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News | Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Inc.

June 3, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
First-term Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker successfully navigated his massive agenda through the Democratically controlled General Assembly. The General Assembly ended the spring session approving an increase to the minimum wage, enacting a budget, approving a multi-billion capital plan, legalizing sports betting and recreational marijuana, expanding gaming and approving changes to the state’s income tax structure. Negotiations continued down to the wire, sending the General Assembly into overtime session.
Graduated Income Tax: 
The Illinois House voted along party lines to replace Illinois’ flat income tax with a graduated income tax. SJRCA1(Harmon/Martwick) proposes to change 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”. The amendment will be placed on the November 2020 ballot for voter approval. Voters must then approve the measure by either 60% of those voting on the question of 50% of those voting in the election. Previously approved by the Senate.
The House approved new graduated income tax rates for individuals and corporations, SB687 (Hutchinson/Zalewski). Previously approved by the Senate. Unlike the earlier Pritzker plan, this bill addresses the “marriage penalty” by creating different rates for married and single filers. The individual rates are estimated to generate $3.3 billion while the changes in the corporate tax rate are projected to generate $350 million. Under the bill, individuals would receive a $100 income tax credit per child up to $80,000 in earnings for single filers and $100,000 in earnings for joint filers. The proposal also includes $100 million increase in LGDF funding.

GRADUATED INCOME TAX RATE PROPOSAL 
Proposed Individual RateJoint Filers Income RangeSingle Filers Income Range
4.75%$0-10,000$0-10,000
4.85%$10,001-100,000$10,001-100,000
4.95%$100,001-250,000$100,001-250,000
7.75%$250,001-500,000$250,001-350,000
7.85%$500,001-1,000,000$350,001-750,000
7.99%1,000,000+750,000+
 Proposed Corporate Rate
Current RateProposed Rate
7.0%7.99%Applies to all corporate income

 The House did not consider legislation to freeze property taxes for schools and repeal the estate tax. Both measures previously passed the Senate. Instead, the General Assembly passed SB1932(Manar/Carroll) which creates The Property Tax Relief Task Force which is charged with using a racial and economic equity lens to identify the causes of increasingly burdensome property taxes across Illinois, review best practices in public policy strategies that create short- and long-term property tax relief for homeowners, and make recommendations to assist in the development of short- term and long-term administrative, electoral, and legislative changes to create short- and long-term property tax relief for homeowners. The Task Force appointments will be made by the Governor and legislative leaders. They also passed SB39 (Mulroe/Didech) to create the Illinois Property Tax Relief Fund. Provides that moneys in the Illinois Property Tax Relief Fund shall be used to pay rebates to residential property taxpayers in the State. Critics of the bill argue there is no money to put into this account.
FY 20 Budget and Capital Program: 
The Fiscal Year 20 budget and the Rebuild Illinois Capital program, and revenue streams to support both, were passed on several separate pieces of legislation.

  • SB 262 (Culleton/Harris) contains the FY19 supplemental and the FY20 state budget operating appropriations. The General Assembly approved a $107 billion All Funds ($40.6 billion GRF and $66.5 billion in other state/federal funds) Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The bill includes $975 million for lapse period spending and continues the 5% LGDF diversion. 
  • SB 689 (Hutchinson/Harris) is the revenue bill that supports spending for the FY20 operating budget. It decouples from the federal foreign-derived intangible income deduction, creates an online marketplace sales tax program, creates a tax amnesty program, and provides for an MCO assessment. The bill also contains business reforms and incentives:
    • Creates the Blue-Collar Jobs Act – designed to attract large scale construction projects;
    • Creates a Data Center Tax Incentive – which will enhance the state’s ability to locate data centers in Illinois by providing tax incentives;
    • Reinstates the Manufacturer’s Purchase Credit – to encourage further investments in manufacturing in Illinois;
    • Eliminates the Illinois Franchise Tax;
    • Eliminates the cap on the Retailer’s Discount.
    • HB 142 (West/Manar) creates the $45 Billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Program, which contains $22.577 billion in G.O. and Build Illinois Bond authorization to support a $45 billion capital program and pay-as-you-go portions of the appropriations bill. It also includes $1.2 in bond authorization to pay down the backlog of bills.
    • HB 62 (Harris/Cullerton) contains the vertical capital spending plan. $20.6 billion in bonding, leverages $10 billion in federal funding, remaining is pay-as-you go. Funds will be distributed as follows: $3.5 billion for education projects; $4.3 billion for state facilities, including deferred maintenance; $1.2 billion for environment and conservation projects; $420 million for broad band; $465 million for healthcare and human services, and $1.9 billion for economic and community development.
    • SB 690 (Link/Zalewski) contains the enacting legislation to create the necessary revenue streams to support vertical capital. Revenue will be generated from a $1 increase in the cigarette tax, a new parking tax, caps to the motor vehicle trade-in sales tax credit, and enforcing the online sales tax.  The bill also creates gaming expansion (additional casinos, racing positions, and VGT terminals) and legalizes sports betting. The revenue generated from the gaming expansions will also be used to support vertical capital.
    • SB 1814 (Steans/Harris) enacts the statutory changes necessary to implement the FY 20 budget. The legislation extends the time frame on interfund borrowing, establishes refund rates for corporate and individual income tax rates, provides rate increases for mental health and substance abuse providers, makes prompt pay interest changes, and restores the 6% TRS credit, among other things.
    • SB 1939 (McGuire/Hoffman) Revenue for horizontal projects – roads, bridges,
      transit and trains. Represents $13 B in transportation revenue over the life of the program. Funds will be generated from: doubling the motorfuel tax and linking it to CPI; increasing vehicle and electric vehicle registration fees; increasing title fees; increasing truck registrations and adding a 5-cent increase for diesel fuel.

101st General Assembly:Recreational Cannabis:
After more than two years of negotiations and town hall meetings across Illinois, the Illinois General Assembly approved controversial legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. Bipartisan negotiations during the past month led to changes in the previous version regarding expungement and home grow that appeased enough members to vote for the bill. Sponsors hailed this legislation as “the largest most equity-centered bill with the most criminal justice reform in the world right now”.
Specifically, the bill allows persons 21 years of age or older to possess, use, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis for personal use starting Jan. 1, 2020. Allows medical cannabis card holders only to home grow up to 5 cannabis plants. Provides for the regulation and licensing of various entities and occupations engaged in cultivation, dispensing, processing, transportation, and other activities regarding cannabis for adult use. Provides for expungement of minor cannabis violations under certain circumstances. Imposes a 2-year ban from the effective date on state lawmakers, regulatory employees, or their direct family members from holding a financial interest in state-licensed cannabis companies. Creates a Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Program and a Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Program Board and authorizes a low-interest loan program for social equity applicants, investment in communities that have suffered because of drug policies, and the promotion of cannabis business ownership by individuals who have resided in areas of high poverty and high enforcement of cannabis-related laws. Contains provisions regarding health and safety, packaging, advertising, local ordinances, providing financial services to a cannabis-related legitimate business. Creates a Cannabis Cultivation Privilege Tax and a Cannabis Purchaser Excise Tax. Authorizes the imposition of a County Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax and a Municipal Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax. Provides for allocation of revenues as follows:

  • 35% to GRF;
  • 25% for Recover, Reinvest, and Renew Program;
  • 20% for community substance abuse programs and mental health services;
  • 10% for the bill backlog;
  • 8% for law enforcement funds for prevention and training to be distributed through the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) formula; and
  • 2% for public education and safety campaigns.

Stalled Legislation: 
Two days before the end of Session, Senator Hastings abruptly tabled HB1633 (Hoffman/Hastings) which 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. The bill is now dead. The sponsor said he tabled the bill “to allow for continued summer negotiations”.
Legislation to “Fix the FOID” stalled in the Senate. The House narrowly passed controversial legislation to “Fix the FOID”, SB1966 (Morrison/Willis) but the motion to concur was subsequently held in the Senate Judiciary committee. The bill makes several changes to the existing FOID process and is a result of the Aurora shooting. While the bill was negotiated with law enforcement, significant opposition from gun rights advocates remains. The bill requires a point-of-sale background check for all gun sales, including those by an unlicensed seller.It requires applicants for FOID Cards to submit fingerprints as part of their application. Reduces the FOID Card duration from 10 years to five years. And requires action by the State Police to remove guns once a FOID Card is revoked.
These bills head to the Governor.

  • HB2023 (Morgan/Hutchinson) Makes several changes to the medical cannabis program including making it permanent, currently a pilot program, and adding qualifying diseases.
  • SB1890 (Murphy/Slaughter) Cracks down on human trafficking in Illinois by training hotel employees and law enforcement to recognize human trafficking, extending civil and criminal statutes of limitations and penalizing companies that benefit and profit from human trafficking.
  • SB9 (Bennett/Ammons) Creates the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act to establish parameters regarding how coal ash will be treated in Illinois. Senator Bennett committed to a trailer bill to address issues that were not addressed in this bill.
  • SB1591 (Gillespie/Walker) Provides that the research and development credit apply for taxable years ending prior to January 1, 2027 (currently, January 1, 2022). Creates an income tax credit for qualified education expenses incurred by an employer on behalf of a qualifying apprentice, subject to certain limitations.
  • HB2276 (Carroll/Morrison) Prohibits smoking in a car with a child under the age of 18.
  • SB 75 (Bush/Williams) Omnibus bipartisan anti-sexual harassment and ethics bill.
  • SB 25 (Bush/Cassidy) Reproductive Health Act.
  • SB 1300 (Aquino/Martwick) Omnibus pension bill making 11 changes to the pension systems.

Republican State Senator Dale Righter announced he will not be seeking reelection in November 2020. He intends to serve the remainder of his term. COMING UP:
The 2019 spring legislative session stands adjourned. Lawmakers will return for the Fall Veto Session October 28th. Veto Session Dates: Oct. 28 – 30 and Nov. 12-14. The General Assembly has 30 days to send legislation to the Governor and the Governor has 60 days to act or the legislation or it becomes law.

June 29, 2019 Update

GOVERNOR’S HIGHLIGHTS:
Governor Pritzker signed the capital bill package today during a state-wide fly around. The package of bills includes:

  • HB 142 (West/Manar) creates the $45 Billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Program, which contains $22.577 billion in G.O. and Build Illinois Bond authorization to support a $45 billion capital program and pay-as-you-go portions of the appropriations bill. It also includes $1.2 in bond authorization to pay down the backlog of bills.
  • HB 62 (Harris/Cullerton) contains the vertical capital spending plan. $20.6 billion in bonding, leverages $10 billion in federal funding, remaining is pay-as-you go. Funds will be distributed as follows: $3.5 billion for education projects; $4.3 billion for state facilities, including deferred maintenance; $1.2 billion for environment and conservation projects; $420 million for broad band; $465 million for healthcare and human services, and $1.9 billion for economic and community development.
  • SB 690 (Link/Zalewski) contains the enacting legislation to create the necessary revenue streams to support vertical capital. Revenue will be generated from a $1 increase in the cigarette tax, a new parking tax, caps to the motor vehicle trade-in sales tax credit, and enforcing the online sales tax.   The bill also creates gaming expansion (additional casinos, racing positions, and VGT terminals) and legalizes sports betting. The revenue generated from the gaming expansions will also be used to support vertical capital.
  • SB 1939 (McGuire/Hoffman) Revenue for horizontal projects – roads, bridges,
    transit and trains. Represents $13 B in transportation revenue over the life of the program. Funds will be generated from: doubling the motor fuel tax and linking it to CPI; increasing vehicle and electric vehicle registration fees; increasing title fees; increasing truck registrations and adding a 5-cent increase for diesel fuel.

The Governor’s office provided a detailed summary of the legislative package here.Illinois is now officially the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. Governor Pritzker signed HB1438 (Cassidy/Steans) on Tuesday. A summary of the legislation is here.Governor JB Pritzker signed two pieces of bipartisan legislation to impose limits on ethylene oxide emissions from ethylene oxide sterilization facilities and other companies that use ethylene oxide.  The bills, SB1852 (Curran/Durkin) and SB1854 (Bush/Mason) take effect immediately.
Governor Pritzker made the following appointments:

  • LeDeidre Turner will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.
  • Emma Johns will serve as Student Member of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
  • Norma Bellcoff will serve on the Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System.
  • Matthew Hunt will serve on the Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System.

Members of AFSCME Council 31 have a new labor deal with the State of Illinois. Ratification votes were taken at various locations over the past week and a half. It’s the first state contract for the 40,000 state government employees since the last one expired in 2015.
101st General Assembly:
Local Republicans are meeting over the weekend to select a replacement for Rep. Michael McAuliffe who abruptly resigned last week. Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens is expected to be selected to replace McAuliffe. If selected, Stephens has pledged to continue serving as Mayor while serving in the Legislature. He also indicated he would run in 2020.
Rep. Robert Martwick will  be appointed to replace Sen. Mulroe who resigned to take a judgeship. If selected, a replacement will be named for Martwick’s house seat.

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

May 31- ADJOURNMENT.

May 17, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
Governor Pritzker and DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith committed this week to overhaul DCFS’ Intact Family Services Program following the recommendations of the Chapin Hall report.   Earlier this year, the Governor requested Chapin Hall perform an initial analysis of challenges facing the Intact Family Services program, which is designed to keep families together. The report reviewed the long-standing systemic issues that have plagued DCFS for decades and made nine recommendations for short-term and long-term changes.
Moody’s Investors Service rating for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is under review for downgrade. The Tollway has approximately $6.1 billion in outstanding bonds. According to Moody’s, the rating action is driven by the recent US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruling related to the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority bonds. The ruling questions the strength of credit separations between a general government and its enterprises and component units. The review will consider economic, governance, and financial interdependencies between the Tollway and the State of Illinois and the extent that any interdependencies pose risks to the Tollway that could have an impact on its credit quality.
Rob Jeffreys was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Jeffreys spent 21 of his 24 years in corrections management at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Attorney William Cadigan, former Senator Laura Kent Donahue, former Senator Bill Haine and attorney William McGuffage where appointed to the State Board of Elections.


101st General Assembly:
FY 20 Budget: House Republicans announced a revenue framework Thursday that details $2.6 billion more in revenue than House budget working groups had previously accounted for during their budgeting process. According the House Republican plan, previously discussed budget cuts and changes to the income tax system would not be necessary due to increased revenue for FY 20 and other revenue items that House Republicans are prepared to support. Their plan includes using an estimated $845 million in new revenue from increased estimates on FY 20 income and sales taxes combined with another $1.4 billion generated from new revenue proposals suggested by Governor Pritzker. Their plan includes:

  • $1 billion from tax on Medicaid MCOS
  • $212 million from legalizing sports betting
  • $375 million transferred to GRF from reserve fund used to pay tax refunds
  • $175 million from amnesty proposal designed to incentivize the payment of delinquent taxes

House Democrats countered by saying the state’s underlying budget deficit can’t adequately be addressed without new revenue streams.

 Graduated Income Tax: The House Revenue and Finance Committee is scheduled to debate Governor Pritzker’s proposed constitutional amendment (SJRCA1 /Harmon-Martwick ) to implement a graduated income tax in Illinois and the Senate’s bill (SB687/Hutchinson-Zalewski ) to implement the new income tax rates. The hearing is scheduled for May 20th at 4 pm in room 118 of the Capital.


Recreational Marijuana: The Senate Executive Committee held a lengthy subject matter hearing on Wednesday to discuss Governor Pritzker’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana (SB7 /Steans). The bill’s sponsor said she wants the final bill to ensure public safety, include social justice and generate revenue for the state. Revenue resulting from legalization is expected to reach $500 million annually when the program is fully matured. Revenue for FY 20 is estimated at $56 million. Pritzker’s initial budget estimated recreational marijuana would generate $170 million in FY 20. The current bill allocates revenue as follows:

  • 35 % to GRF;
  • 25 % to a “Restoring Our Communities Fund” to pay for community reinvestment projects in low-income and high-crime communities;
  • 20 % to a fund to support mental health and substance abuse services at local health departments;
  • 10 % to the Budget Stabilization Fund to pay the backlog of unpaid bills;
  • 8 % to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to establish a law enforcement grant program; and
  • 2 % to the Drug Treatment Fund to pay for public education and awareness.

Negotiations are ongoing and further changes are expected.Scott’s Law: Governor Pritzker and lawmakers announced two amendments to strengthen Scott’s law. SB1862 (Munoz/Evans)

  • Expands Scott’s Law protections to include a stationary authorized vehicle with oscillating lights, first responders, IDOT workers, law enforcement officers and any individual authorized to be on the highway within the scope of their employment or job duties;
  • Increases the minimum fine to $250 for a first violation of Scott’s Law and to $750 for a second or subsequent violation;
  • Adds a $250 assessment fee for any violation of Scott’s Law to be deposited into a new dedicated fund to produce driver education materials;
  • Increases criminal penalty to a Class A misdemeanor if violation results in damage to another vehicle or a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to one to three years in prison, if violation results in an injury or death of another person;
  • Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to include firefighter and emergency medical service personnel while acting within the scope of their official duties;
  • Adds aggravating factors to reckless homicide charges if Scott’s Law was violated;

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.


Human Trafficking: House Speaker Madigan introduced an amendment to SB1890 to address human trafficking. Increasespenalties on human traffickers and those who benefit from exploitation. Imposes new fines up to $100,000 on businesses that benefit from human trafficking, sex trade activities or involuntary servitude. Gives law enforcement more time to bring these criminals to justice, extending the criminal statute of limitations from three years to 25 years. Gives survivors more time to seek civil penalties against their abusers by extending the civil statute of limitations from ten years to 25 years. Ensures all law enforcement officers receive training in identifying and investigating human trafficking, which is currently offered to new recruits but not required for current officers. The amendment is scheduled for a hearing next week.


Capital Funding: HB3233 (Evans/Sandoval) was assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee but was not discussed. Sandoval indicated he is working on revisions to his bill. Lawmakers may be briefed on the Governor’s capital bill as soon as this afternoon. Illinois schools asked this week to be included in the final product.  Hospitals continue to lobby for inclusion in the final plan.


Other Legislation:

  • Senate approved legislation, HB252 (Guzzardi/Castro) to extend the Human Rights Act to private employers employing 1 or more employees. Heads back to the House for concurrence.
  • Senate approved legislation establishing a referendum process for voters to dissolve McHenry County’s 17 townships. The bill also would require the abolishment of road districts in McHenry and Lake counties that maintain fewer than 15 miles of road. Heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Senate approved legislation 36-18, HB252(Guzzardi/Castro ) to extend the Human Rights Act to private employers employing 1 or more employees. Heads back to House for concurrence.

Coming Up:Both chambers reconvene on Monday afternoon – the Senate at 4pm, the House at 3pm.  Two weeks remain in the spring session. Adjournment is scheduled for May 31st.   
Key Session Dates
May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.May 31- ADJOURNMENT.

May 11, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:

Recreational Marijuana: 
Governor Pritzker and legislative negotiators unveiled a draft proposal (SB7 /Steans) to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois. Under the plan, Illinois residents could possess up to 30 grams of marijuana (15 grams for non-residents). Adults can grow up to five plants if certain conditions are met. Products will be taxed on a scale based upon the amount of THC. Cultivators will be taxed 7% on their gross receipts. Permits current large-scale commercial growers who serve the medical cannabis community as well as small “craft” growers. Establishes a $20 million low interest loan program through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for qualified applicants to help defray the start-up costs. Establishes licenses for “social equity applicants”. Places limitations on ownership to prevent the ownership consolidation. Misdemeanor and class 4 felony marijuana convictions would be expunged. The amendment is assigned to the Senate Executive Committee. A hearing on the proposal is not scheduled. The Governor’s office noted this is not the final product. Negotiations continue.


Pension Payment Deferral: 
Governor Pritzker announced he will be dropping his plan to defer $952 million in pension payments for FY 20 due to higher than expected April revenues. Revenue Director David Harris told legislators Tuesday that income tax receipts in April were $1.14 billion higher than April 2018, and $1.5 billion more than “conservative” earlier projections. That increase is likely to continue into the next fiscal year. Pritzker’s budget initially proposed extending the state’s current pension ramp from the current 2045 to 2052. Doing so would allow the state to put in $952 million less next year and spend the money elsewhere.


Graduated Income Tax: 
The Governor’s graduated income tax proposal, SJRCA1(Harmon/Martwick) is assigned to the House Revenue Committee. Two of the 74 Democratic representatives, Rep. Yingling and Rep. Carroll, publicly stated this week that they do not support the Governor’s tax proposal. Republicans remain united in their opposition. Passage requires 71 votes in the House.   A hearing has not yet been scheduled.


Governor JB Pritzker appointed state Rep. Jerry Costello II to serve as the Director of Law Enforcement at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Westlake Hospital in suburban Melrose Park will remain open for now. Last week the Health Facilities and Services Review Board ruled unanimously to allow the hospital to close. This week a Cook County Judge ruled that the hospital must keep stay open while the court reviews the Health Board’s decision. Rep. Welch, Rep. Willis and Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico have asked the Attorney General to intervene in the Westlake issue. On another note, Governor Pritzker withdrew the nominations of Julie Hamos and Michael Geldner to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board following their participation in the decision to close Westlake.


The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment is posting two Notification of Funding Opportunities for a total of $15 million to provide minority-owned businesses with resources to help create jobs, build capacity, increase revenues, and expand regionally. The program was authorized, but never funded. $10 million in funding is open to minority-owned businesses located in underserved populations. Eligible applicants include minority- owned businesses using the federal definition of minority owned firms (at least 51% of the firm is directly and unconditionally owned by one or more members of a minority group), start-ups or established businesses requiring public infrastructure improvements. $5 million in funding is available for incubators who serve or would like to serve minority-owned businesses.  The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will offer informational workshops across the state for businesses and incubators seeking additional details about the grants.


101st General Assembly:
Friday, May 10th was the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committee in the second chamber. Some deadline extensions are likely. The House canceled session for Friday, May 10th and Monday, May 13th.
Cigarette Tax: 
Senate President Cullerton is pushing a plan to raise Illinois’ cigarette tax by $1 per pack, three times what the governor called for in his FY 20 budget proposal. Supporters say increasing the current $1.98 per-pack tax would bring in $159 million in revenue for the state, with the added benefits of cutting smoking rates and health care costs. The proposal includes a $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes sold in Illinois, which would bring the statewide tax up to $2.98 per pack. The proposal also increases taxes on other tobacco products to 64% of the wholesale price. Governor Pritzker’s FY 20 budget proposes a 32 cents per pack increase on cigarettes and a 36 percent tax on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes. Cullerton and advocates announced the plan at a press conference. The proposal has not yet been filed.
Child Welfare Reform: 
Legislators formed the DCFS Child Welfare Reform Caucus and proposed an initial set of reforms through an amendment to SB193 (Morrison/Feigneholtz) . 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. The amendment passed committee unanimously and is now pending before the full House.
Capital Funding: 
Two capital proposals surfaced this week. HB391 (Zalewski) and HB HB3233 (Evans/Sandoval) are both supported by Operating Engineers Local 150. The bill is estimated to generate $2.4 billion a year for horizontal projects – roads, bridges, and public transportation projects. Under this bill, the state’s gas tax would increase by 25 cents per gallon (going from 19 to 44 cents per gallon) and car license and registration fees would also increase. The gas tax would be indexed to inflation. Municipalities are authorized to impose their own 3 cents a gallon gas tax by referendum. Driver’s license fees would essentially double and title fees would increase from $95 to $155. Vehicle registration for electric vehicles would increase to $1,000. Funds generated under the bill would be used for “pay-as-you-go” projects rather than a bond issue. Discussions on a capital bill continue with the Governor’s office. This proposal does not include the “vertical” projects requested by hospitals and universities. The amendment to HB 391 passed the House Revenue committee and is now pending before the full House.
Sports Betting: 
Rep. Zalewski filed two new sports betting amendments this week to HB1260 . (Five previous amendments were filed to HB3308 .) At a committee hearing, stakeholders expressed concern over license fees and taxes especially in relation to those of neighboring states.  Amendment 1 authorizes sports betting for riverboat casinos horse racing tracks, off-track betting parlors, video gaming operators and the lottery. Amendment 2 allows for companies such as DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook to get their own licenses at a higher cost, with the possibility of a “bad-actor delay”. The amendment includes requests from sports leagues on integrity fees and data. The second amendment does not include the lottery. Both amendments include a 25% tax rate on operator gross sports wagering revenue. Negotiations are ongoing. Both amendments remain in the House Rules Committee.
The Senate approved HB2233 (Thapedi/Mulroe) which 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.The bill now heads to the Governor.
Nathan Reitz, son of former Rep. Dan Reitz, was appointed to replace Rep. Jerry Costello II, who resigned to take a job at IDNR. A replacement for Rep. Conyears-Ervin who resigned last week following her election as Chicago City Clerk is expected to be named on May 18th.
Coming Up:
Both chambers return to session on Tuesday, May 14th at noon. Three weeks remain in the spring session. 

Key Session Dates
May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.

May 31- ADJOURNMENT.