December 16, 2022 Update


The Illinois General Assembly reconvenes on January 4, 2023 for a lame-duck session. The 103rd General Assembly is sworn into office on January 11 at noon.

Democrat State Senator Scott Bennett passed away unexpectedly Friday, December 9 from complications of an undiagnosed brain tumor. Senator Bennett was first appointed to the Senate in 2015 to fill the vacancy of Michael Frerichs when he was elected State Treasurer. Bennett ran unopposed in the November 2022 election. Senator Bennett, age 45, leaves behind a wife and two young children. 

A memorial service will be held on Monday, December 19 at 10:00 a.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana. For those interested in directly supporting the family, donations can be made at In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Senator Bennett’s memory to CU Able or Champaign-Urbana Autism Network. Read Senator Bennett’s full obituary here.

Diane Blair-Sherlock was appointed to replace Representative Deb Conroy in the 46th House District. Conroy was elected as Chair of the DuPage County Board in the November election.

State Representative Delia Ramirez resigned her House seat this week. She was elected to Congress in the November General Election. State Representative Tim Butler also submitted his resignation effective December 31, 2022. Butler will be the new Executive Director for the Illinois Railroad Association.

The House Judiciary- Criminal Committee held two subject matter hearings on new gun control legislation – HB 5855 (Morgan). Capitol News covers the hearings here and here.   Another subject matter hearing is scheduled for December 20 at 10am in the Bilandic Building in Chicago. 

2023 Key Dates and Deadlines:

January 9:           Inauguration of Constitutional Officers

January 11:       Inauguration of the 103rd General Assembly

January 27:      Deadline – Senate LRB Requests

February 3:        Deadline – House LRB Requests

February 10:     Deadline – Introduction of Substantive Senate Bills in the Senate

February 17:      Deadline – Introduction of Substantive House Bills in the House

February 15:     Governor’s State of the State/Budget Address

February 28:      Consolidated Primary Election

March 10:          Deadline – Substantive Bills Out of Committee in both chambers

March 24:          Deadline – Third Reading Deadline – Substantive House Bills in the House

March 31:          Deadline – Third Reading Deadline – Substantive Senate Bills in the Senate

April 4:               Consolidated Election

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


New Bills: The Governor signed two new bills into law this week.

HB 347 (Hoffman/Harmon) which amends the Sexual Assault Survivors Treatment Act. With respect to pediatric health care facilities, the bill delays implementation of certain fines as hospitals ramp-up staffing to fully implement the provision of the Act. The law further allows St. Louis area pediatric hospitals to treat Illinois patients and extends the reporting deadline for the Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Services Implementation Task Force. 

HB 4073 (Kelly/Murphy) is intended to address the vacancy on the Niles Library Board by clarifying that the Secretary of State is authorized to make appointments to a local library board when the vacancy has existed for a certain amount of time.

ISBE COVID-19 Spending Dashboard: The Illinois State Board of Education launched a new spending dashboard to share how Illinois is using federal pandemic relief funds. The state received nearly $8 billion through three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding to support students’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ninety percent of relief funding flowed directly to districts. The third and largest round of funding, the American Rescue Plan, included a stipulation that required school districts to solicit local stakeholder input to inform their spending and make spending plans publicly available. The dashboard allows users to filter funds by each of the three rounds of ESSER and the district or entity receiving the funds to get detailed information on expenditures. 

The remaining 10 percent are state set-aside funds directed by ISBE. ISBE invested $300 million in formula-based funding to all school districts and other entities, including special education cooperatives, to support evidence-based interventions that address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on certain groups of students. 

The dashboard is available here.

Innovation Hubs Receive State Funding:  Five innovation hubs, part of the Illinois Innovation Network, will receive a portion of $37.3 million in state funds awarded through the Rebuild Illinois Capital program.  Hubs utilize a combination of research, public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship, and workforce training programs to spur inclusive economic development in their region and across the state. Funding will be allocated and utilized as follows:

·        NEIU will create the Business Growth and Innovation Center by using $2.5 million in state funding to renovate the Carruthers Center and the Parking Facility. The center will provide economic development opportunities to underrepresented and underserved communities, including discovery and commercialization of research, entrepreneurship and workforce development.

·        In DeKalb, NIU will launch the Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability to create new knowledge, inform policymaking and inspire action related to food systems innovation, water resources and environmental change. The state is providing $15 million to build the 30,000-square-foot facility on the university’s west campus.

·        At SIUC, the university will use $2.5 million in state funds to renovate the McLafferty Annex and launch the Illinois Food, Entrepreneurship, Research, and Manufacturing (iFERM) hub. The renovations will include a teaching kitchen and sensory lab, fermented dairy facility and fermented beverage facility for the hub that will solve food/nutrition, agriculture, and health challenges through transdisciplinary research, innovation, and education while providing the infrastructure for development of Illinois agriculture value-added products.

·        SIUE will use $2.3 million in state funds to renovate spaces in the Technology and Management Center, and the Biotechnology Laboratory Incubator to launch the Center for Sustainable Communities and Entrepreneurship (CSCE). The center will harness multiple university assets to convert discovery into economic opportunity while addressing research, workforce and economic development needs in Metro-East Illinois.

·        UIS will use $15 million in state funds to purchase and renovate the former Illinois Sheriffs Association building in downtown Springfield. The purchase was finalized on Nov. 18 and design work on the renovation will begin soon. The facility will house the UIS Innovation Center, which will include the Innovate Springfield incubator, as well as activities and programs that support the development of evidence- based, impact-driven programs aimed at advancing the social and economic welfare of the region.


Pretrial Implementation Task Force: The Illinois Supreme Court Pretrial Implementation Task Force hosted a town hall meeting on December 16 to address the recent changes to the Pretrial Fairness Act. Task Force resources, as well as video of previous town halls, a schedule of upcoming town halls, and a list of Task Force members and subcommittees, can be found here. Prior town halls have covered topics such as an introduction to the PFA, release by citation, release from custody, pretrial assessment tools, and first appearance hearings.

Opioid Settlement: Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a settlement with Walgreens and CVS to resolve allegations that both companies contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at stores. 

The settlement provides $10.7 billion nationally and requires changes to how Walgreens and CVS dispense opioids. The settlement has been sent to other states for review and approval. States have until the end of 2022 to sign onto the settlement followed by a 90-day sign on period for units of local government. The settlement will be divided between states who sign onto the settlements, local governments and tribes and will prioritize abatement and remediation of the opioid crisis.

Raoul said the settlement also includes broad, court-ordered requirements, such as the implementation of a robust Controlled Substance Compliance Program. The program will require independent pharmacist review of prescriptions, additional oversight of controlled substance dispensing, mandatory training and new reporting requirements.

Secretary of State: Secretary of State Elect Alexi Giannoulias named campaign manager Hannah Jubeh and political strategist Scott Burnham as Deputy Secretaries of State in his new administration. Giannoulias will be sworn into office on January 9, 2023.

Cannabis Research Center: A new Cannabis Research Center is coming to Chicago. The venture is a joint effort between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Discovery Partners Institute which is part of the University of Illinois system. The CRI will be a first-of-its kind center in the Midwest and will provide research and data to advance knowledge on scientific and socio-economic impacts of cannabis usage and production. The CRI is expected to be operational in the coming months. A search is now underway for an Executive Director. Read more here.