April 20, 2018 Update

The Illinois General Assembly has adjourned for the week. Both chambers return to session on Monday, April 23rd in the late afternoon and are scheduled to be in session all five days next week. Both chambers spent the week primarily considering legislation for final passage. The Third Reading Deadline for both chambers is Friday, April 27th.
Republican State Senator Sam McCann announced this week that he will run for Governor as a Third-Party Candidate. McCann and his running mate, Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn, will join the Illinois Gubernatorial race as Conservative Party candidates. They will face Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker and incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. McCann will need to gather 25,000 valid petition signatures by late June to qualify as a new third-party candidate.
A House Committee approved Floor Amendment # 3 to 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 and creates additional reporting requirements. Floor Amendment 3 is now pending before the full House. HB 68 is currently on 2nd Reading in the House.
After a lengthy debate, the Illinois House approved legislation to create the General Drug Pricing Fairness Act, HB4900/Guzzardi, by a vote of 65-38-1 . An amendment was filed in the House but not considered prior to the passage of the bill. The sponsor pledged that the language of the House amendment would be adopted in the Senate and then the bill will return to the House for concurrence.
Republican Senators McConchie, and Connelly, filed an amendment this week to SB2670 which would allow voters in counties that operate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law the ability to go to voter referendum to lower property levies for local taxing bodies. To force a taxing body in a PTELL county to reduce taxes, voters would need to gather petition signatures equal to 10 percent of the people in the taxing district who voted in the last gubernatorial election. The sponsors argue this bill will empower voters to reign in “high property taxes”. The amendment is assigned to the Senate Revenue Committee. A hearing has not yet been scheduled on the matter. The underlying bill is on 2nd Reading in the Senate.
The Illinois House approved legislation by a vote of 71-39-1 (HB4113 /Ammons) which provides that a retirement system or pension fund must make audio and video available for an open meeting broadcast to the public and maintained on the retirement system or pension fund’s website. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Senator Castro filed and amendment this week in the Illinois Senate (SB 0202 (SFA 0001)) to create the Fair Scheduling Act to require employers to provide work schedules to employees at least 72 hours before the start of the first shift of the work schedule. A similar bill received a subject matter hearing in the House Labor Committee earlier in the session, but was not called for a vote.
Senator Biss filed an amendment this week in the Illinois Senate (SB 0354 (SFA 0001)) to create the Affordable Long-Term Services and Supports for Illinois Families Act. Under the amendment, the State would be required to have, by January 1, 2010, a long-term services and supports benefit or program for those who have a long-term care need consistent with the level of care criteria in place at the time the legislation takes effect for existing long-term care programs. Provides that the benefit is not intended to replace the Community Care Program, the Home Services Program, the Home-Based Support Services Program, or any other long-term services and supports provided under the State’s Medical Assistance Program; and that the benefit must be made available by January 1, 2025. The amendment is pending before the Senate Assignments committee.
The Illinois Senate approved SB 2958/Althoff which is “clean up” legislation for the State Tax Lien Registration Act, and provides that the notice of tax lien shall also include the county or counties where the real property of the debtor to which the lien will attach is located. The legislation provides that a tax lien that is filed in the registry shall be attached to all of the existing and after-acquired real and personal property of the debtor. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
The House narrowly approved by a vote of 61-49 legislation, HB 4081/Halpin, which would require any business that moves their call center operations out of the nation or state to notify the Treasurer’s office within 120 days.   Violators would face a $10,000 civil penalty. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
2018 Key Session Dates:
April 27: Third Reading Deadline for bills in first chamber, both chambers
May 11: Senate Committee Deadline, House Bills
May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment

April 13, 2018 Update

The Illinois General Assembly returned to session this week after a three-week spring break. The House was in Session all five days while the Senate was in Session three days. Both chambers return to session on Tuesday, April 17th.
Roughly eight weeks remain in the spring legislative session which is scheduled to adjourn on May 31st.  Friday, April 10th, was the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committees in both chambers. However, deadline extensions are likely on some of the legislation that remains pending at the committee level.
On Monday, Governor Rauner outlined his legislative agenda for the remainder of the spring session. Rauner said that he wants the General Assembly to send him a full fiscal year’s balanced budget that “lives within our means” without raising taxes. To begin the budget making process, Rauner is asking the General Assembly to formally establish revenue estimates. Rauner is also calling on the General Assembly to approve pension reform, provide property tax relief through enacting mandate relief for local governments (including consolidation, restricting prevailing wage and addressing school mandates), enhance public safety, make infrastructure improvement and enact term limits. Rauner’s agenda did not mention paying off the bill backlog which currently stands at $8.3 billion or fixing the trouble Quincy Veteran’s home.
Rauner and the four legislative leaders met on Thursday for the first time since February 14th. Prior to the meeting, the Governor asked the four leaders to name legislators to negotiate the budget on their behalf, adopt revenue estimates and pass a full year budget with no tax increases. Reaction to the meeting was mixed. The Democratic leaders were critical of the Governor following the meeting. Senate President Cullerton called the Governor a “hypocrite” for wanting to spend the tax revenue that the Governor vetoed last year. Speaker Madigan indicated that he is ready to work in a bi-partisan fashion with Republican legislators like he did last year to end the budget crisis. Madigan noted that he would welcome Governor Rauner to that process if he is ready to accept responsibility and manage the state and be an honest partner in the budget process. Republican leaders characterized the meeting as “progress” noting the Democratic leaders agreed to appoint budget negotiators and adopt revenue estimates.
Governor Rauner signed legislation (SB1451 ) this week to create the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act to expand access to 5G networks.
It was an extremely busy week in the capital. Both chambers considered hundreds of bills at the committee level in addition to considering legislation for final passage. Below are highlights of some of the action taken this week.
  • A House Committee approved legislation by a vote of 10-6 (HB4146 /Fine) which prevents the modification of a health insurance plan’s prescription drug formulary during a plan year if a drug has been previously approved for coverage, a prescriber continues to prescribe the drug and a patient continues to be an enrollee of a healthcare plan. The sponsor indicated that she would hold the bill in its current form and work on an amendment.
  • A Senate committee approved legislation, SB 2610(Clayborne), which amends the Motor Fuel Tax Law to provide that no municipality, county, or road district that received certain distributions totaling more than $1,000,000 in the previous State fiscal year can receive a future distribution of motor fuel tax moneys unless that municipality, county, or road district implements a business enterprise program setting goals for the inclusion of minority, veteran, and female-owned businesses in the procurement of contracts. The Department of Transportation is required to assist municipalities, counties, and road districts in implementing those programs. The sponsor agreed to hold the bill on second for further negotiations
  •  A House committee approved legislation, HB4100/Kifowit, to create the Health Care Violence Prevention Act to address violence against nursing staff. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.
  • A House committee approved legislation, HB4819/Williams, to ask Internet service providers who contract with the state to disclose if they do not plan to follow net neutrality rules. With this legislation, Illinois is joining several states in an attempt to retain net neutrality protections prior to the federal repeal date in two weeks. Last month, Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined several colleagues across the country in a lawsuit against the FCC over their vote to repeal net neutrality. HB 4819 is now pending before the full House.
  • The Illinois Senate approved 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. The amendment’s fate in the House is unknown. 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.
  • Senator Oberweis filed an amendment (SB 2807 (SFA 0001)) in the Illinois Senate to create the Right to Shop Act. The amendment requires a carrier offering a health plan to develop and implement a program that provides incentives for enrollees in a health plan who elect to receive a comparable health care service from a provider that collects less than the average in-network allowed amount paid by that carrier to a network provider for that comparable health care service. The amendment dictates how incentives may be calculated, distributed, and offered. Carriers are required to file a description of the health care service incentive program with the Department of Insurance and to establish an interactive mechanism on their website to enable an enrollee to request the estimated amount the carrier would pay to a network provider for a comparable health care service. The amendment requires the Director of Central Management Services to conduct an analysis on the cost effectiveness of implementing an incentive-based program for current enrollees and retirees of the State group health benefits plan. A program found to be cost effective must be implemented as part of the next open enrollment. The amendment is still pending in the Senate Assignments Committee.
  • Republicans in the House and Senate filed resolutions noting opposition to a graduated income tax. SR1590/Connelly and HR975/Durkin are both pending in their respective chamber’s Rules committee. Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker announced he supports a progressive income tax.
  • Senator Syverson filed an amendment in the Illinois Senate SB 2573 (SCA 0002) to amend the Automatic Telephone Dialers Act. Specifically, the amendment redefines “recorded message” to mean any artificial or recorded communication that includes or introduces an advertisement or constitutes telemarketing without live voice interaction. The amendment prohibits an autodialer from providing inaccurate caller ID information. Under the amendment, it is a violation of the Act to play a recorded message (rather than a prerecorded message) placed by an autodialer without the (i) prior express written consent of the called party or (ii) the prior express written consent of the called party if the call is made by or on behalf of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization or is a call that delivers a health care message made by, or on behalf of, a covered entity or its business associate as those terms are defined in a specified provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The underlying bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Judiciary committee on April 17th at 4pm in Room 400 of the Capital.
2018 Key Session Dates:

 

April 27: Third Reading Deadline for bills in first chamber, both chambers
May 11: Senate Committee Deadline, House Bills
May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment

March 16, 2018 Update

The Illinois Senate adjourned session for the week after canceling Thursday’s scheduled session day. Both chambers are now on spring break. The House returns to Session on Monday, April 9th. The Senate will resume session on Tuesday, April 10th. When the General Assembly returns to session, only one week will remain to pass substantive legislation out of committee in both chambers. April 13th is the committee deadline for both chambers.
Tuesday, March 20th is the primary election. First-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner faces a primary challenge from conservative Republican State Representative Jeanne Ives. On the Democratic side, J.B Pritzker, Senator Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy are the top contenders vying for the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination. In the race for Attorney General, on the Democratic side, former Governor and State Treasurer Pat Quinn, State Senator Kwame Raoul and State Representative Scott Drury are all vying for the Democratic nomination to replace Attorney General Lisa Madigan who is not seeking re-election. In the General Assembly all 118 House seats and 39 of the 59 Senate seats (21 of 37 Democrats and 18 of 22 Republicans) are up for election in November. There are 6 primary contests in the Senate and 47 in the House. In the 2018 election cycle, there are 28 legislators not seeking re-election to their current office: 7 Senators and 21 Representatives. The outcome of Tuesday’s primary elections will likely shape the narrative for the remainder of the spring legislative session.
The Illinois Senate approved a series of gun control measures this week. The Illinois Senate approved legislation by a vote of 37-16-3, HB1467 (Moylan/Raoul), which bans bump stock and trigger modifications. The bill was further amended in the Senate to allow municipalities to regulate assault weapons. HB 1467 will now head back to the House for concurrence.
The Senate approved legislation by a vote of 43-15, (HB1468 Carroll/Morrison ), which increases the waiting period on assault weapon purchases. HB 1468 now heads to the Governor.
The Illinois Senate narrowly approved by a vote of 33-22-2 legislation (HB1465 Mussman/Munoz ) which bans the sale and delivery of assault weapons to persons under the age of 21. The Senate added affirmative defense language to the bill as it passed the House. HB 1465 will now head back to the House for concurrence.
The Illinois Senate approved by a vote of 38-17 another trailer bill (HB5812 Davis/Manar) to implement Public Act 100-465, the Evidence Based Funding Model passed last year. This particular trailer bill contains 19 components of change to the original public act. Opponents of the legislation argued their concern over the State Board of Education’s inability to provide complete modeling numbers prior to a vote on the legislation.
Two auto-dialing measures were filed this week in the Senate. Senator Syverson filed SJR59 which creates the Auto Dialing Task Force. Senator Syverson also filed SB 2573 (SCA 0001)which makes several changes regarding telemarking or auto dialing. The bill redefines “recorded message” to mean any artificial or recorded communication that includes or introduces an advertisement or constitutes telemarketing without live voice interaction. The bill also prohibits an autodialer from providing inaccurate caller ID information in violation of a specified federal law and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission. Under this bill, it is a violation of the Act to play a recorded message placed by an autodialer without the (i) prior express written consent of the called party or (ii) the prior express written consent of the called party if the call is made by or on behalf of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization or is a call that delivers a health care message made by, or on behalf of, a covered entity or its business associate. Finally, the bill removes provisions that permit a customer injured by a violation of the Act to bring an action for the recovery of damages, including statutory damages in the amount of $500 per violation.
Governor Rauner this week took action on legislation that recently passed the General Assembly. The Governor approved a two-bill package (SB1573 and SB1773 ) to modernize and reform the hospital assessment program and the Medicaid Managed Care program. The Governor vetoed legislation to create the gun dealer licensing act (SB1657). In his veto message, the Governor stated that “the bill creates onerous, duplicative bureaucracy that does little to improve public safety”. The Governor further stated that gun dealers are already licensed by the federal government. SB 1657 will return to the General Assembly for their consideration. The bill did not pass either chamber with a veto proof majority meaning that additional support will be necessary to successfully override the veto.
Governor Rauner appointed Susan Haling as Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor. Haling previously served as the First Assistant Inspector General.
2018 Key Session Dates:
March 20: Primary Election
April 13: Committee Deadline, both chambers
April 27: Third Reading Deadline for bills in first chamber, both chambers
May 11: Senate Committee Deadline, House Bills
May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment

March 9, 2018 Update

The Illinois House has adjourned until Monday, April 9th. The Senate returns to session on Tuesday, March 13th for three days. The primary election is March 20th.
The relatively quiet session continued this week and we expect it to continue until after the primary election on March 20th.
The House did take up a few items of note:
The Illinois House approved trailer legislation (HB5812 /Davis) to clean-up the education funding bill approved last year. The bill was suggested by the State Board of Education for the purposes of cleaning up the evidenced based funding formula. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The Illinois House narrowly approved, by a vote of 66-11, HB4743 (Ford) which amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to provide that no employer may discriminate between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work on a job that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The House Labor Committee approved legislation (HB4595/Fine) by a vote of 15-9 which would create a state-run worker’s compensation fund. The bill is now pending before the full House.
As of this writing, the Governor has not yet acted upon the hospital assessment and managed care organization reforms sent to him last week on SB 1773 and SB 1573.
The Illinois House did not consider legislation this week which would require any business that moves their call center operations out of the nation or state to notify the Treasurer’s office within 120 days.   Violators would face a $10,000 civil penalty. HB 4081/Halpin is still pending before the full House. No further action was taken this week on the gun legislation pending before the full House. Negotiations continue and further amendments are likely.
2018 Key Session Dates:
March 20: Primary Election
April 13: Committee Deadline, both chambers
April 27: Third Reading Deadline for bills in first chamber, both chambers
May 11: Senate Committee Deadline, House Bills
May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment

March 2, 1018 Update

The Illinois General Assembly has adjourned for the week. The House adjourned until noon, Tuesday, March 6th. The Senate is not in session next week. Illinois’ primary election is March 20th.
Both chambers approved a two-bill package (SB1573 and SB1773 ) to modernize and reform the hospital assessment program and the Medicaid Managed Care program. SB 1773 (G. Harris/Steans) reforms and modernizes the $3.5 billion hospital assessment program. Specifically, SB 1773 makes several changes including (1) transitioning to a claims-based payment program; (2) increasing rates for hospitals; (3) prioritizing money for Safety Net and Critical Care Access hospitals; (4) modernizing and updating program data; and (5) creating a hospital transportation pool. SB 1573 (G. Harris/Steans), makes several changes to the Medicaid Managed Care Program including: (1) reforming the risk-based capital, children’s hospital definitions, and claims analysis; (2) requiring future procurement of MCO contracts to go through the standard procurement process rather than the purchase of care process; (3) addressing standardized data colleting and reporting; and (4) allowing for recoupment of federal funding if Illinois exceeds the upper payment level. These bills are the results of months of negotiations between the Administration, the four legislative caucuses and stakeholders. The bills now head to the Governor for his consideration.
The Illinois General Assembly considered several pieces of gun control legislation this week. Below is a listing of the legislation considered:
  • HB1465 (Mussman) increases the age to purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21. HB 1465 passed the House 64-51 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
  • HB1467 (Moylan) creates a bump stock and trigger crank ban. HB 1467 passed the House 83-31 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
  • HB1468 (Carroll) creates a 72-hour cooling period after an assault weapon purchase. HB 1468 passed the House by a vote of 79-37 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
  • HB1469 (D. Burke) bans most sales of high-capacity magazines and body armor. This bill is being referred to as the Paul Bauer Act.  HB 1469 passed committee along partisan lines and is pending before the full House. An amendment is reportedly being crafted for this bill.
  • HB1664 (Conroy) enhances mental health screenings and creates a hotline for people to anonymously report to the Illinois State Police gun owners they believe to be dangerous. HB 1664 passed committee along partisan lines and is pending before the full House.
  • SB1657 (Harmon/Willis) creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. SB 1657 passed the House by a vote of 64-52. The bill previously passed the Senate and will now head to the Governor for consideration.
  • HB1273 (Harmon/Willis) is trailer legislation to the Gun Dealer Licensing Act mentioned above. This bill specifically provides for licensure for 5 years with a fee of $1,000 ($200/year), delays videotaping provisions to 2021 and finally clarifies that videotaping in bathrooms is not allowed. HB 1273 narrowly passed both chambers and now heads to the Governor for consideration.
  • HB772 (Morrison/Willis) creates the Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act that will allow judges to sign off on special orders for temporary removal of firearms if a person is believed to pose an immediate threat. HB 772 passed the Senate 40-14 and now heads back the House for concurrence.
  • HR648 (Ford) Reconstitutes the Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. HR 648 passed the House by a vote of 88-24.
A House Committee voted 8-5 to approved legislation, HB 4081/Halpin, which would require any business that moves their call center operations out of the nation or state to notify the Treasurer’s office within 120 days. Violators would face a $10,000 civil penalty. The bill is now pending before the full chamber.
Both chambers approved 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 Governor’s desk.
The Illinois House also approved HB4163 (Moeller) which amends the Equal Pay Act to prohibit employers from asking for prior wage information during the hiring process. HB 4163 passed the House by a vote of 87-24 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Legislation to create the Generic Drug Pricing Act, HB4900(Guzzardi), passed a House committee by a vote of 7-5. The bill is now pending before the full House.
The Illinois Senate approved legislation, SB2275 (Cunningham) which would place an advisory referenda on the ballot on the legalization of marijuana. SB 2275 passed the Senate by a vote of 37-13 and now heads to the House for consideration.
Governor Rauner vetoed HB768 which eliminates a route for charter school applicants and operators to appeal denial or closure decisions made by their local school boards. In his veto message, Rauner writes “The Charter School Commission is more well-equipped to facilitate the appeals process than local courts, and should continue to be empowered with the charge of ensuring that all Illinois children have access to a high-quality education.” HB 768 will head back to the General Assembly for consideration.
2018 Key Session Dates:
March 20: Primary Election
April 13: Committee Deadline, both chambers
April 27: Third Reading Deadline for bills in first chamber, both chambers
May 11: Senate Committee Deadline, House Bills
May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment