102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
This week marks the first of the General Assembly’s two-week spring break.
March 26 marked the deadline for substantive legislation to be passed out of House committees. Any bill not exiting its House committee has been returned to the House Rules Committee. As of this writing, the House Clerk is still reading into the record any committee reports and placing agreed bills on the Consent Calendar. A slight delay apparently is emerging in that House Rules limit to 80 the number of bills that can be placed daily on the Consent Calendar.
The People’s Independent Maps Act would be created under an amendment filed by Senator Barickman to SB 1325. The measure — which applies only to the 2021 redistricting cycle — directs the Illinois Supreme Court to appoint a 16-person Independent Redistricting Commission. It is now pending in the Senate Rules Committee.
An amendment toSB1100 (Hastings) creates the Energy Community Reinvestment Act and represents the clean energy legislation of the Labor coalition, Climate Jobs Illinois (CJI). That amendment is now in the Senate Assignments Committee. The House is expected to see identical provisions in Representative Hoffman’s legislation onHB1472. CJI press release here; Capitol News write-uphere.
Also pending before the Senate Assignments Committee is an amendment to SB 835 from Senator Villivalam. The legislation, which was filed this week, directs the Illinois Department of Labor to develop and administer a Family Leave Insurance program to provide insurance benefits to eligible employees taking unpaid family medical leave. Among the circumstances directed to be covered are those temporarily exiting the workforce to care for a newborn child, a newly adopted or newly placed foster child, or a family member with a serious health condition
COVID-19 Update: In the past 11 days, Illinois hospitalizations for COVID have jumped 15% — causing officials to put the brakes on their recently unveiled “Bridge Plan.” As laid out when the state’s COVID metrics were trending along more healthy lines, the Bridge Plan was designed to expand permitted capacities at restaurants, businesses, and social gatherings. The original hope had been to implement the relaxed approach by mid-April, but now health officials are eyeing a May target date at the earliest.Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also paused plans to lift additional COVID-19 restrictions amidst a growing number of new cases. The City of Chicago has seen a 41% increase in new cases over the last week.
On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,526 new cases of COVID-19, including 25 additional deaths. As of Thursday, 1,411 individuals in Illinois were in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 304 patients were in the ICU and 121 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Vaccine Update: To date, 7,544,135 doses of the COVID vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago and the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership program for long-term care facilities. A total of 5,918,422 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of midnight Thursday. Illinois is averaging admininstering 109,073 doses/day. On Wednesday, 116,551 doses were reported administered in Illinois.
Education Funding: Governor Pritzker announced Illinois K-12 school districts are receiving $7 billion in federal funding to support students as they return to the classroom after distance and hybrid learning due to COVID-19. More information is here.
SECRETARY OF STATE UPDATE: Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White issued a reminder today urging the public to visit his office’s website atwww.cyberdriveillinois.com to conduct transactions online when possible instead of visiting a Driver Services facility. In addition, White has extended all driver’s license and ID card expiration dates an additional two months. All expired driver’s licenses and ID cards, as well as those expiring over the next four months, are now valid until Aug. 1, 2021. This extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and CDL learner’s permits.
NOVEMBER 2022 Election: Businessman Gary Rabine officially announced he will seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2022.
COMING UP:Both chambers are scheduled to return to in-person session on Tuesday April 13th at noon. The current schedule calls for both chambers to be in session weekly until the adjournment deadline — May 31st.The deadline to pass substantive Senate Bills out of Committee is April 16th.