103rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly returned from a two-week spring break with both chambers convening session Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Both chambers return to Springfield for four days of session starting Tuesday, May 25. Friday, April 28 is the committee deadline for substantive legislation to pass out of the second chamber. Four weeks remain in the spring legislative session; adjournment is scheduled for May 19.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson visited Springfield this week. Johnson addressed a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday and met privately with several caucuses including the Black, Asian, Progressive, and Latino caucuses.
“I am excited to join our dedicated leaders in Springfield and discuss how we can invest in people to lift up all of our communities,” said Johnson. “Building a better, stronger, safer Chicago will take all of us, and I look forward to establishing a strong foundation for collaboration.”
Johnson promised Chicago will continue its strong relationship with labor and protect reproductive-rights, and called for increasing funding for Chicago Public Schools, providing a nurse and a social worker at each school, and boosting state funding for the Local Government Distributive Fund.
Of note this week:
· Legislation to codify and clean up the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders regarding healthcare and the healthcare workforce — HB 559 (Morgan/Glowiak Hilton) – passed the Senate unanimously, as amended, and now heads back to the House for concurrence. The legislation was expedited since the public health emergency is ending on May 11.
· HB 3957 (Syed) which prevents “price gouging” of generic medications received an extended Third Reading Deadline in the House and was returning to the order of Postponed Consideration. HB 3957 previously failed on the House Third Reading deadline day. The measure is now pending again before the full House.
· HB 2248 (Cassidy/Peters) increases the baseline financial penalty for civil rights violations. Specifically, the legislation would allow state claims for violations of federal civil rights acts to be heard in any court with jurisdiction. The measure also provides that Illinois courts may award no less than $4,000 in damages. Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 6-3 and is now pending before the full Senate.
· SB 76 (Rezin/Yednock), which lifts the ban on new nuclear construction, passed the House Public Utilities Committee 20-1 and is now pending before the full House.
· HB 3524 (Faver Dias) creates the Air Quality in Schools Task Force to study and make recommendations: on air quality goals for K – 12 schools; on processes to assess current ventilation systems in schools; on processes to improve ventilation after assessment; and on potential State and federal funding sources to improve school air quality in the State. Passed the House 88-24 and now heads to the Senate.
· HB 2189 (Guzzardi/Murphy) which lowers the co-pay cap for insulin from $100/month to $35/month passed the Senate Insurance Committee unanimously.
· SB 1561 (Morrison/Lilly) which adds e-cigarettes to the Indoor Smoking Act — effectively banning the use of e-cigarettes in public indoor spaces — passed the House Public Health Committee 7-0 and now heads to the full House.
Representative Will Davis was involved in a traffic accident following an unspecified medical emergency according to an announcement from his family. No word yet on the nature of the medical emergency or when Representative Davis will return to session. Davis is chair of the House Appropriations – Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
Note: the House Energy and Environment Committee, the House Public Utilities Committee, the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee and the Senate Energy and Conservation Committee will hold a virtual joint subject matter hearing on April 24 at 11am to discuss carbon capture and storage in Illinois.
The House Executive Committee will hold a virtual subject matter hearing on April 24 at 1pm to discuss the creation of the new Chicago Elected Representative School Board districts.
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 Pritzker made the following appointments:
· Nina Harris will serve as the Chair of the Illinois Commission on Equity and Inclusion.
· Eddie Arroyo will serve as a Member of the Illinois Racing Board.
· Joseph Gagliardo will continue to serve as a Judge on the Court of Claims.
· Rob Karr will continue to serve as a Member on the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board.
· Memuna Lee will serve as a Member of the Clean Energy Jobs and Justice Fund.
· Stacey Brown will serve as Member on the Labor Advisory Board.
2024 Election: Former State Representative and current Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin is forming a federal committee to explore a run for Congress in Illinois’ 7th Congressional District. Congressman Danny Davis has represented the district for 26 years. Davis has filed paperwork for reelection.
Lawsuit Filed Against Insulin Manufacturers and Sellers: The Lake County State’s Attorney filed a lawsuit against insulin manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) alleging that they illegally conspired to artificially increase insulin prices in violation of the Illinois’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
The lawsuit argues that manufacturers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, and PBMs CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, and OptumRx, have leveraged their market power to increase profits at the expense of Lake County and the payors who need the lifesaving medication.
Read the complete filing here.
Chicago Mayor-elect Johnson Staff Announcement: Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson named Rich Guidice as his Chief of Staff and Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas as his First Deputy Chief of Staff. Guidice most recently served as Executive Director of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and Dr. Pacione-Zayas currently serves as Illinois State Senator for the 20th District.
Attorney General Calls for Recall of Kia and Hyundai Vehicles:
Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 18 states, called for a federal recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles following the companies’ continued failure to take adequate steps to address the alarming rate of vehicle thefts.
The letter, sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), encourages the NHTSA to recall unsafe Hyundai and Kia vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2022 that have easily bypassed ignition switches and lack engine immobilizers that make the vehicles vulnerable to theft.
In a letter issued in March 2023, Raoul and a coalition of attorneys general urged the companies to take stronger steps to address the safety concerns caused by vehicles’ vulnerability to theft. Because the companies have failed to address safety issues, Raoul and the coalition are now calling on the NHTSA to step in. The attorneys general argue that the vehicles’ systems remain out of compliance with federal standards and pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.