May 24, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
The four legislative leaders met with the Governor Thursday afternoon. Their next meeting is scheduled for Monday.Capital Bill: Governor Pritzker released his Capital Plan, Rebuild Illinois, late last Friday. Negotiations are ongoing. His proposal has not yet been filed in either chamber. RTA Chairman Dillard noted he appreciates the funding in the proposal but argues it is not enough to meet mass transit needs. Liquor, satellite and other industries are pushing back against the proposed taxes that fund the capital plan. The new bonding authority in the Governor’s plan will require 3/5ths votes in both chambers.

Graduated Income Tax: The House Revenue Committee advanced the constitutional amendment to bring a graduated state income tax to Illinois, SJRCA1 (Harmon/Martwick), and SB687 (Hutchinson/Zalewski), companion legislation to implement the graduated rates. Both bills are pending before the full House. Rep. Zalewski testified that the caucuses will form a working group to continue discussions on property tax relief. The House is expected to take up both of these measures in the coming days.
The Governor signed SB 1596 (Sims/Hoffman) which creates exceptions to the worker’s compensation system by allowing civil actions to be brought against employers in personal injury cases. The new law lifts the 25-year statute of limitation on claims for people diagnosed with latent diseases after exposure to toxic substances (such as asbestos, radiation, beryllium) in the workplace. Effective immediately.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority announced conditional awards totaling more than $28 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will fund 25 affordable housing developments in 16 counties throughout Illinois. Once sold to investors, the tax credits are projected to generate an estimated $257.7 million in private capital to finance the creation and/or preservation of 1,864 affordable units for low- to moderate-income families, seniors, veterans and persons with special needs.

Attorney General Highlights:
Attorney General Raoul joined a coalition of 23 states and local governments in a lawsuit against a Final Rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services which seeks to expand the ability of businesses and individuals’ refusal rights regarding the provision of health care services on the basis of businesses’ or employees’ religious beliefs or moral convictions.  The federal lawsuit seeks to enjoin the Final Rule and prevent it from going into effect. The lawsuit alleges that the Final Rule, which will take effect in July 2019, would undermine the delivery of health care by giving a wide range of health care institutions and individuals a right to refuse care based on the provider’s own personal views.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General William Barr for violating federal law by placing “illegal conditions” on funding for Illinois law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program. In his complaint, Raoul alleges that Barr has exceeded his authority under the Constitution and federal law by requiring Illinois law enforcement to actively participate in federal immigration matters in order to receive Byrne JAG program funding. The conditions imposed seek to require Illinois authorities to allow federal immigration agents access to undocumented immigrants in state custody and to provide notification when those immigrants are scheduled to be released. 101st General Assembly:Seven calendar days remain in the 2019 spring session. Big picture items remain fluid right now. Expect long session days next week.  

Child Welfare Reform: Reforms advanced by the DCFS Child Welfare Reform Caucus , SB193 (Morrison/Feigneholtz), unanimously passed the House. The bill is designed to increase accountability from DCFS by requiring higher-level reviews of cases involving non-school age children, and by ensuring that corrective action is taken in reviewed cases as necessary to protect children. The bill also neutralizes any incentives that encourage caseworkers to reunite families, leaving children at risk in situations where parents or family members are perpetrating child abuse and neglect, and require the sole focus to be on the child’s health, safety and best interests. In addition, legislators will receive detailed reports on a regular basis that describe the issues identified in child protection investigations. Returns to the Senate for concurrence.

Scott’s Law: Two bills to strengthen Scott’s law passed the House. SB1862 (Munoz/Evans) expands Scott’s laws protections and increases fines and penalties. SB2038(McConchie/Batinick) increases awareness of Scott’s law by requiring at least one test question on the driver’s license exam about how to approach an emergency vehicle. Also creates the Move Over Task Force to study the issue of violations of the provisions of the Code prescribing how to safely enter a highway construction zone, approach a disabled vehicle, and approach an authorized emergency vehicle. Both bills return to the Senate for Concurrence.
A group of legislators and community advocates held a press conference Tuesday to urge the House of Representatives to pass SB9 (Bennett/Ammons) , the Coal Ash Pollution Prevent Act, which addresses the clean-up of waste pits filled with coal ash, the byproduct of burning coal. There are over 80 coal ash ponds in Illinois. SB 9 is on 2nd Reading in the House.

  • SB86 (Stadelman/West) provides that a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to watch or stream video. Passed House, returns to Senate for concurrence. 
  • HB895 (Morgan) makes the medical cannabis program permanent and expands the diseases eligible for the program. The bill previously passed committee but was not called for a vote. This week, the bill was returned to 2nd Reading in the House and a new amendment was filed. The amendment was approved by committee and is pending before the full House.
  • HB2156 (Mah/Castro) provides that it is 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. Defines “rebate card”. Senate adopted an amendment that clarifies that the prohibition applies to fees charged to the consumer, not swipe fees. Passed Senate, returns to House for concurrence.
  • SB1226 (Holmes/Welch) 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. Includes a route of appeal for existing charters. Negotiations between the Charter School Network and the IEA produced a Memorandum of Understanding. Passed the House 84-29 and heads back to Senate for concurrence.
  • SB1966 (Morriosn/Willis) was introduced to address the Aurora shooting. Requires new FOID card holders and those renewing their license to submit to fingerprint checks. Increases application fees from $10 to $50 and reduces licensing period to 5 years (currently 10 years). Passed House Judiciary along partisan lines. A second amendment was filed Friday morning that makes changes including lowering the FOID license and renewal fee to $20. That amendment is assigned to the Rules committee. SB 1966 is on 2nd Reading in the House.
  • HB834 (Moeller/Castro) prohibits employers from asking job applicants about salary history passed the Senate 41-14. Heads back to House for concurrence
  • SB1407 (Hastings) creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act. Provides that the Department of Labor shall develop by rule a curriculum of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. Also provides that an owner or operator, when contracting for the performance of construction work at the stationary source, shall require that its contractors and any subcontractors use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. SB 1407 passed the Senate 38-17. Heads to the House where it will require three Readings.
  • SB1536 (Link/Mayfield) legislation targeting the imposition of term limits in municipalities overwhelming passed the House 100-16-1. The bill requires prospective term limits and applies to term limits approved on or after Nov. 8, 2016. Heads to the Governor.
  • HB3606 (Martwick/Aquino) creates the Student Online Personal Protection Act. Passed the Senate and heads back to the House for concurrence.

Jawaharial “Omar” Williams, a laborer in the Chicago’s Department of Water Management, was selected to replace former State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin. Williams is the son of Ald. Walter Burnett.

Coming up:

The House returns to session Sunday, May 26th at 4 pm. The Senate will return to Session on Monday, May 27th at 4pm. Friday, May31st is the scheduled adjournment of the 2019 spring session.

 Key Session Dates