103rd Illinois General Assembly:
Following a two-week spring break, the Illinois General Assembly will enter the final stretch of the 2023 Spring Session on Tuesday, April 18. An early adjournment is scheduled for May 19.
Both chambers will begin to consider the opposite chamber’s legislation at the committee level and also finalize original chamber legislation that remains pending with extended deadlines. Appropriations committees in both chambers continue to review the Governor’s introduced budget at the agency level. April 28 is the deadline to pass substantive bills out of committee in the opposite chamber.
Just a day before the General Assembly will reconvene — on April 17 — the Senate Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board will hold a virtual subject matter hearing at 6pm to discuss the drawing of the new Chicago Elected Representative School Board districts.
March Revenue Report:
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its March Revenue Report.
From the report: “General Funds revenues experienced its first monthly year-over-year decline of the fiscal year as March receipts fell $563 million when compared to March 2022 totals. This decline was not a surprise, as receipts were not expected to keep up with the record pace of revenues received in March
of FY 2022. The March 2022 General Funds total of $4.833 billion was 20% higher than any amount
ever collected for this particular month. And while the March 2023 value of $4.270 billion was
11.6% below this mark, it should be noted that this latest figure is still ahead of any other March total
for Illinois’ General Funds revenues. March 2023 had the same number of receipting days as last
As anticipated, most of the revenue declines occurred in the area of income taxes. Personal Income
Taxes were $384 million below last year’s levels, which is a net decline of $330 million when
accounting for non-General Funds distributions. Corporate Income Tax receipts were down $58
million, a decline of $44 million on a net basis. Again, these decreases are not surprising considering
the strength of final tax collections a year ago to which these revenues are compared. Exceptional market conditions from Tax Year 2021, combined with above-average growth in employment and wages, resulted in extraordinary levels of tax receipts during the last third of FY 2022 that has, thus
far, proven difficult to repeat. (For this same reason, income tax receipts could see additional declines
Sales Tax revenues also slowed in March with growth of only $14 million gross, a drop of $7 million when adjusting for the non general distributions to the Road Fund and to other transportation funds. While the lack of growth here is noteworthy, additional months of subpar sales tax performance would be needed before this would be considered troublesome. Contributing to the overall decline were decreases in several other State sources, including Insurance Taxes [-$26 million]; the Inheritance
Tax [-$17 million]; and the Cigarette Tax [-$6 million]. These falloffs were partially offset by continued substantial growth in Interest Income [+$46 million], as well as modest gains from Public Utility Taxes [+$5 million] and Corporate Franchise Taxes [+$2 million].
It was a positive month for Transfers In as these revenue sources combined to grow $18 million. Both Lottery Transfers and Casino Gaming Transfers were $8 million above last year’s levels, while miscellaneous transfers grew $4 million. Cannabis Transfers, however, were down $2 million as compared to last March.
The overall mediocre month of revenues was capped off by a $205 million decline in Federal Sources. This continues the underwhelming performance of this category of revenues so far this fiscal year.”
Read the full report here.
COGFA Three-Year Budget Forecast: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its mandated three-year budget forecast. The report offers an examination of the State of Illinois’ General Funds revenues and expenditures over the last 20 years, considers threats and opportunities to Illinois’ budget, and provides three-year budget results based upon scenario analysis. Capitol News offers an analysis here. Read the full report here.
2023 Key Dates:
April 28: Deadline – Substantive Bills Out of Committee in both chambers
May 11: Deadline – Third Reading Substantive House Bills in Senate
May 12: Deadline – Third Reading Substantive Senate Bills in House
May 19: Adjournment
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor JB Pritzker appointed the following:
· Former State Senator Jaqueline Collins will serve as a Member of the Human Rights Commission.
· Giridhar Burra will serve as a Member of the Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Advisory Board.
· Melinda Spitzer Johnston will continue to serve as a Member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Trustees.
· Sherman Wright will continue to serve as a Member of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.
· Davida Fanniel will serve as a Member of the Mid-Illinois Medical District
· Camille Dorris will serve as a Member of the Illinois Affordable Housing Advisory Commission
· Chynna Hampton will serve as a Member of the Energy Workforce Advisory Council.
Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program:
The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded $127.9 million through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) to expand travel options and enhance quality of life in communities throughout the state. The 72 projects selected include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification and other projects designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level.
Department of Insurance Consumer Complaint System Revamped:
Replacing a decades old system, the Illinois Department of Insurance is now utilizing a new IDOI Help Center for consumer complaints. The updated system will help IDOI better serve the nearly 15,000 Illinois insurance consumers annually that file complaints against insurance companies, including life insurance companies, property and casualty insurers for home and auto, health insurers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), insurance agents and other entities regulated by IDOI.
• A cleaner design and more intuitive interface to help consumers navigate the complaint process
• Instructions and FAQs on the login page to explain the steps of the complaint process
• Increased transparency enabling consumers to login to track where they are in the process
• An option allowing consumers to submit general questions before creating an account
• Increased data protection for consumers’ private information, including multi-factor authentication
DOI says health care providers will also benefit from the new system. To the extent allowed under Illinois law, the consumer complaint staff can assist health care providers who file complaints when they believe health coverage claims are delayed, denied, or unsatisfactorily settled by insurance companies and HMOs.
Public Transportation Grants Available:
The Illinois Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for a competitive grant program to expand safe, equitable access to public transportation throughout the state. Selected projects will feature transit opportunities while furthering the goals of IDOT’s Illinois Long-Range Transportation Plan.
Approximately $2.5 million in grants will fund studies on planning and preliminary engineering issues regarding public multimodal, intermodal and non-motorized transportation. Awards will average $200,000 and require 20% non-federal match.
The program’s total funding is $2.5 million, with awards averaging $200,000 and requiring a 20% non-federal match. Applicants can request IDOT to provide this match, particularly if the study benefits a historically disadvantaged community. Governmental entities such as counties, metropolitan planning agencies, municipalities, state agencies, public transit agencies and state universities are urged to apply.
Applications must be submitted to IDOT by 5 p.m. on May 24. Awards will be announced this summer.
Medication Abortions: Following two dueling U.S. District Court decisions regarding the medication abortion drug Mifepristone, both Governor Pritzker and Attorney General Raoul promised access to the abortion pill will be maintained in Illinois during the continued legal proceedings. The announcement follows a Texas ruling limiting access to abortion medication nationwide and a competing Washington decision maintaining the status quo for certain plaintiff states.
Governor JB Pritzker responded to the decisions by saying “Let me be clear: thanks to the Washington decision, nothing has changed in Illinois. But the Texas court has issued a dangerous decision. For more than 22 years, the FDA has made clear that medication abortion is a safe, accessible way for millions of people to make choices about their own bodies. But today, a federal judge in Texas declared – against all precedent and science – that doctors have been doing their job wrong for decades. Despite these attacks, reproductive rights are enshrined in Illinois law and will stay that way. This ruling is a clear and concerted effort by anti-abortion, far-right activists and politicians to dismantle sexual and reproductive health care nationwide. We will not let them win.”
A federal appeals court ruled late Wednesday that the abortion pill can remain on the market but only under strict conditions that prohibit its use beyond seven weeks of pregnancy and bar its distribution by mail. Read more on the latest developments here and here.
Democratic National Convention: Chicago was selected to host the Democratic National Convention next year – August 19-22, 2024. Mayor-election Brandon Johnson responded to the news by saying “Chicago is a world-class city that looks like America and demonstrates the values of the Democratic Party. We are unmatched when it comes to hosting events of this scale.”
Faculty at Three State Universities Strike: Professors from Chicago State, Eastern Illinois and Governors State are now on strike demanding fair pay and reduced workloads. Union leaders accuse the university’s administrators of putting themselves first. University administrators argue they are faced with financial challenges brought on by the pandemic and declining enrollment.
Mayor Elect Johnson Transition Team: Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson announced his transition team. Jessica Angus, vice president and chief of staff since 2008 at SEIU Healthcare Illinois, will serve as Johnson’s transition director. Senior advisors will be campaign manager Jason Lee, a former investment banker who has worked with progressive unions, and Amisha Patel, former executive director of Grassroots Collaborative and Grassroots Illinois Action. Erica Bland-Durosinmi, executive vice president at SEIU Healthcare, and DJavan Conway, head of Conway Consulting Group, will serve as intergovernmental advisors. Maria Virginia Martinez will serve as Johnson’s legal advisor.