New Laws: Governor Pritzker continues to take action on the more than 600 bills that were sent to his desk from the spring legislative session. The Governor has 60 days to act on legislation once it reaches his desk – giving him until the end of the month to act on most of the remaining bills. As of Wednesday morning, the Governor still had 262 bills pending on his desk.
New Prescription Drug Laws: Governor Pritzker signed a package of legislation addressing financial obstacles in accessing healthcare in addition to increasing transparency for purchasing prescription drugs. HB119 (Guzzardi/Villa) creates the prescription drug repository program to allow prescription medication to be repurposed for residents in need. The new law formalizes the legal process for donating unused prescription drugs to certified pharmacies or health departments.SB1682 (Bennett/Avelar) requires pharmacies to provide customers with the retail price of a prescription drug prior to purchase. The pharmacy must notify the customer if the customer’s cost-sharing price for a prescription exceeds the current pharmacy retail price. The new law also removes a provision that limits prescription holders to only ten requests for disclosure of the retail price of prescription drugs or medical devices.HB1745 (Harris/Harris) limits the total monthly out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. The legislation requires insurance companies to offer at least 10% of individual plans and one group plan with flat out-of-pocket payments by January 1, 2023. Furthermore, insurance companies must offer at least 25% of individual plans and two group plans with that benefit by January 1, 2024.Read the Governor’s press release here.
Physical Restraints in Schools:HB219 (Carroll/Gillespie) is now law. The law is designed to end the use of physical restraints to discipline students in public schools. The legislation aims to eliminate solitary time out and other restrictive interventions within three years, while expanding training and accountability in schools as it relates to these practices. Read the Governor’s press release here.
Juvenile Justice Reforms: Governor Pritzker approved HB3513 (Slaughter/Connor), the Procedural Justice for Youth Act, which reforms the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice’s operations and policies to advance equity, reduce mandatory minimums, and end the use of isolation and room confinement as punishment for youth. Read the Governor’s press release here
COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Illinois. With new daily case counts topping 400, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady announced that starting Friday, August 20th, face coverings will be required in Chicago for all people over the age of 2 regardless of vaccination status.
Chicago Public Schools announced that all Board of Education employees, including school-based teachers and staff, central office, regular vendors, and network employees, and all other Board employees must receive the COVID-19 vaccine by October 15th.
Federal officials are recommending COVID booster shots for those who received the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines over concerns about whether immunity is waning as the Delta variant surges nationwide. The boost shot is recommended eight months after being fully vaccinated. No word yet on how those boosters will be administered in Illinois.Twenty-one public schools in Illinois have been put on probation status by the Illinois State Board of Education for failure to comply with the state’s mask mandate in schools. School districts that do not comply will lose recognition status from the Illinois State Board of Education which will result in a loss of access to state funding and the inability to participate in IHSA and IESA sports. Furthermore, graduating seniors’ diplomas will not be acknowledged by the state. Election Update:
Judge Mary K. O’Brien announced her campaign for the Illinois Supreme Court’s 3rd District. O’Brien, who was a state legislator from 1996 to 2003, has served on the Illinois Appellate Court for nearly 18 years.
Judge Rene Cruz is running for the 2nd District of the Illinois Supreme Court. Cruz currently serves as a judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit of Illinois as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Misdemeanor and Traffic Division.
House Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer is reportedly mulling over a state wide bid, perhaps for Treasurer or Secretary of State, rather than seeking reelection to the House.
102nd General Assembly:
The Illinois General Assembly remains adjourned until the October veto session. No word yet if the Legislature will return to session before October to tackle clean energy legislation and to approve new Congressional boundaries. Senate President Harmon announced last week that we would like his chamber to address clean energy legislation by the end of the month. Negotiations are ongoing.
Census data was released last Thursday, months after Illinois Democrats approved new Legislative and Supreme Court maps. Following the release of the detailed census data, Republicans in the Illinois General Assembly say the data demonstrates that the maps approved during the spring session are unconstitutional. Capitol News offers coverage of the latest here.
The Speaker’s office is surveying House Democrats to check availability for a return to session the week of August 30th to possibly make adjustments to the legislative maps. The Speaker’s staff note that they are merely checking availability of members as there has been no decision to make changes to the newly drawn districts.
Senate President Don Harmon announced he is recovering from a mild “breakthrough” case of COVID-19. Harmon was vaccinated earlier in the spring.
Former Democratic State Senator Bill Haine passed away on Sunday, August 15th. Haine served a State Senator from 2002 -2018.
The House Adoption and Child Welfare Committee will hold a hearing on August 31st at 10:00 am in the Bilandic Building in Chicago to discuss DCFS client placement.
August 20, 2021 Update