February 9, 2024 Update


The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned for the week after having met Tuesday through Thursday.  This week, legislators primarily focused on filing new legislation.  And while several committees were scheduled to meet this week, many cancelled as pending legislation was not ready for a vote. Today is the deadline to file substantive legislation for the 2024 spring session.  So far this week – through close of business Thursday – legislators filed 857 new bills (509 House Bills/348 Senate Bills).

Legislators will return to session Tuesday, February 20 through Thursday, February 22.  The Governor will deliver his combined State of the State and Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 21.

Elected Chicago School Board: In the Fall Veto Session, the House and Senate passed competing legislation to effectuate the final transition to a fully elected Chicago Public Schools Board.  The House passed a hybrid plan which would initially allow for a partially elected, partially appointed school board and then transition to a fully elected board.  The Senate, meanwhile, passed legislation that would allow for the immediate election of all board members.  Neither chamber considered the other’s legislation at that time.  The Senate President noted at the time that he was awaiting clear direction from Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson on his preference for structuring the transition to an elected city school board.  The mayor has now indicated he wants the General Assembly to pass a hybrid plan that elects half the school board this year, with the other half elected in 2026.  Read more here.

2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:

January 19 – February 9:  LRB Blackout Period – No Amendment Requests Will Be Accepted

February 9:  Senate and House Bill Filing Deadline and LRB Amendment Requests Begin

February 21:  Governor’s Budget and State of the State Address

March 15:  Senate Committee Deadline for Senate Bills

March 19:  Primary Election

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


Teamsters Union Votes to Authorize IDOT Strike: On February 7, 2024, members of the Teamsters Union represented by Locals 26, 50, 371, 525, 627, 705, 722, and 916 employed by the Illinois Department of Transportation voted by 95% to authorize a strike.  The previous contract expired July 1, 2023.  Negotiations have been ongoing between the union and the state of Illinois since that time.  “Our members, who have been leading the way during this contract fight, have grown tired of the state’s unwillingness to value their hard work,” said Thomas Stiede, President of Joint Council 25. “Their overwhelming strike authorization sends a clear message, and we will do whatever it takes to get them the contract they deserve.”

Made in Illinois Grant: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center are offering $1 million in funding for the Made in Illinois Grant Program. Through this effort, up to $50,000 in matching grant funding will be awarded to small- and mid-sized Illinois manufacturers to support innovation and strategic advancements in manufacturing.  Applications are open through March 31, 2024.  Manufacturers can learn more about eligibility criteria, application procedures, and the improvements achievable through this initiative by visiting www.imec.org/madeinillinois. Read more here.

Historic Route 66 Grants: Boosting local tourism and attracting visitors to the historic Route 66 are the goals of the Route 66 Grant Program from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.  Seven grants – totaling $3.3 million – were recently awarded. The effort is leading up to the 100th Anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.  A full list of grant recipients is here.


January Revenue Report: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability released its January Revenue Report.  Revenues deposited into Illinois’ General Funds fell $696 million in January as compared to January of 2023. The Commission noted that “while the decline is noteworthy, the drop has been anticipated for some time and is primarily due to the timing of a significant revenue transfer last fiscal year.”

When removing this transfer from the equation, receipts into the General Funds actually rose $291

million in January. Two factors fuel the growth: a $145 million transfer from the Capital Projects

Fund to the General Revenue Fund (GRF), and a one-time transfer of $100 million to the GRF from

excess P.A. 102-700 funds earmarked for rebate checks distributed in FY 2023.  Without

these transfer components, General Funds revenues were effectively flat for the month.

The “big three” revenue sources underperformed in January. Personal Income Tax

revenues declined $52 million [or -$50 million net of deposits to the Refund Fund and the Local

Government Distributive Fund]. Corporate Income Tax receipts also fell slightly with gross

revenues $15 million less than last year [or -$10 million net]. Sales Taxes deposited into the State’s

General Funds were $16 million higher on a gross basis (or just $7 million more than last January on

a net basis) when adjusting for distributions to the Road Fund and certain transportation funds.

The remaining State sources rose a combined $29 million for the month. The gains again were

boosted by growth in Interest on State Funds & Investments, which rose another $36 million in

January. And while the largest gain for the month came from Insurance Taxes and Fees [up+$40

million], the magnitude of this increase is timing-related; last month’s revenues were down

$46 million (resulting in a two-month deficit of $6 million). Reduced receipts in January occurred in multiple categories: the Inheritance Tax [-$17 million]; the Corporate Franchise Tax [-$11 million]; Public Utility Taxes [-$10 million]; Other Sources [-$6 million]; the Cigarette Tax [-$2 million]; and the Liquor Tax [-$1 million].

In the Transfers In category, revenues were a combined $813 million lower (again, primarily due to

the absence of last January’s Income Tax Refund Fund Transfer of $987 million). The impact of this

revenue hole was softened by the Capital Projects Fund transfer mentioned above (helping to boost

Other Transfers by $148 million), a $25 million increase in Lottery Transfers, and a slight $1 million

increase in casino-related Gaming Transfers. Cannabis Transfers were again effectively flat for the


Federal Sources were up $41 million in January, offsetting a portion of the overall decline.  Read the full report here. 

In other budget related news, the Governor will deliver the FY 2025 Budget Address to the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 21. 

Illinois Beach Shoreline Stabilization Project: A significant designation has been attained by the Illinois Beach Shoreline Stabilization Project in Lake County.  It has been awarded Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) Verification, which is a national rating system providing technical reviews of the design and construction of waterfront projects. Illinois Beach State Park earned the gold standard under the guidelines outlined in WEDG’s Version 3.0.  Read more here.

Opioid Settlement:  Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with a bipartisan group of attorneys general, announced a $150 million multistate settlement agreement in principle with opioid manufacturer Hikma Pharmaceuticals (Hikma) for its role in fueling the opioid crisis. Raoul’s office also announced a $350 million national settlement with Publicis Health to resolve investigations into the global marketing and communications firm’s role in the prescription opioid epidemic. Read more here.

ICC Supplier Diversity Report:  The Illinois Commerce Commission’s Office of Diversity and Community Affairs’ (ODCA) 2023 Annual Report shows that for the third year in a row, diverse spending by the state’s largest investor-owned utilities remained steady at over $2 billion. Some utilities reported a nearly 50 percent share of their total spending with diverse suppliers, including minority, women, veteran, and small business enterprises.

The report provides a summary and analysis of data from eight years of reports submitted by Illinois’ “Big 6” public utilities: Ameren Illinois, Aqua Illinois, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), Illinois American Water, Northern Illinois Gas Company d/b/a Nicor Gas Company (Nicor), and Peoples Gas and Light and Coke Company/North Shore Gas Company (collectively Peoples Gas/North Shore). Since 2014, the law has required these companies to report their annual supplier diversity outreach and inclusion efforts to the ICC. As offered in the report, some of the utilities grew their diverse spend from an average of 15 percent to nearly 45 percent of all procurement spending. Beginning last year, the Big 6 utilities are also required to include short-term buy-in plans as a part of their diversity reports to the Commission.

AI Robocallers Warned by Attorneys General:  Attorney General Kwame Raoul and a bipartisan group of 50 Attorneys General issued a warning letter to the company that allegedly sent New Hampshire residents scam election robocalls during the New Hampshire primary election. The calls allegedly used artificial intelligence (AI) to impersonate the president and discourage voters from participating in the primary. Early voting in Illinois’ 2024 general primary election begins February 8. 

In their warning letter, the attorneys general direct Life Corporation (Life Corp) and its owner and executives to cease any unlawful call traffic immediately. Otherwise, they may be in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Truth in Caller ID Act and other state consumer protection laws.  Read more here.