Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, function 'wp_init_targeted_link_rel_filters' not found or invalid function name in D:\Hosting\4374922\html\rcmco\wp-includes\class-wp-hook.php on line 286
February 3, 2019 Update | Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Inc.

February 3, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights
The State of the State address will be combined with the Budget Address in a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 20. Normally these speeches are delivered separately, but the first-term Governor requested additional time to prepare his legislative and budgetary agenda.Point to note: Illinois’ current bill backlog stands at $7.5 billion, which includes an estimated $1.069 billion in vouchers being held with state agencies. Governor Pritzker will undoubtedly address how he plans to deal with the bill backlog in the combined State of the State/Budget address later this month.
101st Illinois General AssemblyThe Illinois House was in session Tuesday, but canceled Wednesday and Thursday due to weather. The Senate remained in session all three days as scheduled. Both chambers stand adjourned until February 5th.After a lengthy debate, governing rules were adopted by the House for the 101st General Assembly on a partisan roll call vote of 72-43. Eleven new rules include changes from previous operating rules. Notable rule changes allow for the following:

  • Appointment of acting clerks, assistant clerks and doorkeepers;
  • Transfer of sponsorship of legislation carried by a member who retires;
  • Changes to the process to discharge a bill from committee;
  • Changes to the subcommittee notice requirements for amendments, concurrence motions and other items to match the committee notice requirements;
  • Restricts filing of committee amendments to a chief co-sponsor and principal sponsor or member of the committee;
  • Changes to the “note” request process;
  • The limiting of requests for verification to a member who votes against a measure. Members voting present or not voting cannot request a verification.

Efforts by House Republicans to make other substantive changes to the governing rules were not successful.This week, the Senate unanimously approved four changes to its (previously unanimously adopted) operating rules:

  • Prohibits the Committee on Assignments from re-referring a bill to the Committee of the Whole or another committee without written approval from the chairman to which the measure was originally assigned;
  • Changes when the “clock” starts for certain executive re-appointments;
  • Allows any Senator to offer a committee amendment to an appropriation bill; and
  • Prohibits the Committee on Assignments from directly referring a bill to subcommittee.

Other Business of Note
Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced two multistate settlements with Walgreens. Under the settlements, Walgreens will pay more than $260 million to participating states’ Medicaid programs. Illinois will receive $2.8 million. Under the first settlement, states alleged that Walgreens intentionally dispensed larger quantities of insulin than required by patients’ prescriptions and falsified information on claims submitted for reimbursement to Medicaid and Medicare. As a result, state Medicaid programs paid a substantially higher number of claims than if Walgreens had reported the correct supply of medication prescribed by doctors.
In the second settlement, Raoul’s office partnered with five states and the federal government to reach a $60 million settlement with Walgreens to resolve allegations the corporation violated the False Claims Act through its discount drug program, the Prescription Savings Club. Upon investigation, it was revealed that Walgreens billed states’ Medicaid programs for certain prescription drugs sold through its PSC at rates that were higher than its usual and customary rates. As a result, states’ Medicaid programs paid more money to reimburse Walgreens than they should have.
Minimum wage: The Senate Labor committee held a subject matter hearing to discuss pros and cons of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. Opponents expressed concern over how quickly the increase would be implemented and argued for special exemptions for park districts and others with fixed budget and fewer employees. There was also a discussion about taking a regional approach to implementing the wage increase. A shell bill to increase the minimum wage (SB1 /Lightford) is currently on 3rd Reading in the Senate. No substantive language has been filed at this time. Swift movement is expected on the wage increase legislation since Governor Pritzker wants the General Assembly to pass a bill before he delivers the Budget Address later in the month. 2010 was the last time lawmakers raised the minimum wage.
Legalized Marijuana: Senator Steans and Representative Cassidy joined Senator Manar in Springfield Monday night in a public forum to discuss their plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Their plan would allow legal possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana for Illinois residents age 21 and over, allow each household to grow up to five plants indoors, ban public consumption, outlaw impaired driving, and revoke drivers’ licenses from teens caught using cannabis. The proposal would also allow local governments to opt out, and it would allow landlords to restrict or prohibit use of marijuana on their properties. Local governments would be allowed under this plan to collect an additional local sales tax, and revenues from the tax on marijuana that would go to pay for law enforcement, public education, substance abuse treatment and restorative justice programs. Steans has filed a shell bill, SB7, which will likely be a vehicle for the measure. At this time, no substantive language has been filed to her a bill. Representative Ammons has filed her own bill to legalize recreational cannabis, HB902. Both Steans and Cassidy indicated that they will continue to work on details of the bill with stakeholders. A final bill may not be ready until later in the spring session.
Tobacco: The hearing to debate the tobacco 21 bill – SB21   (Morrison) was canceled and rescheduled for next week.
Recent Appointments:
Kam Buckner was appointed to represent the 26th House District replacing Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell. Buckner, a former University of Illinois football player, most recently served as the executive director of World Sport Chicago.
Governor Pritzker named addition staff this week:

  • Ramon Gardenhire, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Office of the Governor. Currently VP for policy for AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Gardenhire oversees AFC’s advocacy and policy work at the federal, state and local level.
  • Pat Collier, Deputy Chief of Staff for Federal Affairs in the Office of the Governor. Previously, Collier served as policy director on Governor Pritzker’s campaign. Prior to that, he was director of government affairs for the Center for American Progress, a progressive Washington think tank.
  • Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). A board-certified internist and pediatrician, Dr. Ezike comes to IDPH from Cook County Health, where she has served for more than 15 years.
  • Jaime E. Martinez, Director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). Currently serves as executive director of Illinois Joining Forces, a nationally-recognized statewide nonprofit and public-private partnership that brings services and support to veterans at the community level.
  • Kareem Dale, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Currently a director and senior counsel at Discover Financial Services.
  • Donald Edwards, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Founder and CEO of Flexpoint Ford, LLC, a private equity investment firm with $3 billion under management, focusing on health care and financial services.
  • Ricardo Estrada, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Currently CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, one of Illinois’ largest and best respected human services agencies.
  • Patricia Brown Holmes, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Managing partner at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila, LLP, and formerly a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP from 2005 to 2016.
  • Naomi Jakobsson, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. After teaching in the Urbana School District and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign early in her career, Jakobsson went on to represent UIUC and the 103rd House District from 2002 to 2015.

Coming Up
Both chambers have an aggressive spring session schedule.   The House is scheduled to be in session every week with the exception of a two-week spring break in April. In addition to the two-week spring break, the Senate is scheduled to take off the week of Valentine’s Day and the week of the Chicago election, both in February. Adjournment is scheduled for May 31st.
Key Session Dates:
February 1- DEADLINE for Senate and House LRB Requests.February 15- DEADLINE for introduction of Substantive Senate and House Bills.February 20- State of the State/Governor’s Budget Address.February 26- Consolidated Primary Election.March 22- DEADLINE for substantive Senate Bills out of Senate Committee.March 29 – DEADLINE for substantive House Bills out of House Committee.April 2- Consolidated Election.April 12- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Senate Bills and Substantive House Bills.May 10- DEADLINE for Substantive Bills out of Committee in 2nd chamber.May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.