102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY: The spring 2022 legislative session stands adjourned to the call of the Senate President and Speaker of the House.This year’s spring session will be remembered for its fast pace and long days. Faced with a June primary election for the first time in modern history coupled with impending construction in the North wing of the Capitol (which will displace Senators and staff for up to two years), Democratic leaders crafted an aggressive spring session schedule starting the first week of January and ending April 8 – almost two months ahead of the regular May 31 deadline. The early adjournment frees legislators to return home to their districts to campaign and allows construction work to advance. While the General Assembly adjourned earlier than normal, the workload was not lighter as leaders scheduled the same number of session days as a traditional year.
In the final days of the spring session, the General Assembly approved several key measures, including passing the FY23 operating and capital budgets, $1.8 billion in targeted tax relief, a hospital and nursing home assessment, and a public safety package.
Legislators will now return home to hit the campaign trail in their new legislative districts. This will be the first election cycle in the newly drawn districts. All 177 seats in the General Assembly are up for election this year, as well as all six constitutional offices, all 17 congressional seats and one United States Senate seat. The primary election is June 28. The General Election is November 8. Democrats currently hold supermajorities in both chambers and all 6 constitutional offices. Republicans are eyeing the midterm elections as an opportunity to pick up seats, but Democrats, who crafted the new legislative districts, are likely to maintain their majority status.
Fiscal Year 2023 Budget: As amended, HB 900 (Welch/Sims) represents the Fiscal Year 2023 operating and capital budget. HB 900 appropriates $46.451 billion in General Revenue Funds and is predicated on $46.543 billion in revenues. HB 4700 (Harris/Sims) contains the statutory authority to implement the FY 23 state budget. SB 157 (Hastings/Zalewski) represents the omnibus revenue package.
For the first time in 25 years, Illinois will end the current fiscal year with a budget surplus. Revised estimates now project $2 billion in additional revenues for FY 22 and FY 23 over the Governor’s introduced budget. Lawmakers took advantage of that budgetary surplus and federal ARPA funds to prioritize spending for tax relief, public safety, education, human services, debt service, and saving for a rainy day. Lawmakers targeted ARPA funds for one-time expenses such as helping the ailing hospitality industry and for construction of affordable housing.
The FY 23 budget allocates $1 billion for the rainy-day fund (officially called the Budget Stabilization Fund) and adds an additional $200 million (on top of the required $9.6 billion payment) to pay down the state’s unfunded pension liability – a move that is projected to save the state $1.8 billion in the long-term. These allocations are on top of the debt repayment package ( PA102-696) passed and signed into law at the end of March.
The Fiscal Year 23 budget includes measures designed to provide financial relief to Illinois families in light of growing inflation. The $1.8 billion tax relief package freezes the state’s motor fuel tax for six months; suspends the 1% sales tax on groceries for one year; provides one-time tax rebates to taxpayers of $50 per individual and $100 per child (up to three children per family) for qualifying individuals; doubles the property tax rebate to qualifying homeowners up to $300/household; suspends the sales tax on back-to-school purchases for ten days in August; and permanently expands the Earned Income Tax Credit from 18% to 20% of the federal credit. The budget also creates and/or changes numerous other tax credits and rebates: expands the EDGE tax credit, creates a film and production tax credit, creates the live theater production tax credit, offers a breast pump tax exemption, creates a hospital exemption; extends an organ donation credit; makes changes to the REV Act that incentivize battery recycling and reuse manufacturers, offers a coal and mining equipment exemption, extends a tax credit up to $1,000 for agritourism operators, doubles the educator credit for instructional supplies, creates the parking excise tax, creates the Manufacturing Illinois Chips for Real Opportunity (MICRO) Program which creates various tax incentives for manufacturers of semiconductors, microchips, or semiconductor or microchip component parts. The final budget includes funding to support public safety measures, invest in law enforcement, and fund various violence prevention programs. Local governments, who have faced cuts for the past several fiscal years, will benefit from an increase in LGDF. Negotiators were unable to reach a consensus on how to fill the remaining $1.8 billion shortfall in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Capitol News offers more on the passage of the budget here
Public Safety Legislation: The Illinois General Assembly considered a flurry of public safety legislation in the final days of the spring session. The items noted below passed both houses and now head to the Governor’s desk.
Law Enforcement Retention and Recruitment: As amended, HB 1568 (Vella/Martwick) focuses on retention and recruitment of law enforcement officers. Requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to collaborate with the Illinois Community College Board and the Board of Higher Education to develop a legislative report recommending minimum requirements for credits that may transfer from public institutions of higher education to satisfy the requirements of law enforcement and correctional intern courses. Lowers the retirement age for select Illinois State Police employees from 60 to 55 years of age. Allows officers the ability to purchase their guns and badges after they retire.
Crime Reduction Task Force and Victim Protections: HB 4736 (Gordon-Booth/Peters) creates the Crime Reduction Task Force to review research and best practices and compile a findings/recommendations report by March 1, 2023. The House Bill also directs that by July 1, 2023, homicide investigators are to receive instruction and training on victim-centered, trauma-informed investigations. In addition, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority – subject to appropriation – will offer grants to set up anonymous tip hotlines with cash rewards for info that leads to an arrest. Under two other provisions of HB 4736, certain aspects of the witness protection program are expanded, and a pilot program is established whereby social workers will work alongside law enforcement officers. This Co-responder Unit Pilot Program will be tried out in East St. Louis, Peoria, Springfield, and Waukegan.
First Responder Mental Health: HB 1321 (LaPointe/Hastings) comprehensively defines “first responders,” and creates a fund and grant program within the Department of Human Services to provide behavioral health services to them. This assistance will come through grants to 1) units of local government; (2) law enforcement agencies; (3) fire protection districts; (4) school districts; (5) public or private hospitals; or (6) ambulance services that employ first responders.
Off Hour Child Care Grants: HB 1571 (Manley/Glowiak Hilton) requires the Department of Human Services, subject to appropriation, to create grants for child care centers to provide after-hour/ nightly child care for the children of first responders and other late-shift workers.
Eavesdropping Sunset: HB 3893 (Hernandez/Joyce) extends by four years the sunset date for investigators to continue recording conversations for qualified sex and drug offenses (date moved from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2027). Also extended by one year is the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law (date moved to June 11, 2023).
Vehicular Hijacking: Two car jacking bills passed the General Assembly. HB 3699 (Delgado/Martwick ) changes the name of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Act to the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Act. The measure also expands the Act’s authority to: reduce vehicle hijacking; improve and support enforcement of vehicle hijacking laws; and support the prosecution and administration of vehicle hijacking laws. The bill also changes the name of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council to the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council. The Council’s responsibility would be expanded to include providing grants and financial support to help identify, apprehend, and prosecute hijackers – as well to bolster the recovery of hijacked and stolen motor vehicles. In addition, HB 3699 not only authorizes the Council to assess the scope of vehicle hijacking, but also directs it to develop strategies for combating the problem and improving how vehicle hijacking laws are administered.
As amended, HB 3772 (Delgado/Aquino), provides protections for victims of carjackings who receive red light or speed camera violations after their vehicle has been hijacked. Expressway Cameras: HB 260 (Williams/Feigenholtz) expands the Expressway Camera Act to Lake Shore Drive and in Cook County, and allows law enforcement to use images from an expressway camera to investigate vehicular hijacking, aggravated vehicular hijacking, terrorism, or any forcible felony.
Organized Retail Crime: HB 1091 (Buckner/Glowiak Hilton) aims to deter smash-and-grab thefts and supply chain thefts. As amended, HB 1091 creates the offense of Organized Retail Crime. The amendment also reduces the ability to avoid prosecution by giving jurisdiction to any state’s attorney where any element of organized retail crime takes place and giving the Attorney General the use of a statewide grand jury to prosecute organized retail crimes. The amendment also provides dedicated enforcement resources, addresses online fencing, and enhances public and private coordination through a formal collaboration designed to provide real-time information and intelligence sharing. The bill was amended this week to address the concerns of the banking industry. HB 4481 (Greenwood/Murphy) expands the Expressway Camera Act to 21 additional counties.
Out of State Officers/Body Cameras: HB 4608 (Delgado/Bennett) requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to create a waiver process for out-of-state officers wishing to work in Illinois. The bill also changes body camera laws to allow video retention for evidentiary value and grant funds to be used for data storage costs. The bill also allows officers to identify video they believe has evidentiary value and clarifies when an officer does not have to have a camera turned on (such as when in training or exclusively with other officers and no members of the public). Law Enforcement Funding: HB 3863 (Vella/Morrison) creates the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund to award grants to departments for officer hiring and training and retention strategies.
Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention Funding: HB 4364 (Tarver/Loughran Cappel) requires the Department of Human Services to offer mental health and substance use prevention grants to local governments for individuals who are incarcerated and individuals in county jails or recently discharged.
Ghost Guns: HB 4383 (Buckner/Collins) bans sale and possession of ghost guns which are untraceable due to lack of a serial number.
Nursing Home Assessment and Rate Reform: After two years of negotiations, the Illinois General Assembly approved a nursing home assessment and rate payment methodology reform package that is designed to increase staffing levels and improve quality of care. As amended, HB 246 (Moeller/Gillespie) transitions to a new rate methodology – the Patient Driven Payment Model – which more accurately accounts for clinically relevant factors and increases by $7 the base per diem rate (to a total of $92.25). The package also addresses employee shortages at long-term care facilities and rewards certified nursing assistants who struggled during the pandemic by providing additional funding to facilities that incentivize the retention and promotion of CNAs.The legislation addresses understaffing of nursing facilities by requiring that – in order to qualify for additional funding – facilities meet at least 70% of the staffing levels outlined by the federal STRIVE study. The bill also provides $70 million in add-on payments that are specifically tied to quality of care, and requires full transparency of ownership. HB 246 passed both houses and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Hospital Assessment: As amended, HB 1950 (Harris/Gillespie) extends the hospital assessment program through December 31, 2026 to continue over $3.8 billion in annual Medicaid funding for hospital services. Among the provisions of the bill are: boosting graduate medical education payments; increasing fee-for-service supplemental payments for inpatient and outpatient service; creating a public hospital designation and putting public hospitals in their own fixed payment pool; altering high Medicaid designation to better incorporate regional differences in Medicaid utilization; extending the Investor Owned Hospital Charity Tax Credit and the sales tax exemption (5 year sunset) for non profit hospitals; providing $240 million in assessment tax relief; and creating the Safety Net HEAL Program. HB 1950 passed both houses and heads to the Governor’s desk.
Medicaid Omnibus:HB 4343 (Harris/Gillespie) represents the 2023 omnibus Medicaid package. Among the changes proposed by the legislation is that Medicaid would: cover midwife and acupuncture services; increase the spouse resource maintenance allowance; establish prenatal/postpartum rates; create a program for school based mental health screenings; increase medi-car and service car base rates; increase the outpatient add-on rate for hospitals with more than 500 outpatient psychiatric services to persons under age 19; boost rates for behavioral and maternal health services; increase the amount allocated for dental rates for children and adults; create a CNA program to help with the CNA shortage; and implement provisions to help individuals from losing Medicaid; add coverage for non-citizens ages 42-54. HB 4343 passed both houses and heads to the Governor’s desk.
Elections: The Illinois General Assembly approved HB 716 (Hoffman/Harmon), as amended, which makes the following changes to election law: creates the Public Financing of Judicial Elections Task Force to study the feasibility of implementing public funding for judicial campaigns. Prohibits self-funded judicial committees from accepting contributions from any single person, other than the judicial candidate or the candidate’s immediate family, in a cumulative amount that exceeds $500,000 in any election cycle. Prohibits an independent expenditure judicial committee from accepting contributions from any single source that exceed $500,000 in any election cycle. Provides that certain contributions to political committees from committees, associations, or other entities that are not required to disclose their contributors are considered anonymous donations, unless the political committee reports to the State Board of Elections all persons who have contributed in excess of $500 during the same election cycle to the committee, association, or other organization or group making the contribution.
Omnibus Russian/Ukraine Response Legislation: The Illinois House unanimously approved HB 1293 (LaPointe/Harmon) which, as amended, represents a multi-pronged response to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The measure keys in on six aspects Public Funds/Pension; Ukrainian Resettlement Services; Real Estate; Election Integrity; Property-related Crimes; and Higher Education. The Senate did not consider the bill prior to adjourning.
Healthcare Affordability and Accessibility: On Monday, House Democrats unveiled a package of legislation they say is designed to make healthcare “more affordable and accessible.” The bills were quickly considered in the House and most passed the chamber. The Senate did not consider these items prior to adjourning. HB 1462 (Yang Rohr), as amended, creates the Prescription Drug Affordability Act to offer protection against the “high costs” of prescription drugs. House Floor Amendment 1 to HB 1462 was adopted by the House, but the bill was not called for a final vote in that chamber. HB 1465 (Morgan/Harmon) authorizes the Department of Insurance to conduct health insurance rate reviews and reject “unreasonable” rate increases and creates the Health Insurance Coverage Premium Misalignment Study Act. HB 1465 passed the House 64-0 and now heads to the Senate. HR 807 (Mason) Urges the Illinois Congressional Delegation to ensure all people have access to health care, regardless of income, race, or location. Opposes “extreme efforts to strip away health care from people with pre-existing conditions, dismantle regulation, and allow big insurance companies to pad their profits at the expense of patients.” HR 807 was adopted by the House. HB 1466 (Guzzardi/Harmon) creates the Access to Affordable Insulin Act, requiring manufacturers to make insulin available to eligible individuals and limits cost sharing of insulin to $35 (rather than $100). HB 1466 passed the House 101-0 and now heads to the Senate. HR 806 (Collins). Urges the passage of the $35 insulin cap at the federal level and directs the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to study how to effectively reduce the cost of prescription drugs in Illinois. HR 806 was adopted by the House.
Bills that Passed Both Houses: The following bills of interest passed both houses and will head to the Governor’s desk.
- HB 5441 (Walker/Gillespie) which seeks to clarify the definition of consent in sexual assault cases.
- HB 4729 (Willis/Morrison) which, among other items, requires the Department of Public Health (subject to appropriation) to conduct a multi-year safe gun storage campaign.
- SB 658 (Cunningham/Walsh) is an omnibus TIF bill. Extends TIFs for City of Chicago, City of Madison, Village of Aviston, Village of Warren, City of Farmer City, Village of Fairmont City, City of Springfield and the City of Chicago Heights. Defines “contiguous parcel” in the Illinois Municipal Code’s Business District Development and Redevelopment Law and Industrial Jobs Recovery Law.
- SB 1975 (Martwick/Kifowit) is a package of property tax reforms that primarily benefit senior citizens and veterans.
- As amended, HB 1175 (Buckner/Harris) makes several changes to tighten and strengthen the Student Athlete Endorsement Rights Act.
- SJR 55 (Villivalam/Evans) contains the ballot arguments for the proposed constitutional amendment approved last year (SJRCA 11) .
- HB 4666 (Hoffman/Aquino) addresses the predatory practices used by temporary nurse staffing agencies during the pandemic. The legislation strengthens the Nurse Agency Licensing Act by inserting transparency into the contracting process. Requires agencies to pay 100% of hourly wage to the employee. Prevents agencies from recruiting employees on a provider’s campus.
- HB 4667 (Yednock/Cunningham) allows current and retired correctional officers and deputies, under the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, to carry their weapons while off duty.
- SB 1486 (McClure/McCombie) allows DCFS investigators to carry pepper spray.
- SB 1405 (McConchie/Bos) guarantees a patient or nursing home resident the right to visitors even in a public health crisis.
- HB 1780 (Gong-Gershowitz/Fine) creates the Illinois Drug Takeback Act establishing a statewide drug takeback program.
- HB 836 (Morgan/Fine) creates the Health Insurance Coverage Premium Misalignment Study Act which requires the Department of Insurance to study health plans sold on the individual marketplace to ensure they comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
- HB 4430 (Cassidy/Simmons) allows pharmacists to dispense, administer, order lab tests and consult regarding HIV prevention medication.
- HB 4292 (Morgan/Martwick) adds two years to the state employee pension buyout program.
- HB 5412 (Evans/Castro) addresses wage theft in the contracting industry by holding prime contractors liable when subcontractors fail to pay their employees. HB 4600 (Collins/Castro) is trailer legislation to address some of the concerns of the opponents.
- HB 209 (Mussman/Jones) creates the Latex Glove Ban Act which prohibits the use of latex gloves in food service establishments and by EMS personnel beginning January 1, 2023 and by health care facility personnel on January 1, 2024. The legislation allows for certain exceptions in the event of a supply chain disruption which prevents access to latex gloves.
- HB 601 (Andrade/Gillespie) updates the definition of burglary tools to include new technologies.
- SB 3866 (Hastings/Walsh) is a CEJA trailer bill.
- HB 2770 (Stuart/Munoz) represents omnibus procurement legislation. In addition to making several procurement changes, the bill also creates a Procurement Task Force to review future procurement changes.
GOVERNOR’S HIGHLIGHTS:New Laws: Governor Prtizker signed HB 1167 (Yang Rohr/Harmon), authorizing COVID paid time off for school, public university and community college employees. The provisions apply only to employees who are fully vaccinated and are retroactive to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. The bill is effective immediately.