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January 18, 2019 Update | Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Inc.

January 18, 2019 Update

Governor J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as Illinois 43rd Governor on Monday, January 14th. Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Treasurer Michael Frerichs, were also sworn into office on Monday. Democrats now control all state-wide offices and both chambers in the Illinois General Assembly.
J.B. Pritzker’s inaugural address will likely take the place of a State of the State speech, typically delivered in January. Without offering specific policy detail, Pritzker used this speech as an opportunity to briefly highlight priorities for his Administration. Pritzker spoke of Illinois’ future as one of “possibility and promise”. Pledging to create an end to the partisan bickering that plagued Illinois for the past four years, Pritzker called on Democrats and Republican to work together for a better Illinois. Pritzker promised to enact a “balanced budget”, noting that to do so will require making hard choices to lower the cost of government without jeopardizing high quality services. Pritzker acknowledged that a balanced budget will also require “responsible fiscal management” which will include implementing a “Fair Tax System.” Other priorities for the Governor include passing a capital bill to update the state’s infrastructure program and expanding broadband high-speed internet to downstate. The Governor pledged to create environmental protections and indicated that one of his first actions will be for Illinois to join the U.S. Climate Alliance. In addition to raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, Pritzker wants his Department of Labor to enforce laws protecting workers wages and rights. The new Governor plans to work together to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of recreational cannabis. He spoke of approaching education with a holistic mindset that includes addressing teacher salaries, early education, vocational training and the state’s universities. Pritzker also pledged to appoint and create a diverse government. Specific details on how the Governor plans to implement these priorities are likely to be revealed when he delivers his first budget address to lawmakers on February 20th.
Details regarding the Governor’s organization of his administration continue to emerge. The three Deputy Governors are each assigned to oversee state agencies and assist in facilitating working relationships and enhanced communication between and within those agencies. Dan Hynes will oversee the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Revenue and other economic development agencies. Jess Ruiz will handle education related agencies. Christian Mitchell will oversee infrastructure. The deputy chiefs of staff will each be given smaller agencies to oversee.
Governor Pritzker made the following staffing announcements:

  • Sol Flores will serve as Deputy Governor. Flores is the founding Executive Director of La Casa Norte. The Flores appointment brings the number of Deputy Governors to four.
  • John Kim will serve as Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Kim currently serves as the Department’s chief legal counsel.
  • Jim Bennett will serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Bennett served as the Midwest Regional Director at Lambda Legal.
  • Michael Kleinik will serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor. Kleinik currently serves as executive director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois.

We will continue to update you on the new Administration’s organization as details become available.
Governor Pritzker issued three Executive Orders during his first week in office. EO19-1 directs state agencies, boards and commissions to immediately review their compliance with statutory mandates, come into compliance with data transparency laws and release all data that is required to be disclosed under state law, as well as review potential voluntary disclosures that would improve transparency and provide plans to address all audit findings of the past four years. Executive Orders take effect immediately.
The second Executive Order, EO19-2, requires the Department of Central Management Services and the Department of Human Rights to review the state’s pay plan to eliminate bias generated by asking employees for salary history. The order further 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. Finally, the order requires that all state agencies comply with the Project Labor Agreements Act.
Governor Pritzker issued EO19-3 which requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to report to the Governor regarding targeted industries and workforce resources. Under the EO, the Department will conduct a comprehensive review of industries the Department has identified for targeted growth to determine the ongoing effectiveness of investment in those industries and to identify emerging opportunities for investment in growing industries. The Department will also conduct a comprehensive review of the return on investment for targeted industries with recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of existing investment, and best practices and lessons learned for future investment in emerging growth industries. Finally, the Department will also report on comprehensive recommendations for improving alignment of workforce resources for communities that have been disenfranchised, including rural and urban communities.
This week, Governor Pritzker signed two pieces of legislation sent to him by the 100th General Assembly. The Governor also signed legislation (SB203 Lightford/Davis ) to ensure that the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) engages in collective bargaining with local labor stakeholders to establish prevailing wage rates. It also requires the IDOL to release reports on the diversity of workers employed on public works projects and provide recommendations to increase employment of women and people of color on projects. Pritzker also signed legislation (SB337 Harmon/Will) that requires state regulation of gun dealers.  
Pritzker also announced that his administration will initiate a process to bring state employees to their appropriate salary step level. Under this measure, union employees, many of whom have not received step increases since 2015, will be placed at their appropriate step for purposes of their pay going forward. The action does not address backpay owed to employees.
Kim Janas has been appointed Chief of Staff for Attorney General Raoul. Janus most recently served as General Counsel for the Illinois State Medical Society and ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company. Adam Braun, counsel with Greenberg Traurig LLP, will serve as Executive Deputy Attorney General. Brent Stratton, who has been with the Attorney General’s office since 2005, will serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General.
House Speaker Michael Madigan finalized his leadership team and committee structure.  There will be 35 standing committees and 3 special committees for the 101st General Assembly.  There are nine newly created committees (Adoption and Child Welfare, Appropriations – Capital, Child Care Accessibility and Early Childhood Education, Economic Opportunity and Equity, Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing and Charter Schools; Energy and Environment; Health Care Availability and Accessibility; Mental Health and Prescription Drug Affordability and Accessibility.  Twenty-three committees from the 100th General Assembly were either eliminated or merged.  Here is a complete listing of Speaker Madigan’s leadership team, committee structure and committee chairmanship
Senate Republican Leader Brady announced his leadership team. Senator Syverson will serve as the Deputy Republican Leader. Senators Rezin, Rose, Barickman, Anderson and Righter will serve as Assistant Republican Leaders. Senators Oberweis and Tracy will serve as Senate Republican Whips.
House Republican Leader Durkin announced his leadership team. Representatives Brady and Demmer will serve as Deputy Republican Leaders. Representatives Bourne, Davidsmeyer, Hammond, McAuliffe, Wehrli and Wheeler will serve as Assistant Republican Leaders. Representative Butler will serve as the Republican Caucus Chair and Representative Batinick will serve as the Republican Floor Leader.
The Senate Democrats released their committee assignments this week. Committee Chairs are as follows: Senator Bennet (Agriculture); Senator Steans (Appropriations I), Senator Manar (Appropriations II); Senator Lightford (Assignments); Senator Murphy (Commerce and Economic Development; Senator Sims (Criminal Law); Senator Bertino-Tarrant (Education); Senator Cunningham (Energy and Public Utilities); Senator Bush (Environment and Conservation); Senator Munoz (Executive Appointments); Senator Hastings (Executive); Senator Collins (Financial Institutions); Senator Aquino (Government Accountability and Pensions; Senator McGuire (Higher Education); Senator Morrison (Human Services); Senator Harris (Insurance); Senator Mulroe (Judiciary); Senator Tom Cullerton (Labor); Senator Jones III (Licensed Activities); Senator Holmes (Local Government); Senator Van Pelt (Public Health); Senator Hutchinson (Revenue); Senator Landek (State Government ); Senator Stadelman (Telecommunications and Information Technology); Senator Sandoval (Transportation); and Senator Castro (Veterans Affairs).   Republican appointments are pending.
The General Assembly remains adjourned until January 29th.Key Session Dates:
February 1 – DEADLINE – Senate and House LRB RequestsFebruary 15 – DEADLINE – Introduction of Substantive Senate and House BillsFebruary 20 – Governor’s Budget AddressFebruary 26 – Consolidated Primary ElectionMarch 22 – DEADLINE – Substantive Senate Bills out of Senate CommitteeMarch 29 – DEADLINE – Substantive House Bills out of House CommitteeApril 2 – Consolidated ElectionApril 12 – DEADLINE – Third Reading Substantive Senate Bills and Substantive House BillsMay 10 – DEADLINE – Substantive Bills out of Committee in 2nd chamberMay 24 – DEADLINE – Third Reading Substantive Bills in 2nd chamberMay 31 – ADJOURNMENT