103rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois House adjourned session for the week; Thursday’s session was canceled. The Illinois Senate was not in session this week. Both chambers return to session on Tuesday, February 7.
The House Bill drafting deadline is today, February 3. Friday, February 10 is the deadline to file substantive legislation in the Senate. Friday, February 17 is the deadline to file substantive legislation in the House.
Senate and House committees are organized for the 103rd General Assembly. Senate Democratic membership is here. Republican membership is here. House Democratic membership is here. House Republican membership is here.
Although committees are organized, only a handful of hearings are scheduled for next week. The Senate Assignments Committee met and assigned over 50 bills to standing committees. The House Rules Committee has not assigned any legislation to standing committees at this time.
The House adopted operating rules for the 103rd General Assembly – HR 36 (Gabel). Key changes include:
Remote Floor Voting: Eliminates remote floor voting that was allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members must be present in the House chamber to cast their vote.
Committee changes: Creates the committee structure for the 103rd General Assembly.
Allows members, with permission of the Speaker, to participate remotely in subject matter hearings on any day (session day or non-session day). Members may be considered present for attendance purposes but are not considered present for purposes of establishing a quorum and are not permitted to cast a vote.
Allows members to participate remotely in hearings, other than subject matter hearings, on non-session days. In this instance, members are considered present for attendance purposes and quorum purposes and are allowed to vote remotely.
Allows for witnesses to participate remotely in committee hearings at the discretion of the Chair.
Allows the appointing authority (Speaker or Minority Leader) to permanently replace a member of a committee.
Eliminates the five Special Committees and allows for creation of Special Committees via resolution.
Bill Assignments: Eliminates the requirement for the Rules Committee to assign all bills filed/received in the first year of the General Assembly.
Consent Calendar: Allows the Speaker to determine the use of the Consent Calendar.
For the first time in Illinois history, the chief budget negotiators for both caucuses in the Illinois House are women. House Republican Leader Tony McCombie named Deputy Leader Norine Hammond as Chief Budgeteer for the caucus for the 103rd General Assembly; Representative Amy Elik will serve as Deputy Budgeteer. As previously announced, Majority Leader Robyn Gabel and Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth will lead budget negotiations for the House Democratic majority.
The House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee will hold a hearing on February 7 at 2 pm in Room 114 of the Capitol to discuss the success of evidence-based funding. Remote witness participation is allowed.
The House Personnel and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on February 9 at 10 am in room 118 of the Capitol Building to receive a status report from TRS and SURS.
2023 Key Dates:
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 Laws: HB 4412 which sets statewide renewable energy project siting standards and establishes framework for rate relief for downstate energy consumers.
Public Health Emergency: After nearly three years, the federal and state public health emergencies will end effective May 11. As part of the PHEs, all Medicaid redeterminations were paused and services were not allowed to be reduced or end. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is working to develop a plan to unravel from the public health emergencies.
Agency Appointments: The Governor reappointed the directors of the Department of Children and Family Services; the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; Juvenile Justice; Labor; Insurance; and Healthcare and Family Services.
Deputy Governor Resigns: Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell, who has overseen Environment, Infrastructure, and Public Safety since the beginning of the Governor’s first term, is resigning at the beginning of March. Prior to serving as Deputy Governor, Mitchell served for six years in the Illinois House of Representatives and as Interim Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois, the first African American to do so.
Superintendent of Education Appointed: School District U-46 Superintendent Dr. Tony Sanders was appointed state superintendent of education. He will assume his duties in late February. ISBE Deputy Education Officer Krish Mohip will serve as interim state superintendent of education during the transition. Dr. Carmen I. Ayala’s retired effective January 31.
Tollway Chair Resigns: Tollway Chair Dorothy Abreu resigned to focus on her health challenges. Vice Chairman Jim Connolly will assume the responsibilities of the board chair until the Governor names a new permanent chair.
Illinois Works Pre-apprenticeship Program: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded $13 million to 30 recipients to expand the Illinois Works Pre-apprenticeship Program. The Program creates a pipeline of candidates in construction and the building trades. In its second year, the program will serve up to 1,400 pre-apprentices – a 40% increase from the program’s inaugural year. Read more here.
Water Infrastructure Loans: The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued $75,867,318 in water infrastructure loans to local governments and water districts for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2023 (October – December 2022). The Illinois EPA State Revolving Fund (SRF) Program provides low-interest loans which fund wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water projects. A listing of second quarter recipients is here.
Fair Housing: The Illinois Department of Human Rights released the “Fair Housing Implications of Nuisance and Crime-Free Ordinances: A Guide for Units of Local Governments” in partnership with the UIC Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic.
ACA Open Enrollment: The ACA open enrollment period has closed. In Illinois, 342,995 plans were selected, an enrollment jump of more than 6% compared to last year. Read more here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor appointed the following:
· Dion Redfield will serve as a member of the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Review Board.
· Patricia Nugent will serve as a member of the Illinois State Board of Education.
Nexo Capital, Inc. Settlement: Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced that Illinois will receive $424,500 as part of the $45 million multi-state settlement with Nexo Capital, Inc.
The Secretary of State’s office joined other states and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the investigation of Nexo for offering and selling unregistered securities in digital asset investments. This is part of a $45 million settlement, $22.5 million which will be distributed to state securities regulators.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Nexo agreed that it will stop offering its EIP unless properly registered. It also agreed to notify account holders on or before February 1, 2023, that investors should withdraw any assets from their accounts before April 1, 2023. The company also agreed to separate U.S. investor assets, recognize that U.S. investors hold legal title to those assets, and not use those assets in risky speculative activities.
Assault Weapons Ban: Illinois’ Fifth District Appellate Court ruled this week in a split 2-1 decision that a temporary restraining order regarding the recent assault weapons ban will remain in place. The court agreed that the plaintiffs made a plausible argument that the new law violates their rights to equal protection. Capitol News covers the ruling here.
PFAS Lawsuit: Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit against multiple companies that manufacture per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – also known as “forever chemicals” – and PFAS-containing products sold in the state of Illinois as consumer goods and for use in industrial processes.
The suit alleges the PFAS manufacturers have known for decades that PFAS are toxic and pose substantial health and environmental risks yet continue to actively promote the chemicals as safe to manufacture and use. The lawsuit also alleges PFAS manufacturers distort scientific evidence concerning potential harms associated with PFAS, and that PFAS manufacturers have caused widespread contamination and injuries to Illinois’ natural resources.
Read the lawsuit here.