April 5, 2024 Update


The Illinois House stands adjourned; the Senate was not in session this week. The Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, April 9. The House will reconvene on Wednesday, April 10. Today is the deadline to pass substantive House Bills out of House Committees. Deadline extensions are likely. Also note that Friday, April 12 is the Third Reading deadline for Senate Bills in the Senate.

Highlights from this week are below.

The House Insurance Committee approved, by a vote of 10 – 5,  HB 4611 (Jones) which bans discrimination based on age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, immigration or citizenship status, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or gender expression when setting auto insurance premiums. The bill is an initiative of Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias. HB 4611 now heads to the full House.  

By a 19-6 vote, HB 4835 (Blair-Sherlock) passed the House Energy and Environment Committee; the legislation imposes a temporary statewide moratorium on construction of carbon dioxide pipelines. The stoppage would be in effect until the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has adopted revised federal safety standards for transportation of carbon dioxide and the State has commissioned and finalized a relevant study regarding the safety setbacks required in the event of pipeline rupture or leak. The full House will now consider the bill.

The House Judiciary Criminal Committee approved HB 4585 (Stava-Murray) which prohibits arrest quotas. HB 4585 now heads to the full House.

The use of AI-generated child pornography is addressed in HB 4623 (Gong- Gershowitz), approved unanimously by the House Judiciary Criminal Committee. The legislation prohibits the use of AI technology to create child pornography that involves either real children or obscene imagery. An initiative of the Attorney General, the bill also prohibits the nonconsensual dissemination of certain AI-generated sexual images and will now go before the full House. Read more here.

The House Executive Committee approved HB 5050 (Manley) on a partisan roll call. The bill creates a process for counties to dissolve certain units of local government; as drafted, it applies to a township road and bridge district, sanitary district, drainage district, mosquito abatement district, or street light district. The sponsor noted she will continue negotiating with interested parties. HB 5050 now heads to the House floor.  

The House Labor Committee approved HB 4596 (Mason), which amends the Paid Leave for All Workers Act to make it applicable to airline/aviation and other railway and freight shipment employees. Such an inclusion, supporters testified, will allow workers to take time off without fearing disciplinary actions. The sponsor is holding the bill on Second Reading for further negotiations. HB 4596 passed committee, as amended, by a vote of 19-10 and now moves to the full House.

Elimination of the statewide tipped credit for workers is the focus of HB 5345 (Hernadez), which the House Labor Committee examined during a lengthy hearing. Currently, employers are required to pay tipped workers $8.40/hour plus tips.  And if tips do not get employees to at least $14/hour (which is the current minimum wage in Illinois), employers are required to make up the difference. Proponents argue the bill will clear up confusion with the minimum wage and bring statewide uniformity after Chicago passed an ordinance to phase out the tipped wage by 2028. Opponents say the minimum wage increase agreement they reached in 2019 was intended to prevent any expansions of minimum wage until 2025. They also contend any statewide application should be slowed until after Chicago’s tipped wage takes full effect.   The sponsor committed to hold the bill on Second Reading to continue conversations and negotiations. HB 5345 passed committee by a vote of 17-11 and now heads to the House Floor.

Health data privacy is the subject of HB 4093 (Williams). By creating the Protect Health Data Privacy Act, the legislation would require companies to have a health data privacy policy identifying what information they are collecting, using, selling, and storing and why. Companies would also have to gain consent from those who have their data collected. HB 4093 passed the House Judiciary – Civil Committee by a vote of 10-3 and now heads to the full House.

 HB 4475 (LaPointe) is designed to strengthen network adequacy and access to mental health services; it passed unanimously out of the House Mental Health Committee and now heads to the full House.

A subject matter hearing this week keyed in on the Governor’s plan to consolidate early childhood programs into a new singular cabinet level agency – the Department of Early Childhood. The House Appropriations Elementary and Secondary Education Committee hosted the hearing. Read more about it here.

Kendra Piercy assumed the responsibilities of House Democratic Staff Chief Counsel, House Parliamentarian, and House Democratic Ethics Officer. She replaces James Hartmann effective immediately.

2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:

April 5: House Committee Deadline for House Bills

April 12: Senate Third Reading Deadline

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


IDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Workshops: During April, the Illinois Department of Transportation will host free virtual workshops for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms interested in strengthening their skills, growing their businesses, and bidding on state projects. New and existing DBEs, as well as firms interested in becoming certified in the program, are invited to attend. Read more here.

30 Days of Public Health Campaign: Throughout April, the Illinois Department of Public Health will celebrate 30 Days of Public Health. The campaign is an extended observance of National Public Health Week that also coincides with National Minority Health Month. The effort is intended to both engage Illinoisans and educate them about all that public health does to promote health and safety. The activities will highlight public health departments and their connection to the health care system, the profession in general and the career options it provides, and also spotlight those aiding the people of Illinois through public health service.

Bloch Quantum Tech Hub: A recently announced initiative aims to bolster the rate of industry adoption and thus drive research commercialization. The Bloch Quantum Tech Hub – a multi-year plan announced by Gov. Pritzker and Innovate Illinois – will zero in on quantum technology solutions to address such areas as drug discovery, grid resilience, and fraud detection. It is projected over the next decade to generate $60 billion in economic impact for the Chicago metro area.

A wide-ranging coalition is behind the Bloch Quantum Tech Hub, including Fortune 500 companies, quantum startups, world-leading universities, state and city governments, community colleges, and economic and workforce development nonprofits. The plan reflects the coalition’s application for Phase 2 funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Technology and Innovation Hub program.

The Chicago Quantum Exchange leads the Bloch, which is a part of Illinois’ effort to position itself as a global leader in critical technological sectors. Governor Pritzker chairs Innovate Illinois and has spearheaded a historic $500 million proposed investment in quantum technologies.

The proposed FY25 state budget contains the substantial state investment for developing quantum technology and a state-of-the-art quantum campus (which would have a cryogenic facility considered pivotal for quantum technologies and next-generation microelectronics).

Should the Phase 2 bid be funded, significant economic outreach will be realized: The Bloch is expected to create 30,000 quantum jobs, train 50,000 workers, and support 200 quantum companies by 2035. Read more here.

Pause to Heal: The Illinois Department of Public Health is teaming up with Brady: United Against Gun Violence and the Ad Council in a public awareness campaign about firearm restraining orders (FROs). The Illinois effort – called PauseToHeal –- is the first phase of a planned multi-state campaign. It is designed to prevent firearm suicides and other shootings by educating the public about the state’s FRO law — and the power that household members have to ask a court to temporarily restrict access to guns and ammunition when a person poses a threat to themselves or others. 


Chicago Chief Homeless Officer: Sendy Soto was appointed Chicago’s first Chief Homeless Officer. Among her tasks: developing a five-year plan to prevent and respond to homelessness; and coordinating on homelessness with the city’s departments and nonprofit, local, state and federal groups. She will also work to expand housing options for people who experience homelessness and housing insecurity, including creating rental assistance, rapid rehousing and non-congregate shelter programs.

Energy Democracy and Utility Accountability: A new study by the Institute for Local Self Reliance ranked Illinois as # 1 state in the nation for energy democracy and utility accountability. Among the criteria used in the ranking were state policies on clean energy action, holding utility companies accountable, protecting ratepayers, and other measures that support locally owned clean energy. The study examined who owns and controls clean energy production in each state and identified Illinois’s net-metering and community solar policies as major initiatives that set the state apart.

Pacione-Zayas Appointed Chief of Staff: As expected, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnon appointed Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas as his Chief of Staff. “Cristina’s unparalleled dedication to our city, her depth of knowledge on critical issues affecting our neighborhoods like housing, community safety and education, and her proven track record of leadership make her the ideal person to serve as my next chief of staff,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “I am confident that together, we will continue to make strides toward a better, stronger, safer Chicago.”

COGFA Monthly Briefing: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its March monthly report, noting that revenue deposits into the State’s General Funds rose $413 million this March as compared to March of 2023. Fueling the 9.7% increase were strong gains from the Personal Income Tax and Federal Sources, and other State sources. The report also discusses the commission’s revised FY 24 and FY 25 revenue forecasts. Read the entire report here.