December 23, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
Gov. Pritzker signed legislation to combine over 500 local downstate police and fire pension systems into two statewide funds. SB1300 (Castro/Hoffman) takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.Gov. JB Pritzker announced changes to the state’s child care assistance program. The child care reimbursement rates for all center and home-based providers will increase by 5%. The state will also increase its investment in early childhood workforce training by $3 million. The Governor also created the Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding to evaluate the state’s ECEC system and establish funding goals and funding mechanisms to provide equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care for all children birth to five.

Gov. Pritzker appointed the following child care providers, advocates, educators and legislators from around the state to serve on the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding:

* Barbara Flynn Currie, Former House Democratic Majority Leader
* George Davis, Former Executive Director, Rockford Human Services Department
* Andy Manar, Illinois State Senator, D-Bunker Hill
* Jesse Ruiz, Deputy Governor for EducationMembers:* Emma Ahiable, Prekindergarten Teacher, Springfield District 186 (IEA)
* Dr. Carmen Ayala, Superintendent, Illinois State Board of Education
* Christopher Belt, Illinois State Senator, D-Centreville
* Thomas Bennett, Illinois State Representative, R-Gibson City
* Kristin Bernhard, Senior Vice President, Ounce of Prevention Fund
* Patricia Chamberlain, Retired Educator
* Will Davis, Illinois State Representative, D-Homewood
* Donald DeWitte, Illinois State Senator, R-St. Charles
* Shauna Ejeh, Senior Vice President for Programs, Illinois Action for Children
* Craig Esko, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank
* Phyllis Glink, Executive Director, Irving Harris Foundation
* Rochelle Golliday, Executive Director, Cuddle Care
* Rey Gonzalez, President and CEO, El Valor
* Christina Hachikian, Executive Director, Rustandy Center for Social Innovation, University of Chicago Booth School
* Grace Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services
* Lori Longueville, Director, Child Care Resource and Referral, John A Logan College
* Cathy Mannen, Union Professional Issues Director, Illinois Federation of Teachers
* Bela Mote, Chief Executive Officer, Carole Robertson Center
* Evelyn Osorio, Child Care Field Coordinator, SEIU Healthcare
* Aaron Ortiz, Illinois State Representative, D-Chicago
* Elliot Regenstein, Partner, Foresight Law + Policy
* Trish Rooney, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, Fox Valley United Way
* Jodi Scott, Regional Superintendent of Schools
* Robin Steans, Executive Director, Advance Illinois
* Jim Stelter, Superintendent, Bensenville School District 2
The Commission is expected to deliver its final recommendations to the Governor by January 2021.

Cannabis Roundup: In the wake of a reported shortage of medical cannabis supplies, sponsors of the state’s recreational cannabis law issued a statement this week indicating that the will continue to closely monitor the supply of cannabis and urge all constituents to stay in touch with them regarding their experiences and challenges as Illinois embarks on cannabis legalization. They asked patients and caregivers to continue to stay in contact sharing ideas and suggestions to make it easier for them to access their medicine. The letter was signed by Senators Fine and Steans and Representatives Cassidy, Gordon-Booth, Morgan, Villanueva and Welter. COMING UP: The first hearing of the new Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 23 at 10m in Room 16-503 of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. The Commission is co-chaired by Sen. Elgie Sims and Rep. Greg Harris. Monday’s inaugural meeting will focus on establishing the Commission’s framework. The Senate Special Committee on Opioid Crisis Abatement will hold a hearing on Jan. 16th at 12:30 PM at Chestnut Health Systems, 50 Northgate Industrial Drive in Granite City to discuss the state’s opioid action plan implementation report.
The Illinois Senate will convene on Sunday, January 19th at noon to formally elect a new Senate President. The 101st General Assembly will reconvene for the 2020 Spring Legislative Session on January 28th, 2020.