103rd ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly will begin the 2024 Spring Legislative Session on Tuesday, January 16. Both chambers are scheduled to be in session for three days next week. Key deadlines are quickly approaching. Note Friday, January 19 is the deadline to request legislation be drafted for consideration during the Spring Session. Friday, February 9 is the deadline to file legislation.
The Senate Assignments Committee assigned 129 Senate Bills to committees this week. All of the bills were originally filed during the 2023 legislative session. Below are highlights of key bills that were assigned:
· SB 85 (Murphy) which creates the State Beverage Container Recycling Refunds Act was reassigned to the Senate Executive Committee.
· SB 193 (Peters) which creates the Illinois Rust Belt to Green Belt Pilot Program Act was reassigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.
· SB 280 (Fowler) which creates the Department of Lottery and Gaming Act to consolidate the functions of the Department of the Lottery, the Illinois Racing Board, and the Illinois Gaming Board was reassigned to the Senate Executive Committee.
· SB 1408 (Murphy) which provides that drugs prescribed to residents of the certain long term care facilities are not subject to prior approval as a result of the 4-prescription limit was reassigned to the Senate Appropriations Health and Human Services Committee.
· SB 1413 (Rezin) which creates the Sale of Pharmaceuticals on Social Media Act was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
· SB 1549 (Rezin) creates the Wind Turbine Stewardship and Takeback Program Act was reassigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.
· SB 1578 (Johnson) which provides that owners and operators of CCR surface impoundments at electric generating plants that are within 4,000 feet of Lake Michigan must close the CCR surface impoundment by removal and off-site disposal as specified in the legislation was reassigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.
· SB 1656 (Castro) which creates the Internet Gaming Act was reassigned to the Senate Executive Committee.
· SB 1823 (Villanueva) which addresses Environmental Justice communities was reassigned to the Senate State Government Committee.
· SB 1908 (Villanueva) which creates the Warehouse Worker Protection Act was reassigned to the Senate Executive Committee.
· SB 2421 (Fine) which creates the Carbon Dioxide Transport and Storage Protections Act was reassigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is the only Senate Committee scheduled to meet next week. The House Rules Committee has yet to assign bills to committees for hearings.
Representative Jonathan Carroll resigned this week. Carroll was not seeking reelection. Tracy Katz Muhl, who was the sole Democrat seeking the nomination to the 57th House District in the March primary, was selected as his replacement.
The behavioral health workforce shortage will be the topic of two upcoming hearings. On January 25 – and then again on February 23 – the House Mental Health and Addiction Committee will meet in tandem with the Senate Behavioral Mental Health Committee to address the subject. Both hearings will begin at 10 a.m. in the Bilandic Building in Chicago.
Local Republicans selected Brandun Schweizer to replace Representative Mike Marron in the 104th House District. Schwizer was already running as the sole Republican in the March primary.
The Illinois State Board of Elections ruled this week that Republican Representative Adam Niemerg is ineligible to remain on the March 19 primary election ballot because he failed to properly notarize his statement of candidacy. Niemerg can appeal the ruling in court or run as a write in candidate. He is the only candidate running for the seat, which is in the 102nd House District.
State Senator Sue Rezin was named one of the co-chairs of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Natural Resources, Energy, and Environment Standing Committee. This committee seeks to protect states’ interests in federal decisions on everything from agriculture to wastewater — including biotechnology, electric grid and transmission, fossil fuels, and nuclear and renewable energy. The committee provides legislators and legislative staff with an opportunity to share and learn from the experiences of other states.
2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:
January 19: House and Senate LRB Request Deadline
January 19 – February 9: LRB Blackout Period – No 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
Governor Pritzker Celebrates Economic Milestones: The Governor joined the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to celebrate the economic milestones reached during the Pritzker Administration. Read more here.
Grant Funding Awarded for Recreational Purposes: More than $28 million in state grant funding has been awarded to local governments throughout Illinois for the construction, renovation, and improvement of buildings or land purchases for public recreational opportunities, Governor JB Pritzker announced today.
The funding comes from the Park and Recreational Facility Construction Act, or PARC, grant program, which is part of Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital improvement program. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) administers the program. A full list of recipients is here.
Cannabis Sales: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation released key data for adult use cannabis sales for calendar year 2023. According to IDFPR, adult use cannabis sales set a new annual record in 2023, exceeding $1.6 billion. Records were also set in sales to in-state residents and the number of items sold, with that total increasing more than 15% compared to 2022. Sales taxes collected at Illinois adult use cannabis dispensaries totaled $417.6 million in 2023, per the Illinois Department of Revenue. Read more here.
Southern Illinois Healthcare Cancer Institute Awarded $10 Million Grant: Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) Cancer Institute will receive a $10 million grant for its recent expansion of the SIH Cancer Institute in Carterville. The grant is made possible through the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan to improve infrastructure statewide. The funding will help upgrade facility furniture, medical equipment, and the buildout of the Cancer Institute in Carterville. The Carterville plan, completed in December of 2022, included an approximate 20,000 square foot expansion and the modernization of both clinical and non-clinical areas.
Two additional state grants of $150,000 each will help expand the SIH Cancer Institute Café, covering such costs as the design, oversight, and implementation of kitchen renovations.
Back to Business Local Chambers Program: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced $5 million is available in grant funding through the Back to Business (B2B) Local Chambers program. Following state recovery programming for businesses totaling $1.5 billion, the latest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)-funded opportunity provides additional support for local chambers of commerce that experienced negative economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant Program: Local governments, community-based nonprofit organizations, and higher ed institutions are being encouraged by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to address climate challenges and reduce pollution through a just-announced federal funding opportunity. The Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant Program (Community Change Grants) — created by the Inflation Reduction Act and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) — offers $2 billion in grants in two tracks of funding.
Track I, Community-Driven Investments for Change, is expected to award approximately $1.96 billion for 150 projects for $10 million-$20 million each. Under Track II, called Meaningful Engagement for Equitable Governance, some $40 million will be available for 20 projects costing $1 million-$3 million each. Read more here.
Electric Charging Station Grant: Illinois will receive $ 14.9 million in competitive federal grant funding from the US Department of Transportation’s FY22-FY23 Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program. The Illinois Finance Authority, in its role as the Illinois Climate Bank, was chosen to receive the funding to help expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the state.
Of the total $18.7M project investment: 43% will be allocated for disadvantaged community projects while 63% will go to dense urban communities with a high percentage of multi-family housing, as well as rural communities and small towns. Read more here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker appointed the following:
· Dion Redfield will continue to serve as a Member of the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Review Board.
· Lance Kovacs will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.
· Laura Minzer will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.
· Patrick Besler will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.
· Steven Powell will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
· Brian Sullivan will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
Assault Weapons Ban: The US Supreme Court denied Republican State Representative Dan Caulkin’s request to review the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in his case surrounding the validity of Illinois’ recently enacted assault weapons ban. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled previously that the gun ban does not violate the state constitution’s equal protection clause by creating exemptions for certain trained professionals (such as retired police officers, and for people who owned the now-banned firearms). Read more here.
COGFA Report: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its December report. Concerning revenues, the Commission reports that “Illinois’ General Funds receipts rose $383 million in December as compared to the same month the prior year. While the performances of the individual revenue lines were mixed, growth in personal income tax receipts, with the help of revenue redistributions and a one-time transfer, has capped off an overall positive first half of revenues for FY 2024.” Read the full report here.
Chicago Migrant Update: A new State-supported shelter began serving migrants in Chicago on Wednesday. Located in a former CVS in the Little Village neighborhood, the shelter is part of the city’s existing asylum seeker shelter system and will house approximately 220 people as they transition to independent living.