttable presumption illness within the Worker’s Occupational Diseases Act. Just as importantly, members with less than 5 years of employment are also covered for this specific virus.
Also within HB 2455, Chicago firefighters (who are not covered by work comp and instead have contractual language) were provided a benefit that a member’s COVID-19 related death is rebuttably presumed to have been duty related and the beneficiary will be entitled to 75% of the deceased member’s annuity.
Your AFFI has also been successful in extending the Public Employee Disability Act (SB 471 House Amendment 3) time frame by 60 additional days for those members whose rehabilitation/physical therapy was suspended temporarily by the COVID pandemic, thus limiting their ability to become fit for duty and return to work. The Governor is expected to sign this bill as well.
The AFFI worked closely with Leaders Jay Hoffman and Kathy Willis as well as the Illinois AFL-CO and others to ensure our voice was heard.
As always, if you have questions or concerns please contact your AFFI District Legislative Representative.
Northern District Legislative Representative Eddy Crews
Central District Legislative Representative Jeff Maher
Southern District Legislative Representative Richard Martin
Chuck Sullivan, President
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois