Friday, February 1, 2019

The Governor's Firsts: J.B. Pritzker's First Moments as Illinois' 43rd Governor

On November 6th, 2018, JB Pritzker was elected the 43rd Governor of the State of Illinois, with  573,679 votes, giving him 54.53% the vote, vs. Bruce Rauner's 1,765,751 votes (38.83%) Source: Ballotpedia

The voters of the state are all wondering what Governor Pritzker's first actions were as our 43rd Governor. What executive orders and pieces of legislation did he first sign as our newest Governor? What were his first photos, calendar entries, texts, and e-mails?

Chicago-One has those answers. A Freedom of Information Act Request to the Governor's Office produced a lot of insight into Governor Pritzker's firsts.

Starting in chronological order, here are the first scheduled events / calendar entries for Governor Pritzker:

The first executive orders signed by Governor Pritzker were State of Illinois EO 19608 and 19609. EO 190608 is to Ensure Compliance with State Statutes, Transparency Laws and Data Publishing Requirements.

The elements of the executive order include:

• A requirement that every agency, board and commission review all statutory obligations and audit findings from the past four years and provide a plan within 60 days to address findings;

• A requirement that every agency board and commission review laws and regulations on publishing data and ensure compliance within 30 days;

• A requirement that every agency, board and commission review their data publishing practices - including past practices - within 60 days to move toward greater voluntary data disclosure. 

Executive Order 2019-02:

• Require that the Department of Central Management Services and the Department of Human Rights shall review the state's pay plan to eliminate bias generated by asking employees for salary history, which often disadvantages women, particularly women of color. The State of Illinois will no longer ask prospective employees questions about salary history, because of historic salary disadvantages women face.

• Help protect workers from wage theft. The order directs the Illinois Department of Labor to expeditiously handle all cases of wage theft and day labor exploitation, including referring appropriate cases to the Attorney General. This will allow the administration to hold bad actors accountable and protect workers.

• Require that all state agencies comply with the Project Labor Agreements Act.

The Governor's first texts. Here's where things get interesting for Illinois voters! The Governor actually gave his FOIA office staff his State Issued cell phone for a photo op!

Governor Pritzker's state-issued cell phone showing his first texts as the 43rd Governor of Illinois

The Governor's first photos

The First Statewide Emergency

On Tuesday, January 29, 2019, Governor Pritzker faced the first ever statewide emergency involving the very lives of every single state resident when the State of Illinois experienced historic extreme deep-freeze temperatures predicted by the National Weather Service to bring the entire state into life threatening sub-zero degree weather with and without a windchill. The National Weather Service indicated at the time that the state would experience wind chills reach -55 in northern Illinois, -35 in central Illinois and -25 in parts of southern Illinois.

Gov. Pritzker Puts in Place Emergency Preparedness Plan as Extreme Weather Approaches

"This is a potentially historic winter storm that will bring extreme cold to our state and all Illinoisans must prepare," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Our administration putting into place an Emergency Preparedness Plan with key state agencies as well as warning residents about these life-threatening conditions. We will continue working with local officials to make sure they get the help they need to keep their communities safe."

Governor Pritzker then declared the entire state a disaster area.

"This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event." - Governor JB Pritzker

A state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms. The state of Illinois has mobilized personnel and assets to help local government officials with disaster response and recovery. (source linked to above)

The Chicago Office of the National Weather Service actively kept the public informed via their official Twitter account. On February 1st, 2018, they tweeted about how long the O'Hare area spent at a below zero temp, and the tweets are embedded here from the most recent to the earliest:

At this time, Chicago-One is aware of ten deaths in Chicago related to this deadly deep-freeze.

Update: 11:48PM

A statement from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has been obtained by Chicago-One at 9:11PM this evening. The statement is as follows:

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the 21st, 22nd and 23rd cold-related deaths of the season in Cook County.

The Office determined a 92-year-old man died as a result of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with hypothermia due to cold exposure as a contributing factor. The manner of death is accident. The man was pronounced dead on January 31 in the 9400 block of S. Parnell Ave. in Chicago. Case #ME2019-00503

The Office determined a 73-year-old woman died as a result of cold exposure. The manner of death is accident. The woman was pronounced dead on January 31 in the 2900 block of N. Meade Ave. in Chicago. Case #ME2019-00509

The Office determined a 62-year-old woman died as a result of coronary atherosclerosis with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cold exposure as contributing factors. The manner of death is accident. The woman was pronounced dead on January 28 in the 7200 block of W. Greenleaf Ave. in Chicago. Case #ME2019-00519

Official Proclamation of Statewide Disaster signed by the Illinois Secretary of State and Governor JB Pritzker

Last updated at 10:09AM, Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 to add the official State of Illinois Proclamation of Disaster document signed by Governor Pritzker

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