April 20, 2024 Update


The Illinois General Assembly adjourned for the week. The House was in session all five days this week while the Senate met Tuesday through Thursday. Friday was the deadline to pass substantive House bills out of the House. Once again, deadline extensions are anticipated on a case-by-case basis.

Both chambers are off next week, with session resuming on Tuesday, April 30. One week remains to consider opposite chamber legislation at the committee level – Friday May 3 is the committee deadline in both chambers. 

There are now four weeks remaining in the scheduled Spring session, although both chambers are reserving May 25 through May 31 as contingent session days if the Legislature does not meet the May 24 adjournment deadline.

This was a busy week at the Statehouse, particularly in the House where session ran into the evening every night and committees often met after adjournment. Below are highlights from this week.

The Governor’s Birth Equity Initiative passed the House on HB 5142 (Gabel) by a vote of 72-37 and now heads to the Senate.  The Governor observed that, “Passage of HB5142 by the House moves Illinois one step closer to our goal of making all mothers and children safer and healthier regardless of race or financial status. The Birth Equity Initiative will work to close the tragic gap in maternal mortality between Black women and other new parents, building an Illinois where everyone can feel safe in their decision to start and raise a family.”

Another gubernatorial initiative – creating the Health Care Protection Act – is contained in 5395 (Moeller), passed the House 81-25-2.  The measure would: ban step therapy for prescription medications; prohibit prior authorization for in-patient mental health care in a hospital setting; establish statewide standards on clinical criteria when performing utilization reviews; ban insurance companies from selling Short Term Limited Duration Plans; require insurers to publicly list all treatments that require prior authorization; address “ghost networks”, and establish rate review for large group health plans, Medicaid, local government and school district plans. The Senate will now consider the bill.   

HB 4902 (Faver Dias) requires the state’s vendors and learning partners to follow the state’s new Literacy Plan. The bill passed the House 91-19-1 and now heads to the Senate.

Corporal punishment would be banned in Illinois’ private schools under HB 4175 (Croke), which the House passed 79-26 and the Senate will now consider. A similar ban has been in place since 1994 for public schools in Illinois.

The Illinois House approved, by a vote of 92-8,  HB 303 (Croke), which as amended, would prevent the Chicago Public School Board from closing any schools or making major changes to selective-enrollment programs until a fully elected school board is in place in 2027. HB 303 now heads to the Senate. Read more here.

The House approved, by a vote of 107-5,  HB 5313 (Croke) which eliminates insurance “ghost provider networks” and expands what a plan must disclose in its provider directories. The bill also allows consumers to recoup out of pocket expenses if they were charged for out of network charges for what should have been in network charges and includes provisions to require insurers to audit their provider directories every 90 days.   The legislation further grants DOI Enforcement power, and the agency would be required to audit at least 10% of provider directories annually. The bill now heads to the Senate.

The House passed on a vote of 99-13 HB 5351 (LaPointe), which would make it easier to receive involuntary outpatient commitment. The Senate now takes up the measure.

Ending predatory “junk fees” in Illinois is the goal of HB 4629 (Morgan) — although opponents criticized the legislation for not providing clear parameters about what is a junk fee and what industries the bill applies to. After passing the House 71-35-1, the bill heads to the Senate.

HB 3773 (Andrade) bans the use of predictive analytics by employers to knowingly discriminate. The bill passed the House106-0-1 and now heads to the Senate.

Certain “harmful” food additives would be banned under SB 2637 (Preston).  The legislation bans the manufacture of certain “harmful” food additives by January 1, 2027, and the selling and distributing of food products containing these additives by January 1, 2028. The Illinois Manufacturers Association opposes the bill, saying the FDA, not the states, should issue regulations governing food additives. The Senate passed the bill 37-15; it now goes before the House. Read more here.

The IEPA is allowed to increase fees for any company that applies for a pollution control waiver under HB 4651 (A. Williams), which passed the House 73-39. The fee was last increased in 1988. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Legislation to ban certain florescent lighting passed the Illinois House 73-37. Specifically, HB 2363 (Smith) prohibits the sale or distribution of new screw-base or bayonet-base compact fluorescent lamp on or after January 1, 2026 and a pin-base compact fluorescent lamp or a linear fluorescent lamp on or after January 1, 2027. The bill includes certain exemptions (like for pharmaceutical purposes) and now heads to the Senate.

Legislation to allow the use of public private partnerships to build the South Suburban Airport — HB 5496 (Davis) — passed the House by a vote of 72-35 and now heads to the Senate. 

Equalizing the ISBE reimbursement rate to public school districts that send high-needs special ed students to private and public special ed day schools is the goal of SB 3606 (Loughran Cappel). The Senate approved by 53-1 the measure, which would entitle public schools to receive ISBE reimbursement — regardless of where the student is sent — for tuition costs for high-needs special ed students that exceed the average cost for students not receiving special ed services. The bill now heads to the House.

HB 5530 (West) would allow pharmacists to administer the first injection of long-acting medications for substance abuse treatment. Currently, pharmacists can administer all injections except the first one. The Senate will now consider the bill after the House passed it unanimously.

IDPH could certify medication aids for Assisted Living and Supportive Living Facilities under SB 774 (Feigenholtz). The Senate approved by a vote of 56-1 the measure, which the House will now take up.

HB 4636 (Hoffman) codifies current practices by IDOR and IEPA regarding pollution control devices and how they are assessed. The House unanimously approved the bill and the Senate will now consider it.

Illinoisans would have the freedom to consider whatever reproductive health decisions they wish without fear of discrimination or retaliation in the context of employment, housing, public accommodations, education and financial credit under HB 4867 (Moeller). The sponsor noted that this bill does not change current exemptions offered under the Healthcare Right of Conscious Act. After receiving House approval on a vote of 72-39, the bill now heads to the Senate.

After receiving Senate Education Committee approval, SJR 49 (Lightford) is pending before the full Senate; it would create a financial model to evaluate the impact of having maximum caseloads for school workers.

Zeroing in on ways to bolster diversity in business and nonprofit organization leadership is the crux of HB 4566 (Lilly). After a 91-20 vote of approval in the House, the bill creating the Diversity and Inclusion in Business Organization and Nonprofit Organization Leadership Task Force will be taken up in the Senate.

Health insurance plans for police and firefighters would be required to include coverage for marriage and couples counseling under HB 4460 (Gill). The bill passed the House unanimously and now heads to the Senate.

The Senate approved SB 3235 (Belt) which, as amended, requires disparity studies be conducted on covered financial institutions concerning access to financial products/services as well as lending and investments. An extension of the 2021 Black Caucus five pillars to dismantle systemic racism, the bill passed 39-19 and now heads to the House.

Comprehensive auto policies could not exclude theft coverage for lack of evidence of forcible entry or for the insured leaving the vehicle unlocked or leaving a key or key fob in the motor vehicle under HB 2842 (Jones). The measure, which would amend the Insurance Code, passed the House 80-29 and now heads to the Senate.

Legislation to prohibit the use of artificial intelligence to create child pornography that involves real children or obscene imagery passed the House unanimously on HB 4623 (Gong-Gershowitz). The proposal also prohibits non-consensual dissemination of certain AI generated sexual images. The bill now goes to the Senate.

In other news, Patrick Sheehan was selected by local Republicans to fill the vacancy of retiring State Representative Tim Ozinga in the 37th House District. Sheehan has worked as a police officer for nearly 20 years and also served as Lockport Alderman and former Park Commissioner.

Local Democrats announced they will meet May 11 to select a replacement for Senator Ann Gillespie who resigned last week to become the Director of the Department of Insurance.

2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:

April 19: House Third Reading Deadline

May 3: Committee Deadline for Bills in the Opposite Chamber

May 17: House and Senate Third Reading Deadline for Bills in the Opposite Chamber

May 24: Adjournment

May 25 – 31: Contingent Session Days


Medical Debt Elimination: This week Governor Pritzker touted his proposal to eliminate $1 billion in medical debt for an initial 340,000 Illinoisans. The Governor’s proposed FY 25 budget includes $10 million — the first installment in a multi-year plan — for the endeavor.

Loyola Medicine also recently announced it is joining the State’s efforts and forgiving over $112 million in medical debt for past and current patients, which will impact more than 60,000 Illinoisans. Read more about the plan and how it will work here.

Prisoner Review Board: Governor Pritzker appointed James Montgomery to serve as the first Executive Director of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, pending Senate confirmation. Montgomery will oversee administrative board operations, including the facilitation of additional domestic violence prevention training and other equity-based training for board members. According to the Governor, the executive director position would reduce the workload placed on the PRB chair, allowing him/her to focus more closely on leading casework.

OSLAD Grants: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host a grant submission webinar for the Open Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) matching grant program at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 15.

OSLAD is an IDNR program that provides funding help to local government agencies to acquire and develop land for public parks and open space. Projects vary from small neighborhood parks to large community parks and nature areas. 

The webinar will acquaint potential applicants with the OSLAD program, including the components needed to complete a grant submission. Those wishing to participate in the webinar must register here.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grants Awarded: Four entities received awards from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Programs.  Jackson County, McClean County, the Village of Ford Heights and the Village of Lincolnwood received a combined total of $902,200 in grant awards. Read more here.


General Election Update: Republican Jay Keeven announced he will challenge Representative Katie Stuart for the 112th House District in the November General Election. Keeven served 27 years as an Illinois State Trooper and over eight years as the Chief of Police in Edwardsville. He currently serves as the city administrator for Troy.

SOS Modernization and Efficiency Report: Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias issued a Modernization and Efficiency Report outlining progress to update and streamline the office. Read the full report here.

Electronic Notary Services Launched: Illinois residents will no longer need to have documents notarized in person under a new Electronic Notary system administered by the Illinois Secretary of State. Secretary Giannoulias said Electronic Notarization, or “E-Notary,” will allow an individual or business to have their documents notarized and signed electronically within minutes without having to leave their home or office to seek out a notary in person.