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April 15, 2019 Update | Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Inc.

April 15, 2019 Update

Coming Up:

The General Assembly is taking a two-week spring break. Both chambers will return to session Tuesday, April 30th. Five weeks remain in the spring session. Adjournment is scheduled for May 31st.

Governor’s Highlights:

Governor Pritzker’s graduated income tax plan cleared its first hurdle last week passing the Senate Executive Committee on a partisan roll call. The legislation was filed as an amendment this week to SJRCA1 (Harmon). The amendment would revise the state’s Constitution as follows: “The General Assembly shall provide by law for the rate or rates of any tax on or measured by income imposed by the state. In any such tax imposed upon corporations the highest rate shall not exceed the highest rate imposed on individuals by more than a ratio of 8 to 5.” According to the Governor, as the constitutional amendment moves forward, his administration will continue negotiations with the General Assembly over the tax rates. Final action by the Senate is expected when the chamber reconvenes after spring break. If approved by the legislature, the constitutional amendment would be placed on the November 2020 ballot for voter approval.

Governor Pritzker signed legislation (HB345/ Lilly-Morrison) to raise the smoking age to 21 statewide. The law, which covers tobacco and vaping products, takes effect July 1st.
The Governor also signed the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act, SB1474 (Villivalam/Yednock).

Governor Pritzker signed legislation(SB886 /Cullerton-Riley ) to authorize the sale of the James R. Thompson Center by competitive sealed bide within two years. The purchaser is required to enter into an agreement with the City of Chicago and CTA to maintain operations of the Clark and Lake station.

The timeline for the sale is as follows:

  • Phase 1 (Present to Months 3-6) – The state will draft a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to interested purchasers within the next four to six weeks and will re-engage negotiations with the City of Chicago regarding zoning and transit station within three to six months;
  • Phase 2 (Months 7-12) – The state will issue an RFQ and begin discussions with interested purchasers in four to six months’ time and draft and publish a Request for Proposal (RFP) to acquire and develop the property in four months’ time;
  • Phase 3 (Months 12-17) – The state will allow four to five months for interested purchasers to develop their proposals and respond to the RFP;
  • Phase 4 (Months 15-20) – The state will evaluate proposals, which includes discussions with proposers to clarify responses, within three months;
  • Phase 5 (Months 17-22) – The state will negotiate and award the contract within two months, which will conclude before the 24-month deadline.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services announced the state’s Medicaid program will begin covering gender affirming surgeries for members under new policies being established by the Department. The new policy will include Medicaid members in HealthChoice Illinois, the state’s managed care program, as well as those receiving their care through traditional fee-for-service. When the policy is finalized, the Department will reach out to medical providers, stakeholders, and the LGBTQ community to promote awareness of the new coverage.

Representative Bailey filed legislation HB3831 to prohibit the use of Medicaid funds to pay for gender affirming surgery.

Attorney General Highlights:

Illinois’ Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Connecticut based Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma Inc over its deceptive marketing practices that the state alleges were designed to significantly increase prescriptions issued for opioids. Raoul filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a consent decree with a transportation company that requires it to end its practice of discriminating and harassing customers and their families. The consent decree resolves a lawsuit the Attorney General’s office filed in 2018 against Suburban Express, Inc. and owner Dennis Toeppen. The Attorney General alleged that Toeppen and Suburban Express discriminated against customers on the basis of race, national origin and religion; harassed customers with public shame and ridicule; and intentionally compromised customers’ personal information. Suburban Express is a company that provides bus services to students at colleges and universities in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana to the suburban Chicago area and Chicago airports.

Comptroller Highlights:

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced that her office will institute new contract reporting requirements to prevent future spending and procurement abuses such as those identified by the state Auditor General in his audit of the Illinois state employee benefit management system. The audit outlined a series of problems with the MyBenefts Marketplace human resources solution from Morneau Shepell. The Comptroller announced she is suspending $5.7 million in payments to the vendor pending further review. The Comptroller will also implement new contract reporting standards for Information Technology vendor agreements over $5 million. State agencies will be required to provide certifications that all conflict of interest disclosures have been submitted by state employees. If minority contracting goals are not included in a contract, agencies will have to explain why they have been omitted. State agencies will also be required to provide progress and performance updates on ongoing IT initiatives.

101st General Assembly:

Friday, April 12th was the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of the first chamber. Deadline extensions in the Senate were released today.

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot addressed the both chambers of the General Assembly and met with legislative leaders and the Governor this week in Springfield. Lightfoot stressed the need for unity and working together for the entire state. Despite not taking office until May 20th, Lightfoot noted she will have a Springfield presence from now until the end of the session.

No final action was taken on several notable issues including clean energy jobs, FOID card revisions, sports betting, pension reforms, and recreational cannabis. Those issues remain under discussion.
HB2078 (Stuart), legislation to phase in an increase in the minimum teacher salary, passed the Illinois House 79-31. Companion legislation, SB10 (Manar), also passed the Senate 45-11.
HB331 (Jones) creates the Expressway Camera Act which is designed to increase the presence of cameras on Cook County expressways to aid law enforcement the investigation of any offense involving the use of a firearm. Part of the funding would come from the Road Fund. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House 109-0-1.
HB123 (Willis) which would allow the Governor to reverse decisions of the Health Facilities Review Board, passed the House 69-35. While the bill is designed to keep Westlake Hospital open, critics of the bill argued that the legislation has far reaching implications for health care facilities’ statewide. The sponsor committed to bring a “trailer bill” back to the body to address concerns after the Westlake decision is finalized. Background: Westlake Hospital was recently purchased by Pipline and a promise was made to keep the hospital open for 2 years. Shortly after the sale, Pipline announced it would be closing the hospital and this week they temporarily suspended several services at the hospital. A Cook County Judge ruled Tuesday against Pipeline’s temporary suspension of services ruling Pipeline must remain fully operational.
SB1510 (Collins) enforces the state’s minimum nursing home staffing requirements, mandates higher transparency of nursing home violations and sets stricter guidelines around the voluntary, informed consent of a resident when nursing home personnel administer psychotropic medication. SB 1510 resulted from reporting by the Chicago Tribune and Kaiser Health News. Passed the Senate 39-19.
HB2233 (Thapedi) codifies modern practice and case law regarding special interrogatories and provides guidance about their use. This is an initiative of the Illinois Trial Lawyers and the Illinois State Bar Association. Passed the House 74-37.
SB1588 (Bush) creates a new civil remedy for victims of sexual harassment – the Civil No Contact Order – passed the Senate 42-6-2. The bill is a result of the Senate Sexual Harassment Task Force. Republican Senators argued the bill is too broad and asked the sponsor to continue to work on the bill in the House.
HB1873 (Bailey) doubles the fines for passing a stopped school bus. Passed the House 74-16-12.
SB161 (Curran) creates the Worker Protection Unit within the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to intervene in, initiate, enforce, and defend all criminal or civil legal proceedings on matters and violations relating to wage and other employment related violations. The bill, which is an initiative of the Attorney General, passed the Senate unanimously.
SB222 (Castro) makes it an unlawful practice to offer to consumers at retail a rebate made on a rebate card that charges dormancy fees or other post-issuance fees. Passed the Senate 40-17.
HB1633 (Hoffman) creates the offense of criminal damage to a critical infrastructure facility which is a joint effort of the Illinois Manufactures Association and the AFL-CIO. Passed the House 77-28-3.
SB455 (Castro) creates procedures for student use of medical cannabis while at school or school sponsored activities. The sponsor pledged to continue working on the bill as it progresses in the House. Passed the Senate 52-0-0.
HB3358 (Turner) creates a Data Transparency and Privacy Act. There is no private right of action in the bill. The bill includes a variety of exemptions including banking and telecommunications. The sponsor said he will continue to work on the bill in the Senate. Passed the House 72-37-1.
SB1226 (Holmes) Abolishes the Illinois State Charter School Commission, removing the ability of any state entity to overturn a local school board’s decision to deny a charter school application. Creates a charter school application process where only local school boards and communities can decide if a charter school will be allowed. Places existing charter schools under authority of the Illinois State Board of Education. SB 1226 passed the Senate 40-11-1. Companion House legislation, HB2100 (Welch) passed the House 72-33.
SB75 (VIllivalam) which creates the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act requiring those entities to have sexual harassment policies in place passed the Senate 53-3.
HB3606 (Martwick) creates the Student Data Protection Act to protect and secure student data collection. The sponsor committed to continue negotiations in the Senate. Passed the House 71-40-2
SB2075 (Lightford) lowers the compulsory school age from 6 to 5 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. Requires each district to establish kindergarten for 5-year-old children. Passed the Senate 39-16.
SB1829 (Bush), omnibus legislation addressing sexual harassment and discrimination in the private sector, passed the Senate unanimously. The bill is the result of the Senate Sexual Harassment Task Force and was negotiated with the business community, employee representatives and the Department of Human Rights. The bill’s fate in the House is uncertain.
SB29 (Bush) creates an energy transition zone to provide economic assistance to attract new energy. Passed the Senate 58-0.
HB471 (Morgan) requires health insurance carriers to file rates with the Department of Insurance for approval. The Department will disapprove “unreasonable” rate increases. Passed the House 73-41.
SB1536 (Link) legislation targeting the imposition of term limits in municipalities narrowly passed the Senate 31-19. The bill requires prospective term limits and applies to term limits approved on or after Nov. 8, 2016.
The House Revenue & Finance Committee: Sales, Amusement & Other Taxes Subcommittee will hold a hearing on April 25th at 10:00 am in Room C-600 of the Bilandic Building in Chicago to discuss sports wagering.

Key Session Dates

May 10- DEADLINE for Substantive Bills out of Committee in 2nd chamber.
May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.