November 12. 2018 Update

Tommorw, the General Assembly will reconvene for the first week of its scheduled two-week veto session. The General Assembly is expected to consider action on numerous Gubernatorial vetoes as well as considering other new and pending legislation. It is unknown at this time exactly how much the lame-duck 100th General Assembly will try to accomplish in its remaining days. With Governor-elect Pritzker prepared to take office in January and new super-majorities in both legislative chambers, leadership may decide to postpone action on several measures until the new General Assembly takes office.
There are 73 vetoes pending before the General Assembly (46 total vetoes and 27 amendatory vetoes). Once vetoed, legislation is returned to the chamber of origin. After the Governor’s veto message is read into the record in the original chamber, the original chamber has 15 days to consider the motion to override or in the event of an amendatory veto – to accept the Governor’s recommendations for change. If the motion passes the original chamber, the legislation then proceeds to the second chamber. The second chamber then has 15 days to consider the veto motion. There is no limit on how many times a chamber may vote on a veto message within that 15-day window. If a veto motion fails to pass a chamber at the conclusion of the 15-day period, the legislation is considered dead. Passage of veto motions requires a 3/5ths vote in each chamber (36 votes in the Senate and 72 votes in the House).
Governor-elect JB Pritzker announced both his Transition Committee and his new administration’s Chief of Staff. Serving as his Transition Committee Chair is Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton. Pritzker’s campaign manager, Anne Caprara, will serve as chief of staff for the Governor’s Office. Transition Committee members will include Co Chairs: Barbara Bowman, Mike Carrigan, Former Governor Jim Edgar, Sol Flores and Marty Nesbitt. Transition Committee Staff include Anne Caprara, Chief of Staff; Nikki Budzinski, Transition Director; Sean Rapelyea, Deputy Transition Director; Former Comptroller Dan Hynes, Senior Advisor; Representative Christian Mitchell, Senior Advisor; Michael Sacks, Senior Advisor and Jesse Ruiz, Counsel. The Transition Committee will be divided into several working groups composed of subject-matter experts that will advise and guide the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration.
Governor-elect JB Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton announced the formation of the first Transition working group, the Budget and Innovation Committee. The working group will be chaired by former state Comptroller Dan Hynes and consist of 17 members. Committee members include: State Representative Greg Harris, State Senator Toi Hutchinson, State Senator Andy Manar, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, Decatur Mayor Julie Wolfe, Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers, House Speaker Madigan Chief of Staff Jessica Basham, Chicago CFO Carole Brown, Associated Fire Fighters President Pat Devaney, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability Executive Direct Ralph Martire, IFT President Dan Montgomery, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall, Former Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, President Cullerton’s Chief of Staff Kristin Richards, Chairman of GCM Gorsvenor Michael Sacks, and Springfield Park District President Leslie Sgro.\


Several Subject Matter Hearings are scheduled for the upcoming week:
Senate Subject Matter Hearings:
3:15 PM
212 Capitol – Springfield, IL
Subject Matter On: Early Childhood Education Funding
9:00 AM
Environment and Conservation
212 Capitol – Springfield, IL
Subject Matter On: Ethylene Oxide Emissions, SB 3630, SB 3640
3:30 PM
Higher Education
212 Capitol – Springfield, IL
Subject Matter On: Solutions Regarding The Shortage Of Behavioral Healthcare Workers In Illinois.
Joint Hearing With Senate Human Services Committee
3:30 PM
Human Services
212 Capitol – Springfield, IL
Subject Matter On: Solutions Regarding The Shortage Of Behavioral Healthcare Workers In Illinois.
Joint Hearing With Senate Higher Education Committee
House Subject Matter Hearings
10:00 AM
Judiciary – Criminal Committee
C-600, 6th Floor Michael A. Bilandic Building – Chicago, IL
SUBJECT MATTER: Prison Reform and Reinstating Parole.
10:00 AM
Restorative Justice Committee
C-600, 6th Floor Michael A. Bilandic Building – Chicago, IL
SUBJECT MATTER: Prison Reform and Reinstating Parole.
10:00 AM
Tourism, Hospitality & Craft Industries Committee
Room 118 Capitol Building – Springfield, IL
SUBJECT MATTER: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum and Foundation.
3:00 PM
Public Utilities Committee
Room 118 Capitol Building – Springfield, IL

November 8, 2018 Update 2

Sorry to email you again today but I thought the below informaiton was just released and is important.


After winning yesterday’s gubernatorial election by 15 points, today, Governor-elect JB Pritzker announced his Transition Committee and his administration’s Chief of Staff. Serving as his Transition Committee Chair is Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton and campaign manager Anne Caprara will serve as chief of staff.
“I am honored to be chairing the transition committee with a remarkable group of leaders who represent the diversity and strength of our state,” said Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton. “From day one, JB and I have made a commitment to making sure Illinoisans across the state have a seat at the table as we build an administration to put Springfield back on the side of working families.”
For those interested in positions with the administration, they can apply online at:
Chair, Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton
Co-Chair, Barbara Bowman
Co-Chair, Mike Carrigan
Co-Chair, Former Governor Jim Edgar
Co-Chair, Sol Flores
Co-Chair, Marty Nesbitt
Chief of Staff, Anne Caprara
Transition Director, Nikki Budzinski
Deputy Transition Director, Sean Rapelyea
Senior Advisor, Former Comptroller Dan Hynes
Senior Advisor, State Representative Christian Mitchell
Senior Advisor, Michael Sacks
Counsel, Jesse Ruiz
Chair, Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton: State Representative Juliana Stratton has been serving the public, solving problems, and fighting for what’s right throughout her career. As a state representative for the 5th District, Stratton has worked to reform our criminal justice system, raise the minimum wage, and protect a woman’s right to choose. As the Director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she worked to build trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. She graduated with a B.S. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from DePaul University and is a proud former delegate at the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership. Stratton was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and currently resides in Bronzeville.
Co-Chair, Barbara Bowman: Barbara Bowman is a nationally recognized advocate for early childhood education and is the Co-Founder of the Erikson Institute and an Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development. She has worked as Chief Officer for early childhood education for the Chicago Public Schools and served as a consultant to U.S. Secretary of Education during President Obama’s first term. She is a professor, author and award winner.
Co-Chair, Michael Carrigan: Michael Carrigan is currently president of the Illinois AFL-CIO and will be a partner in putting Springfield back on the side of working families. He has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Illinois AFL-CIO for seven years before becoming president. Prior, he was Business Manager and Financial Secretary for IBEW Local 146 in Decatur from 1992 to 2000. Carrigan served as a journeyman wireman in Decatur before becoming Assistant Business Manager of Local 146.
Co-Chair, Former Governor Jim Edgar: Governor Jim Edgar served as the 38th Governor of Illinois and brings decades of government experience to his role on the transition. During his time as governor, he eliminated a backlog of $1 billion of unpaid health care bills, provided income tax relief and left an unprecedented $1.5 billion in the treasury for his successor. After retiring from elective office, he has continued his commitment to responsible and responsive government as a distinguished fellow at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs and he spearheads the Edgar Fellows program.
Co-Chair, Sol Flores: Sol Flores is an emerging leader in her community with a strong knowledge of the social service structure. She is Founding Executive Director of La Casa Norte and founded the organization in 2002. La Casa Norte is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and social services to homeless Latino and African American youth and families in Chicago. She was raised by a single mother who came to Chicago from Puerto Rico and has been recognized as a national Champion of Change for her work by the Obama White House.
Co-Chair, Marty Nesbitt: Martin Nesbitt will bring his extensive business experience to focus on creating jobs and building an inclusive economy that works for everyone. Nesbitt is the Co-CEO of the Vistria Group, LLC and prior to that was the CEO of the Parking Spot, an executive with Pritzker Realty Group, L.P and an Equity Vice President and Investment Manager at LaSalle Partners. He was also the National Treasurer of President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Martin serves on the Board of Directors of FowardLine Financial and Vanta Education. He serves on the Board of Directors of CenterPoint Energy, Norfolk Southern Corporation and American Airlines Groups, he is a Trustee of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation.
Anne Caprara will serve as Chief of Staff for the administration and senior advisor during the transition. Anne Caprara recently served as campaign manager for JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton’s gubernatorial campaign. Caprara is a political professional with over 17 years of experience in Democratic campaigns and legislative offices, Caprara has managed and consulted with candidates and elected officials at every level of state and federal government. Caprara served as chief of staff to Congresswoman Betsy Markey’s from 2008 until 2010. Before that, Caprara served as Chief of Staff for Ohio Congresswoman Betty Sutton. Caprara also served as political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Executive Director of Priorities USA during the 2016 election cycle. She obtained her Masters degree from George Washington University and her undergraduate degree from American University.
Nikki Budzinski will serve as Transition Director. Nikki Budzinski served as Senior Advisor to the JB Pritzker for Governor campaign. Budzinski led JB Pritzker’s exploratory effort for Governor and in her latest role she advised the campaign on political strategy, messaging and outreach. From 2015-2016, Budzinski served as the Labor Campaign Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. Prior, Budzinski worked in the labor movement for ten years in Washington, DC, working for the Laborers International Union of North America, International Association of Fire Fighters and United Food and Commercial Workers Unions. Budzinski is a Peoria native and worked for Comptroller Dan Hynes from 1999-2004 in Springfield, Illinois, serving in numerous roles within the Office of the Comptroller and working on both Comptroller Hynes’ reelection campaign and the 2004 U.S. Senator primary election.
Sean Rapelyea will serve as Deputy Transition Director. Sean Rapelyea served as Political Director for JB for Governor He previously served as Illinois Political Director for the Hillary For America campaign during the general election, where she garnered a 17-point win margin. Rapelyea previously served as Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the Office of the Mayor in Chicago after working as a Regional Field Director and Advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2011 and 2015 re-election campaigns. In 2010, he worked on Arkansas Senator’s Blanche Lincoln’s primary, runoff, and general election campaign.
Former Comptroller Dan Hynes will serve as a senior advisor. Dan Hynes currently serves as a senior executive at UBS Asset Management in Chicago, after a distinguished 12-year career in public service as the Comptroller for the State of Illinois. Hynes was elected Comptroller in 1998 as the youngest state constitutional officer since World War II. He was re-elected in 2002 and 2006 by wide margins. In 2011, President Barack Obama named Hynes as the United States Observer to the International Fund for Ireland, which makes investments in Northern Ireland for the purpose of promoting peace and stability in the region. Hynes also serves a member of the Democratic National Committee.
State Representative Christian Mitchell will serve as a senior advisor. Christian Mitchell is the State Representative for the 26th District and Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Mitchell began his career as a community organizer, working with churches on the south side of Chicago. He went on to become a trusted advisor to reform minded political leaders. He served as a deputy field director on Lisa Madigan’s re-election campaign, managed the city council race of former 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns, and was Midwest Paid Media and Polling Director for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. He has consulted for State Assembly and Congressional races across the country, and was a Senior Advisor to Senator Tammy Duckworth’s successful 2016 race. Before being elected to office, Mitchell also served on senior staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Michael Sacks will serve as a senior advisor. Sacks is the Chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor. Grosvenor specializes in the management of multimanager investment portfolios and is a leader in the alternative investment industry. Prior to joining Grosvenor in 1990 he was an Associate with Harris Associates, L.P. He graduated from Tulane University and received his M.B.A and Juris Doctor from Northwestern University. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the World Business Chicago Board of Director and is active in various philanthropic and community activities. He and his wife, Cari have three children.
Jesse Ruiz will serve as counsel to the transition. Ruiz is a Partner at Drinker Biddle and is the President of Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. He currently serves as a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Ruiz has served as Vice President of Chicago Board of Education and Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education and President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. He was appointed to serves on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission.

November 8, 2018 Update

We wanted to give you a brief update as to what happened on election day.  As I am sure you are aware, some races are still very close and could result in re-counts.  All constitutional offices, including the Governor, were up for election on November 6, as well as all 118 House seats, 39 of 59 Senate seats, and all 18 Congressional seats.  Illinois’ Democrats rode a blue wave to victory in Tuesday’s mid-term elections sweeping all six constitutional offices. Democrats expanded their super majority hold in the Illinois Senate and picked up a super majority vote in the Illinois House.  Democrats also defeated two incumbent suburban Republican congressmen to turn the Illinois Congressional delegation to a 13-5 Democrat majority. It is being reported that democratic candidates in Illinois benefited from voters angry with President Trump and the unpopular first-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, increased voter turnout and a large vote by mail program.


As expected, Democrat candidate JB Pritzker overwhelming defeated first-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and third-party candidates State Senator Sam McCann and Kash Jackson. Pritzker, who broke national campaign records for a self-funded cammpaign in US history, stayed on message emphasizing the Governor’s failures in office, especially with the budget crisis and benefited from the powerful endorsement of labor unions and trial attorneys.

  • Attorney General

State Senator Kwame Raoul defeated Republican attorney and former Miss America Erika Harold. Like Pritzker, Raoul gained important union endorsements and benefited from riding the “blue wave” of a considerably higher turnout of Democrat voters than in 2016. The sitting Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, chose not to run for a fifth term.

  • Secretary of State

Secretary of State Jesse White (D) easily won his six term in office defeating Republican Jason Helland.

  • Comptroller

Comptroller Susan Mendoza (D) easily defeated former State Representative, Congressional candidate, and member of Governor Rauner’s administration Darlene Senger.  Mendoza may consider a run for Chicago Mayor in 2019.

  • Treasurer

Treasurer Michael Frerichs (D) easily defeats Republican challenger Jim Dodge for another term.

Below is a detailed break down of Congressional, State Senate and State House races.  Winners are highlighted in yellow.

  • Congressional Races:

All 18 Congressional seats were up for re-election.  Heading into election day, the Democrats controlled 11 of the state’s 18 Congressional Seats.  There was one open Congressional seat being vacated by Congressman Luis Gutiérrez who is retiring.  Two Suburban Republican Congressman lost their elections:  Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam.

2018 Congressional Candidates
District Democrat Republican
1 Bobby Rush (I) Jimmy Lee Tillman, II
2 Robin Kelly (I) David Merkle
3 Dan Lipinksi (I) Arthur Jones
4 Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (I) Mark Lorch
5 Mike Quigley (I) Tom Hanson
6 Sean Casten Peter Roskam (I)
7 Danny Davis (I) Craig Cameron
8* Raja Krishnamoorthi Jitendra “JD” Diganvker
9 Jan Schakowsky (I) John Elleson
10 Brad Schneider (I) Douglas Bennett
11 Bill Foster (I) Nick Stella
12 Brendan Kelly Mike Bost (I)
13 Betsy Londrigan Rodney Davis (I)
14 Lauren Underwood Randy Hultgren (I)
15 Kevin Gaither John Shimkus (I)
16 Sara Dady Adam Kinzinger (I)
17 Cheri Bustos (I) Bill Fawell
18 Junius Rodriguez Darin LaHood(I)
Notes An (I) denotes an incumbent.

* Denotes an Open Seat





  • State Senate Races:

In the Senate, out of its 59 seats (21 of 37 Democrats and 18 of 22 Republicans) were up for election in November.  Of the 39 Senate seats up for election November 6th, only 18 were contested races.  Even without contested seats, there will be at least 11 new Senators on Inauguration Day in 2019 who weren’t in office in January of 2017.   Five current Senators were not seeking re-election:  Three Democrats –  Dan Biss (9th District); Bill Haine (56th District); James Clayborne (57th District); and two Republicans:  Tim Bivins (45th District) and Kyle McCarter (54th District).  Three appointed Republican Senators were in contested races seeking election to their first full term in office:  Craig Wilcox (32nd District); Donald DeWitte (33rd District) and John Curran (41st District).

The Democrats already held a 37-22 super-majority, the party increased its majority to 39-20 (or 40-19, depending on final ballot counts).  At this time, one Senate races remain too close to call. Republican Senator Michael Connelly leads his opponent, Laura Ellman, by 12 votes. Incumbent Republican Senators Chris Nybo and Tom Rooney lost their races to Democratic challengers.

2018 State Senate Candidates
District Democrat Republican
9* Laura Fine Joan McCarthy Lasonde
21 Laura Ellman Michael Connelly (I) – Too close to call
23 Thomas Cullerton (I) Seth Lewis
24 Suzy Glowiak Chris Nybo (I)
26 Tom Georges Dan McConchie (I)
27 Ann Gillespie Tom Rooney (I)
29 Julie Morrison (I) Barrett Davie
30 Terry Link (I) Soojae Lee
32 Mary Mahady Craig Wilcox (I)
33 Nacy Zettler Donald DeWitte (I)
36 Gregg Johnson Neil Anderson (I)
38 Heidi Henry Sue Rezin (I)
41 Bridget Fitzgerald John Curran (I)
45* David Simpson Brian Stewart
48 Andy Manar (I) Seth McMillan
54* Brian Stout Jason Plummer
56* Rachelle Aud Crowe Hal Patton – Downstate United Candidate
57* Christopher Belt Tanya Hildenbrand
59 Steve Webb Dale Folwer (I)
Notes An (I) denotes an incumbent.

* Denotes an Open Seat



  • State House Races:

Of the 118 House seats up for election, 64 were contested.  There are 13 Representatives not seeking re-election:  three Democrats – Laura Fine (17th District); Scott Drury (58th District); and Carol Sente (59th District) and nine Republicans:  Jeanne Ives (42nd District); David Harris (53rd District); Mike Fortner (49th District), Barb Wheeler (64th District); Steve Andersson (65th District); Brian Stewart (89th District); Sara Wojcki Jimenz (99th District); Bill Mitchell (101st District);  John Cavaletto (107th District); and David Reis (109th District).  Seven newly appointed Representatives were in contested races seeking election to their first term of office:  Deanne Mazzachi (47th District); Helene Miller Walsh (51st District); Jeff Keicher (70th District); Mike Marron (104th District); Chris Miller (110th District); Monica Bristow (111th District); and Natalie Phelps Finne (118th District).  Prior to the election, 30 of the 118 members who took the oath of office to begin the 100th General Assembly will not be returning for the 101st, which is roughly a 25% turnover before the ballots are even counted.

There are 20 sitting House members not on the ballot, as some were retiring or seeking different offices, while others lost primary battles:  nine Democrats – Dan Burke (1st District); Cynthia Soto (4th District); Julianna Stratton (5th District); Laura Fine (17th District); Barbara Flynn Currie (25th District); Al Riley (38th District); Scott Drury (58th District); Carol Sente (59th District); Litesa Wallace (67th District), and eleven Republicans:  Jeanne Ives (42nd District); David Harris (53rd District); Mike Fortner (49th District); Barb Wheeler (64th District); Steve Andersson (65th District); Brian Stewart (89th District); Sara Wojcki Jimenz (99th District); Bill Mitchell (101st District);  John Cavaletto (107th District); David Reis (109th District), and Reggie Phillips (110th District).  Six newly-appointed Representatives were in contested races seeking election to their first term of office:  Deanne Mazzachi (R – 47th District – Bellock); Helene Miller Walsh (R – 51st District – Sauer); Jeff Keicher (R – 70th District – Pritchard); Mike Marron (R – 104th District – Hays); Monica Bristow (D- 111th District – Beiser); and Natalie Phelps Finnie (D – 118th District – Phelps).

The Illinois House is currently composed of 67 Democrats and 51 Republicans.  Democrats will hold a supermajority vote in the 101st General Assembly following Tuesday’s election.   As of Wednesday morning, House Democrats have the potential for a net +6/+7 increase.  Republican losses include:  Peter Breen, Christine Winger, Jerry Long, Sheri Jesiel, David Olsen, the David Harris open seat, and the Mike Fortner open seat.  Helen Miller-Walsh, who was recently appointed to replace Nick Sauer was winning by one vote at midnight.  Incumbent Democrat Natalie Phelps Finnie lost her election bid.

2018 State House Candidates
District Democrat Republican
15 John D’Amico (I) Amanda Biela
17* Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz Peter Lee
18 Robyn Gabel (I) Julie Cho
19 Robert Martwick (I) Ammie Kessem
35 Fran Hurley Herbert Hebein
37 Matthew Hunt Margo McDermed
41 Val Montgomery Grant Wehril
42* Kathleen Carrier Amy Grant
43 Anna Moeller Andrew Cuming
44 Fred Crespo Katy Dolan Baumer
45* Diane Pappas Christine Winger
46 Deb Conroy (I) Jay Kinzler
47 Jim Caffrey Deanne Mazzochi (I)
48 Terra Howard Peter Breen (I)
49* Karina Villa Tonia Khouri
50 James Leslie Keith Wheeler (I)
51* Mary Allen Helene Miller Walsh
53* Mark Walker Eddie Corrigan
54 Maggie Trevor Tom Morrison  (I)
55 Martin Moylan (I) Marilyn Smolenski
56 Michelle Mussman (I) Jillian Bernas
58* Bob Morgan Rick Lesser
59* Dan Didech Karen Feldman
61 Joyce Mason Sheri Jesiel
62 Sam Yingling (I) Ken Idstein
64* Trisha Zubert Tom Weber
65* Richard Johnson Dan Ugaste
68 Jake Castanza John Cabello
69 Angie Bodine Joe Sosnowski
70* Paul Stoddard Jeff Keicher
71 Joan Padilla Tony McCombie (I)
72 Mike Halpin (I) Glen Evans Sr.
76 Lance Yednock Jerry Long (I)
77 Kathleen Willis (I) Anthony Airdo
79 Lisa Dugan Lindsay Parkhurst (I)
81 Anne Stava-Murray David Olsen (I)
82 Tom Chlystek Jim Durkin (I)
84 Stephanie Kifowit (I) Patty Smith
86 Larry Walsh Jr. (I) Rick Laib
88 Jill Blair Keith Sommer (I)
89* Nicholas Hyde Andrew Chesney
90 Amy Davis Tom Demmer (I)
91 Carolyn Blodgett Mike Unes (I)
93 John Curtis Norine Hammond (I)
94 Richard Cramsey Randy Frese (I)
95 Dillon Clark Avery Bourne (I)
96 Sue Scherer (I) Herman Senor
97 Mica Freeman Mark Batinick (I)
98 Natalie Manley (I) Alyssia Benford
99* Marc Bell Mike Murphy
101* Jennifer McMillin Dan Caulkins
104 Cynthia Cunningham Mike Marron
105 Benjamin Webb Dan Brady (I)
107* David Seiler Blaine Wilhour
109* Cynthia Given Daren Bailey
110* Shirley Bell Chris Miller
111 Monic Bristow (I) Mike Babcock
112 Katie Stuart (I) Dwight Kay
113 Jay Hoffman (I) Doug Jameson
114 LaToya Greenwood (I) Jason Madlock
115 Marsha Griffin Terri Bryant (I)
116 Jerry Costello (I) David Friess
117 Jason Woodlard Dave Severin
118 Natalie Phelps Finnie (I) Patrick Windhorst
Notes An (I) denotes an incumbent.

* Denotes an Open Seat




The election of Mr. Pritzker as Governor means that Democrats are guaranteed control of at least one of the three influencers (governor, house, senate) for redistricting in 2021.  With a simple majority needed to pass a redistricted map, and the odds of the Democrats in either chamber falling from a super-majority to a minority in the 2020 election very slim, Democratic control of the legislature, if not the state, is likely well into future.

The lame-duck 100th General Assembly will reconvene November 13th through 15th and November 27th through 29th for the Fall Veto Session.  The General Assembly has 75 vetoes pending for consideration (47 total vetoes and 28 amendatory vetoes).  Typically, the General Assembly convenes again for a lame-duck session in January although no January dates are scheduled at this time.  Given the outcome of yesterday’s election, it is possible that the Democratic Leaders in the General Assembly may forgo meeting in January and wait to tackle any remaining or outstanding issues during the Spring Session. As a reminder, any legislation passed prior to December 31st that contains an immediate effective date will require passage with a 3/5 vote in each chamber (36 votes in the Senate/72 votes in the House).  After January 1st, legislation with an immediate effective date requires passage by only a simple majority vote in each chamber.

Per the Illinois Constitution, the newly elected members of the 101st General Assembly will be sworn into office on Wednesday, January 9th at noon and all Constitutional Officers will take office Monday, January 14th.  Schedules and deadlines for the 2019 Legislative Session should be distributed at the end of the month.

May 31, 2018 Update

The General Assembly adjourned the spring session well before the midnight deadline. It is the first time in several years that both chambers finished business early in the evening. The need to pass a full fiscal year’s budget prior to heading home to face voters in the November elections dominated the 2018 Spring Legislative Session. The past three years have been marked by political bickering between the first-term Republican Governor and the Democratically controlled General Assembly. Last summer, Illinois emerged from a record budget stalemate with the General Assembly passing a budget and an income tax increase over the Governor’s veto. Prior to that, the state operated without a budget for the two fiscal years.
For the first-time since the Governor took office, Governor Bruce Rauner and the four legislative caucuses reached a bipartisan agreement on the state budget prior to the May 31st adjournment deadline. The deal is the result of weeks of closed door negotiations between the four causes and the Governor’s Office. Legislators on both sides of the aisle praised the bipartisan process. Governor Rauner , who remained relatively quiet regarding budget talks, indicated today that the budget is a step in the right direction and he intends to quickly sign the budget into law.
The Fiscal Year 19 budget allocates $38.5 billion in General Revenue Funds and $80.26 billion All Funds, which represents funding for a full fiscal year. The budget deal also contains $1.5 billion in supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 18 which includes $402 million for the Department of Corrections to pay old bills, $442 million for HFS to process Medicaid vouchers-including vouchers associated with accelerated processing of pending long-term care applications, $63 million for union back pay and funding for all Court of Claims special awards. Lapse period spending for FY 18 is extended by one month. The FY 19 budget also includes $7.7 billion in new capital appropriations and $13.06 billion in re-appropriated capital projects. The budget contains a 5% cut to the Local Government Distributive Fund, which is down from the 10% cut recommend by the Governor. The new fiscal year begins July 1st.
The FY 19 budget represents an increase of $1.1 billion over FY 18. The budget relies on revenue from the income tax increase passed last year, $600 million in cuts, savings generated from pension changes, and the sale of the Thompson Center in Chicago. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been working collaboratively with the Governor’s office for weeks to craft what they called a “balanced” budget. The budget makes the mandatory pension payment and fully funds state employee group health insurance. Pension cost shifts were not included in the final budget, nor were any of Governor Rauner’s previous demands for term limits or reforms to property taxes, worker’s compensation or pensions. The budget also does not provide a way to pay down the state’s bill backlog which currently stands at nearly $7 billion. Three cost saving changes were made to the pension program. Inactive vested employees will be given a pension buyout option ($41 million savings), Tier 1 members who file an application to retire will be given a COLA buyout option ($382 million in savings), and the 6% salary rule will be lowered to 3% ($22 million savings). The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget is authorized to issue $1 billion in General Obligation bonds to fund the two buyouts.
The Human Services budget includes a six percent increase for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and a one percent increase for the Department of Human Services. The budget includes a new pharmacy critical access rate and increases rates for ambulance services, Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities, child care and TANF benefits. Adult dental is added into the Medicaid budget for next fiscal year. Wage increases for DSP workers are also funded in the FY 19 budget. Previous tax credits granted to for for-profit hospitals will be extended for five years. The budget also transfers $200 million GRF to the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund to assist Long-Term Care Facilities with their backlog of Medicaid determinations. The budget includes $53 million to address the needs of the Quincy Veteran’s Home.
Funding for Elementary and Secondary Education is increased by $400 million over FY 18. The budget includes $350 million in funding for the new evidenced based funding model for K – 12 education and includes a $50 million increase in funding for Early Childhood Education. Funding for higher education is increased $60 million over FY 18. Higher education institutions receive a two percent increase in funding, and MAP grants are extended to four years. The budget also allots $25 million to a new grant program, AIM HIGH, that will provide additional tuition assistance.
Funding for public safety remains relatively flat and reflects most of the Governor’s introduced budget. The budget includes funding for a new State Police cadet class and funds the two cadet classes from FY 18.
The FY 19 budget provides for $7.7 billion in new capital appropriations and $13.06 billion in re-appropriated capital projects. The new spending includes:
  • Transportation: $2.9 billion for FY 19 multi-year plan and other capital projects;
  • Capital Development Board: $1.7 billion for capital improvements on various state facilities;
  • Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: $1.4 billion for grants to local communities for capital improvements;
  • EPA: $1.1 billion for grants to local communities for wastewater and drinking water projects;
  • DoIT: $400 million to implement the Governor’s information technology upgrades at state facilities;
  • State Board of Education: $81 million in school construction and maintenance grants;
  • Military Affairs: $55.5 million in construction and maintenance of National Guard facilities;
  • Architect of the Capital: $20 million for maintenance of the Capital building;
  • Public Health: $16.1 million for health-related capital projects;
  • SOS: $13.7 million for grants to local governments for construction and maintenance;
  • IEMA: $6.6 million for safety and security improvements; and
  • Agriculture: $2.6 million for improvements to the two state fair grounds.
As usual, the final days of the spring session were busy. A motion in the House to override the Governor’s veto of SB193(Raoul/Hoffman) failed by a vote of 67-49. The bill 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 the Prevailing Wage Act, the Employee Classification Act, the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, and the Wage Payment and Collection Act.   The bill is now dead.
Omnibus gaming legislation, SB7 (Link/Rita) was briefly revived at the end of session but quickly stalled. Gaming legislation from last year was assigned to committee and subsequently amended. The legislation failed in committee. The bill would authorize 6 new casinos in Chicago, the south suburbs, Lake County, Rockford, Danville, and unincorporated Williamson. The bill also authorizes video gaming at racetracks; and extends advance deposit wagering. The measure does not address fantasy sports betting, internet gaming or sports betting. The House sponsor indicated that he expects to address those industries and their regulations in the coming months. The sponsor plans to work on the bill over the summer and revisit the issue in the Fall Veto Session.
The General Assembly considered two wage history bills in the final days of session. HB 4163 (Moeller/Castro) passed out of the Senate 31-16-1.  This bill would prohibit employers from inquiring about salary and wage history by adding new standards that limit employer defenses and adding new compensatory and punitive damage penalties on businesses who are not compliant.  While the bill passed the Senate, the sponsor placed a procedural hold on the legislation preventing it from being sent to the Governor at this time. SB3100 (Bertino-Tarrant) passed the Illinois Senate.   This bill only prohibits the inquiry about or using of a job applicant’s wage, salary, and benefits history. It does not diminish employer defenses or enhance and expand legal remedies and fines as HB 4163 does.  SB 3100 now heads to the Illinois House for Consideration.
Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the United State Constitution with the passage of SJRCA4 by a vote of 72-45.
The Illinois House approved HB 4165 (G. Harris/Koehler) which requires legislative authority before the state can apply for any federal waiver that would reduce or eliminate any protection or coverage required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was in effect on January 1, 2017, including, but not limited to, any protection for persons with pre-existing conditions and coverage for services identified as essential health benefits under the ACA. Critics of the legislation argue that the legislation reduces the state’s flexibility. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The Illinois House narrowly approved HR1025 (Madigan), by a vote of 61-52, which supports the implementation of a progressive income tax in Illinois. The measure is non-binding. Any change to the state’s income tax structure would require the passage of a constitutional amendment. Passage of constitutional amendment requires a 3/5 vote of both the House and Senate and approval by voters.
The House approved SB 482 (J. Cullerton/Zalewski) which is jet fuel sourcing legislation that allocates the portion of the sales tax at issue, based on enplanements.   A new amendment was filed and adopted in the House. The Senate adjourned before considering the legislation.
The Illinois House considered SB1531 (Raoul/Greg Harris) which increases oversight of alternative retail electric and gas suppliers (ARES and ARGS). The legislation, which was requested by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, provides various consumer protections and increases transparency around rate pricing by requiring ARES and ARGS to include a “price-to-compare” utility supply rate on all marketing materials, during phone or door-to-door solicitations and on every customer’s utility bill. It also requires disclosure of price changes and prevents suppliers from automatically renewing a customer’s contract without the customer affirmatively opting-in to new terms. Suppliers will also be required to submit their rates to the ICC and the Attorney General’s Office quarterly. Additionally, the legislation seeks to protect public energy assistance funds by ensuring that LIHEAP and PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan) funds do not go toward paying the higher prices for electric and gas supply that ARES and ARGS charge. Critics of the legislation argued that the recent rules enacted by JCAR need time to take effect and have an impact. The bill failed on the last day of session by a vote of 56-54-1. The sponsor put the bill on postponed consideration and the bill can be taken up at a later time.
Below is a listing of legislation that passed this week and will be heading to the Governor:
  • Worker’s Compensation: The Illinois General Assembly overwhelming approved a handful of changes to the worker’s compensation system, SB904(Hastings/Hoffman). The bill creates a new right of action to allow medical providers to file claims for interest due on late payments in Circuit Court. The amendment raises the interest rate on late payments from 1 to 2 percent prospectively and requires workers’ compensation insurers to use electronic billing, already in law. SB 904 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • State Employee Back Pay: The General Assembly approved HB4290 (Costello/Manar) which provides back pay to state employees.
  • Omnibus Insurance Legislation:  The Illinois General Assembly approved omnibus insurance legislation SB 1737 (Hoffman/Munoz). The comprehensive legislation includes the Allstate and CNA Guarantee Fund Bill, reinsurance collateral, limited plans, and a negotiated version of Worker’s Compensation Rate Review. SB 1737 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Car-jacking: In the final days of session, the General Assembly made changes (HB 1804 J. Cullerton/Andrade) to a law that allows persons arrested for car -jacking to avoid accountability in court.  Both bills passed and are now headed to the Governor’s desk.
  • Medical Cannabis: The Illinois General Assembly approved SB 0336 (Harmon/Cassidy) which requires the Department of Public Health to establish the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program to allow the use of medical cannabis for persons diagnosed with a condition where an opioid has been or could be prescribed. The pilot program sunsets on July 1, 2020. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Tobacco 21: A measure to raise the legal age to smoke from 18 to 21 years of age, SB2332 (Morrison/Lilly), narrowly passed by a vote of 61-49-1 in the Illinois House this week. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration.
  • Gun Dealer Licensing: The General Assembly approved compromise legislation, SB337 (Harmon/Willis), to create the Gun Dealer Certification Act. The final bill was extensively negotiated and received bi-partisan support in both chambers. A motion to reconsider the vote was filed. Governor Rauner amendatorily vetoed previous versions of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. The sponsor filed trailer legislation on HB5913 (Willis). HB 5913 is currently pending in the House Rules Committee.
  • Firearm Restraining Order:The Illinois Senate approved HB2354 (Willis/Morrison) which creates the Firearms Restraining Order Act to provide a mechanism to confiscate firearms from persons who pose immediate danger to themselves or others. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Firearm Waiting Period: The Illinois House approved legislation SB3256 (Sims/Carroll) which requires a 72-hour waiting period for delivery of all guns after purchase. SB 3256 passed both houses but the Senate sponsor placed a procedural hold on the bill to keep it from being sent to the Governor.
  • Omnibus Medicaid Legislation: The General Assembly approved legislation, SB1851 (Hunter/Greg Harris),which makes several changes to the Medicaid program. The bill creates a Healthcare Advisory Working Group to address transition of DCFS wards. The legislation also addresses ambulance industry payment concerns, increases rates for Medically Complex children and creates a new rate for psychiatric hospitals. The legislation guarantees for safety-net hospitals in the event that neither the new assessment, nor the bridge, are approved by July 1st. The amendments require the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to make monthly advances to safety-net hospitals in the full amount of their current total assessment payments.
  • PACE projects:The House approved (SB2773/Althoff/Lang) which amends the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act to provide that a unit of local government may sell or assign assessment contracts. The legislation clarifies that the term “energy efficiency improvement” includes energy efficiency projects as defined in the Illinois Finance Authority Act. The Term “energy project” includes new construction. The House also approved legislation (SB43 / Bertino-Tarrant) which amends the Illinois Finance Authority Act to add PACE projects to the list of projects under the Act. Both bills now head to the Governor’s desk.
  • Vendor Payment: Both chambers approved SB2858(Steans/Greg Harris), which authorizes the State Treasurer to invest in account receivables from state vendors awaiting payment for 90 days or longer and makes the State Treasurer a qualified purchaser under the Vendor Payment Program. The sponsor said the issue is still under negotiation and will be amended in the House. The sponsor indicated that this legislation would allow the state to pay down $1 billion in the state’s bill backlog and allows the state to earn $1 million in interest. SB 2858 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Mental Health Parity: The General Assembly approved a bipartisan compromise, SB1707   (Raoul/Lang) , to further mental health parity in Illinois. The legislation makes several changes for persons with mental health and substance abuse needs including creating new definitions, implementing new tracking requirements for the Department of Insurance and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, data sharing with the General Assembly and removing barriers to treatment. SB 1707 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
This week, Governor Rauner announced a plan to spend $11 billion on Illinois’ roads and bridges over six years, including $2.2 billion in state and federal funding for fiscal 2019. The proposed 2019-2024 highway improvement program would improve 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the state, based on existing funding levels. The program also includes money for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges. More than 80 percent of that money is expected to come from the federal government. The six-year program calls for $1.34 billion in state funding, primarily from Illinois’ gas tax and vehicle registration fees.
WellCare Health Plans announced plans this week to acquire Medicaid insurer Meridian Health Plan for $2.5 billion. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The acquisition will increase WellCare’s Medicaid business. Meridian currently serves 1.1 million Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and health insurance marketplace members in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; including 508,000 Medicaid members in Michigan and 565,000 Medicaid members in Illinois as of May 1. It also covers 27,000 Advantage members, and 6,000 Michigan health insurance exchange members. The merger will increase WellCare’s Medicaid membership of 4.3 million at the end of the first quarter by 40% and give the insurer the number one market share in six states. In addition, WellCare will add Meridian’s in-house pharmacy benefit manager, MeridianRx, to its portfolio.
Attention is expected to turn to the November elections. All constitutional offices, including the Governor, all 118 House seats and 39 of the 59 Senate seats are up for election in November. First-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is facing a challenge from billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker. The upcoming election is expected to be a bitter and expensive battle. The fall veto session dates were announced. Session will be November 13, 14, 15th and then November 27, 28 and 29th. Here is the Veto Session Calendar. As always, we will continue to keep you updated on any developments.

May 19, 2018 Update

The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned until Monday, May 21st. Both chambers were in Session Tuesday through Friday of this week. Yesterday was the deadline to pass substantive Senate Bills out of House Committees. Deadline extensions are possible on some legislation still pending at the committee level. May 25th is the deadline to pass bills out of the second chamber. Roughly two weeks remain in the Spring Legislative Session.
Work continues on the development of the Fiscal Year 19 budget. A working group of legislators and budget staff continue to meet and work through the FY 19 budget. The four Legislative Leaders and the Governor met twice this week. There is still no agreement on the adoption of a formal revenue estimate for FY 19. The Governor and the Leaders reportedly discussed the possibility of a stand-alone capital bill including funding to build a new veteran’s home in Quincy. Democratic leaders expressed their reservations over the suggestion of a stand-alone capital bill. Legislators and the Governor have two weeks left in the Spring Session to develop a budget for the next fiscal year. After the May 31st deadline, it will take a 3/5ths vote in each chamber to approve the budget.
On Monday, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto to legislation requiring a 72-hour waiting period on the sale of assault weapons. The legislation, HB1468(Carroll/Morrison), passed the General Assembly in March. The Governor used the amendatory veto to outline what he called several “criminal justice reforms”. In his amendatory veto, Governor Rauner asked the Illinois General Assembly to reinstate the death penalty for mass murderers and those who kill law enforcement officers. The amendatory veto also extends the 72-hour waiting period for delivery of all gun purchases in Illinois. The veto further bans bump stocks and trigger cranks and authorizes restraining orders to disarm dangerous individuals. In addition, the veto requires judges and prosecutors to explain why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders in gun cases and allows for local revenue to be used to hire resource officers and mental health workers to help intervene and prevent student violence. HB 1468 has been referred back to the House for consideration. Based on past practices, it is likely the House will rule the Amendatory Veto out of compliance in which case no further action will be taken on the measure.
On Thursday, Representative Carroll filed the contents of the Governor’s Amendatory Veto to HB 1468 as an amendment to SB2580 . That amendment was assigned directly to the House Floor. The House Judiciary Criminal Committee has scheduled a subject matter hearing on both the veto and the floor amendment for Monday, May 21st at 2pm in Room 114 of the Capitol.
The Illinois Senate approved new Gun Dealer Licensing legislation, SB337 /Harmon, this week by a vote of 35-18-2. The measure is called the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act. The bill contains three parts. First the bill incorporates the Gun Dealer Licensing Act recently vetoed by the Governor with specific changes that the sponsor characterizes as simplifying the structure without compromising safety. The bill also includes provisions that allow for better recording and tracking of private gun sales. Finally, the bill creates the Gun Trafficking Act and requires the State Police to make certain information available about guns used in crimes. The bill now heads to the House for consideration. The sponsor indicated that additional changes may be made as the bill progresses through the House.
This week, the United States Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting thus allowing state’s the ability to regulate the action.   Legislation to legalize sports betting in Illinois, SB3432 , was reassigned this week to the Senate Gaming Committee and granted a May 31st deadline extension. A hearing on the bill is not scheduled at this time.
Governor Rauner filed a new Executive Order this week (EO18-07) to address minority contracting with the State of Illinois. The executive order will create a Commission charged with issuing regularly proposed solutions to systemic causes in minority, including African-American, participation in state procurements. The Commission will review, on a quarterly basis, state agency performance as it relates to African American businesses. Report results will be reported to the African American-owned business community.
In other legislative news:
  • A House Committee approved legislation (SB2332Morrison/Lilly) by a vote of 3 – 1 which would raise the age to purchase tobacco products to the age of 21. The heads to the full House for consideration.
  • A Senate Committee will hold a hearing on May 22nd at 10 am in Room 400 of the Capital to discuss HB4595(Fine/Biss) which creates a state-run worker’s compensation insurance company. The measure, which was scheduled for a hearing this week, was postponed in committee until next week.
  • The House extended the deadline on HB68 (Lang) which would create a private right of action for patients, providers and other advocacy organizations to sue health plans for mental health parity. HB 68 is now on 2nd Reading in the House. An additional amendment was filed and moved directly to the House floor. The amendment has not been adopted at this time.
  • The Senate Human Services Committee is scheduled next week to debate HB3479 (Feigenholtz/Manar) which requires a managed care community network that contracts with the Department of Health Care and Family Services to establish, maintain, and provide a fair and reasonable reimbursement rate to pharmacy providers for pharmaceutical services, prescription drugs and drug products, and pharmacy or pharmacist provided services. HB 3479 will be debated on May 22nd at 10 am in Room 409. The bill, which was scheduled for a hearing this week, was postponed in committee until next week.
  • Representative Hoffman filed amendments ( SB 0904) to the Worker’s Compensation Act to make changes regarding fees and electronic claims. House Amendment 1 is assigned for a hearing in the House Labor Committee on May 23rd at 10am in Room 114. House amendment 2 remains in the House Rules Committee at this time. House Amendment 1:
    • (1) Requires a provider to bill an employer or its designee directly;
    • (2) Provides that the employer or the insurer must send to the provider an explanation of benefits;
    • (3) Requires employers and insurers to pay interest to providers at the rate of 2% per month if bills are not paid promptly;
    • (4) Requires the Director of Insurance to adopt rules to ensure that providers have the opportunity to comply with requests for records by employers and insurers; and
    • (5) Imposes penalties upon employers and insurers that fail to comply with the electronic claims process.
  • A House committee approved legislation (SB43 / Bertino-Tarrant) which amends the Illinois Finance Authority Act to add PACE projects to the list of projects under the Act. SB 43 now heads to the full House for consideration.
  • A House Committee approved (SB2773 /Althoff) which amends the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act to provide that a unit of local government may sell or assign assessment contracts. The legislation clarifies that the term “energy efficiency improvement” includes energy efficiency projects as defined in the Illinois Finance Authority Act. The Term “energy project” includes new construction. SB 2773 now heads to the full House for consideration.
  • A Senate Committee defeated (HB4081 Halpin/Bennett) which creates the call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act to mandate that an employer must notify the state if they intend to move the call center our of Illinois. HB 4081 is rescheduled for a hearing in the Senate Telecommunications Committee on May 23rd at 11 am in room 212 of the Capital.
  • A House committee approved along partisan lines SJRCA4 which ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, thirty-six years after the original deadline. The measure now moves to the House for consideration. Thirty-five of the required thirty-eight states approved the amendment by the June 30, 1982 deadline. There are differing opinions on the impact of the passage of this constitutional amendment in Illinois. The House sponsor indicated that he is not yet prepared to call the measure for a final vote because it lacks the 3/5ths votes necessary for passage.
  • The Senate overrode the Governor’s veto of SB193(Raoul/Hoffman) which 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 the Prevailing Wage Act, the Employee Classification Act, the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, and the Wage Payment and Collection Act.   The bill now heads to the House for consideration of the Governor’s veto. The Senate sponsor pledged to move a trailer bill that will allow the Department of Labor to serve on a Task Force as requested by the Governor’s Veto.
  • This week, Senator Raoul filed a second amendment to SB575 , the Keep Internet Devices Safe Act. The amendment provides that no private entity may turn on or enable, cause to be turned on or enabled, or otherwise use a digital device’s microphone to listen for or collect information, including spoken words or other audible or inaudible sounds, unless a user first agrees to a written policy meeting. Under the amendment, a private entity that collects, stores, or transmits any information collected through a digital device’s microphone concerning an Illinois resident must implement and maintain reasonable security measures to protect such information from unauthorized access, acquisition, destruction, use, modification, and disclosure. The amendment has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is not yet scheduled for hearing.
2018 Key Session Dates:
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment